When Should My Baby Start Talking? - Page 2
Encouraging your baby to talk
Here are some things you can do to encourage your baby to talk:
- Imitate your baby’s sounds and encourage him to imitate you. Try smiling when he smiles, laughing when he laughs, or making “ooh” and “aah” sounds when he makes “ooh” and “aah” sounds.
- Play games like “peek-a-boo” and “so big” with your baby. Your baby will learn to anticipate what comes next and learn to mimic you during play time.
- Talk to your baby throughout the day. For example, when you get him dressed, tell him what you are doing. Little things like saying, “mommy is putting socks on your feet now” will help your baby learn new words.
- Read to your baby. First word books are great for teaching your baby new words. It may take a while before your baby is able to say the words in the book but he may be able to identify words by pointing.
Should I be concerned if my baby isn’t talking?
If your baby is under 15 months and not talking yet, this is not a cause for concern. He should be babbling by the time he reaches his first birthday though. If he is not babbling by the time he turns one, you should discuss this with your doctor. You should also pay attention to how your baby responds to sounds. If he does not respond to his name when you call him, turn his head towards the direction of a loud sound, or if you just feel that something is not right, you should talk to your doctor. By around 16 months your baby should be saying at least a few words. If your baby is not saying anything at all by 16 months, you may want to talk to your doctor about getting early intervention services set up for your baby. This does not necessarily mean that your baby is not developing normally. Some perfectly healthy babies do not talk until they are closer to two years old. Still, if you are worried about your baby's speech or language development, you should discuss your concerns with your doctor.