The first 3 years of your child’s life are the most important for learning to talk. Watch for signs that your child is learning to talk on schedule.
How do children learn to talk?
Children learn to talk by watching, listening, and responding to people around them.
In the first few months, your baby listens to your voice and tries to make the same sounds you do. When you respond to your baby’s sounds, you encourage your child to “talk” more. As your child grows older, he will learn more and more words.
How do I know my child is learning to talk on schedule?
You can watch for signs (called developmental milestones) to see if your child is learning to talk on schedule. Here are some milestones to look for:
- By age 6 months, your baby can repeat sounds like “ba, ba” or “da, da.”
- By age 1, your child can say a few simple words.
- By age 18 months, your child can say several single words.
- By age 2, your child can put words together like “more milk.”
- By age 3, your child can talk using 2 to 3 sentences at a time.
What if my child isn’t talking on schedule?
Many things can cause a delay in talking, like:
- Hearing problems
- Problems with the tongue or roof of the mouth
- A problem in the part of the brain used for talking
If you think your child could have a speech or language problem, talk to her doctor. The doctor may send your child to a specialist for help.
The best way to help your child with language delays is to find and treat problems early. With early treatment, there is a good chance your child’s speech and language can improve.