Happy Bump Day! You’ll never forget the your baby’s first words. While you’re probably busy wondering if they’ll utter “Momma” or “Dada” first, there’s much more you should know about this exciting time!

Here’s what you need to know about your baby’s first words:

  • There’s a wide range of time for when you can expect to hear your baby talking. The expected age range for talking is 9-14 months. However, your baby can stay quiet as late as 18 months!
  • Crying and cooing are their first forms of communication. At 3 months, they’ll start to be able to recognize family members’ voices and will communicate primarily by crying. At 5-6 months, they should be able to understand their name, music and changes in tone. By 6 months, they should be able to grasp certain words.
  • Words won’t mean much to them at first. Your little one will be using receptive language first, which means they simply understand that words have meaning (but they don’t necessarily know what they mean). They will not yet be accustomed to expressive language, where they can start to use words with meaning.
  • You should be constantly speaking to your baby. Talk and read to your baby as much as possible to help develop their communication skills. Reading to your baby can be especially beneficial.
  • They’ll use shorter sentences first. When they first start to form sentences at about 1 and a half years old, your baby will use shorter phrases. At 3 years old, they’ll start to form longer sentences and ask lots of questions. The best thing to do is encourage their talking and try not to finish their thoughts for them!

Like we previously mentioned, it will take longer for some babies to start talking than others. If your little one has not started talking but is still responsive in their own way, there is most likely nothing to worry about. If you do think something is wrong, talk to your pediatrician so they can refer you to a certified speech pathologist.