Parents are understandably excited to hear their baby start talking, but psychologists say that words aren't the only indication of language development. Here are four signs that your baby may soon start talking.
Sign 1 - Attempts her first words (even though they’re just sounds)
When babies are about 10 months old, they may suddenly start to produce their first recognizable words. Often, their very first words are ‘Da-Da’ and ‘Ma-Ma’. These utterances are really abbreviations of words. For example; ‘Ba’ could be the short for bottle, ‘cuh’ for cup, ‘mo’ for more and ‘soo’ for shoe. At this point, simple sounds like these are all your baby can manage. Don’t worry because it’s easy enough for parents to translate.
Sign 2 – Starts to understand your words
One very important sign that your baby is learning to talk is that she understands more and more of what you say. Words such as mommy, daddy, baby, shoe, ball, juice and cookie are probably understood now, or will be soon. She may now also understand that family members or pets have names and will start to recognise them.
Sign 3 – Responds to anyone waving ‘bye-bye’
For the first time, your baby may be able to follow simple instructions such as ‘wave bye-bye’, ‘bring me the teddy bear’, ‘stop that’ or ‘kiss me’. This shows that your baby has learned not only separate words and their meanings but can understand a whole idea expressed using multiple words. This is an important milestone in language development and is a great sign that your baby will be talking before you know it.
Sign 4 – Tries to converse by babbling
A baby may also begin what psychologists call ‘jargon’ or ‘pseudo’ conversations. She will babble just as if talking in sentences; imitating an adult's speech pattern, facial expression and tone of voice. This conversational babble is another sure sign that your baby is getting ready to talk.
Continue talking with your baby through ordinary conversations, repeating the names of familiar objects and describing what you're doing. A major event in the life of your baby and you is about to take place – her very first words!