Just like adults, all children are different. This means that they all develop differently. You should not necessarily expect your child to start speaking or walking at the same time as your friends’ kids. Although, there are some milestone guidelines that it helps to be aware of.
These guidelines help to give you a general idea of when your little one should begin to talk. However, if you are wondering when should my child start talking, it helps to understand more about the development of speech and how you can help.
A Child’s Talking Milestones
A child’s speech develops over time. Let’s take a closer look at the milestones that usually happen and what you should expect to hear.
- Cooing and goos at 2-3 months of age.
- Babbling from around the age of 4 months. This is an important stage in language development when you should listen and respond to your child.
- Babbling becomes more like an actual speech at around 6-7 months. At this point, a baby starts to use inflection and the babbling sounds more organized.
- Babbling longer ‘sentences’ starts at around 12 months. At this point, a baby usually starts to say simple individual words like dada or mama. They then start to say more words over the next few months.
- Short sentences start to be formed when a child is approximately 18 months – 2 years of age.
Remember that these milestones are only a guideline. However, there are certain signs of a potential problem that you should look out for.
Potential Warning Signs Of A Speech Development Problem
There is no one answer to the question “When should a child start talking?” Different children start talking at different times. However, there are certain signs that may indicate that your little one has a problem with their speech or language development.
- No use of gestures such as waving by the time they are 12 months old.
- Preferring gestures to a speech by the age of 18 months.
- Limited understanding of verbal requests by the age of 18 months.
- Still only imitating speech by the age of 2 with no original speech happening.
- Unable to follow easy directions by the age of 2.
It’s also useful to know that you should be able to understand about 50% of what your child says by the time they are 2 and 75% by the time they are 3.
Understanding Speech Delay In Your Child
There can be many reasons for a child to experience speech delay including hearing loss and autism. A child may even just simply choose not to talk.
If you think that your child has a problem with delayed speech, you should see a healthcare specialist. They may recommend that your child gets help from a speech therapist. This can be a big help in assisting speech development in your child. There are also some things that you can do to help your child to learn to talk, whether they have speech development problems or not.
How To Help With Your Child’s Speech And Language Development
You can start helping your child to develop their language and speech skills from when they are firstborn. Here are some of the things that you should do.
- Communicate with your baby straight away.
- Encourage and praise your baby’s early non-verbal communication such as when they raise their arms to be picked up.
- Explain your baby’s babbling to them. Talk to them about the right words for what they are babbling about.
- Imitate what your baby says. Use the same tone and rhythm as a baby talk but say the right word.
- Talk through your day with your child. For instance, you can name different food items when you go to the store.
- Read aloud with your child so they can start to recognize letters and words.
- Keep patient when your child is trying to explain something. Repeat what you think they have said and ask if you are right.
- Watch educational videos for toddlers to learn new words
Spending time with your child, and taking these actions, helps to develop your child’s speech and their language skills.
This article should help you to answer the question at what age should a child start talking? You can use this information to give your child the support they need and get them extra help if you believe that they have a speech development problem.