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Babies' Language Development from 0-6 Months


father holding and talking to baby




One of the most fascinating parts of infant development is language - witnessing your baby discover his or her own unique voice can be incredibly rewarding.

Language Milestones


Here are some language development
milestones that you can expect during the first six months:

First month:

  • responds to voices

  • small cooing begins

  • communicates with smiles, gazes, and crying

Second month:

  • discovers own voice

  • gurgles, coos, and squeals

  • exhibits motions

  • smiles back when smiled at

  • looks at parents' faces when they talk

Third month:

  • begins extended vowel sounds, like "ah"

  • starts to laugh

  • has different cries for different needs

Fourth month:

  • changes shape of mouth to modify sounds

  • sputters, gurgles, begins babbling

  • laughs out loud

Fifth month:

  • babbles ("ba-ba")

  • tries to mimic sounds

  • squeals and is interested in sounds others make

Sixth month:

  • longer and more varied sounds ("ga-ga, dada, papa")

  • experiments with different volumes and pitches of sounds

  • squeals with delight when happy

  • sputtering sounds with the lips and tongue

  • makes sounds or talks to toys

Babies first communicate by crying. Then they learn to make sounds and smile. This is how they "talk." Eventually they learn to use words, but even before then, communication is a two way street - talk to your baby when your baby "talks" to you.

Play and Activity

As your baby learns to talk, be sure to talk back. Comfort your child with a soothing voice and gentle words. And mimic any sounds your baby makes - this is a fun way to encourage your baby to make even more sounds.

Here are some other tips for fostering healthy language development:

  • Talk to your baby using the language in which you feel most comfortable.
  • Hum to your child.
  • Sing nursery rhymes and songs.
  • Read and tell stories to your baby, it's never too early to start.
  • Play games (peek a boo, imitating sounds your baby makes, gentle tickling, shaking toys, etc.).
  • Talk to your baby about what you are doing (bathing, diapering, nursing, etc.).
  • Call your baby by name.
  • Make sure your baby can see your face when you are speaking.
  • Talk out loud about what you think your baby is trying to tell you with his coos, cries, and babbles.

Read to Your Baby

It’s never too early to read to your baby. Even newborns will benefit from listening to books. Hearing your words helps your baby develop language.

Last Updated: August 12, 2013