When parents see their toddlers arrive into the world, one of the first and biggest questions is: when do toddlers start talking or speaking their first words? It’s an important question too. Look, it goes without saying that your child’s health and safety are your primary concerns. Therefore it’s only naturally to be curious and impatient to hear them tell you things; ya know, what they see, hear, feel or think. All of those things have to do with your child’s growth and how well you are teaching them to communicate. So, how does the whole child growing process go, anyway. Let’s have a looksy.
Child Development Stages
“Speech is the single most powerful way for a child to interact with her environment,” said Heather Boerner, owner of Chatty Child Speech Therapy in New York City. I love that quote.
Now, as your toddlers grow, they will experience various stages of development, which include the following: Cognitive, Language, and Fine Motor. You’re probably keen to start chatting with your toddler as soon as possible, although before you can do that the kid’s cognitive and fine motor skills have to develop. “In order to produce speech, a child must first be able to cognitively comprehend simple language. Then a child learns how to express his or her ideas verbally,” Boerner addes. “But there is also a speech motor component — he or she needs to develop the ability to produce sounds as well.”
To cut a long story short, children who hear more spoken words at an early age have a greater vocabulary and better language proficiency at later stages in life. In other words (hah, in other ‘words’), mom and dad should not be shy to speak with each other and with their toddlers as much as possible even before they are capable of speech.
So, When Do Toddlers Start Talking?
Here’s a rather straightforward summary by Fox, that should get you started on the subject:
Baby Babbling – When Does it Start
Baby babble will start forming into words somewhere around 12 months, although the sweet sound of your child’s first words may appear as early as nine months, says Kimberly Scanlon, a speech pathologist in Ramsey, New Jersey and author of My Toddler Talks. Initially, your toddler will be able to mutter only about four to six words, but at around 18 months, a real spurt in vocabulary will take place, and your Chatty Cathy’s list of go-to words will increase to about 50. So why are some kids all talk but others seem to hold their tongue? “Every child’s developmental trajectory is different,” Boerner says. “Girls, in general, speak earlier than boys because they tend to mature quicker. And some children’s strengths involve speech, while others involve more physical things.” Just remember: All children have different core strengths.
Baby Talking and Baby Chit-chat
Toddlers are different, so whatever advice you read or hear may not apply specifically to one child. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) claims a majority of toddlers are most likely able to say the simplest by the time they are 12 months old. By this age, your baby should be able to respond to the sound of his or her own name. In addition, they should understand words for common items like mom or dad. They ought to be able to respond to straightforward phrases such as “want more?”.
Below you’ll find a rather useful timeline or major language milestones, if you will. This should give you a pretty good idea when the baby will start talking:
- 12 months: baby says to three words and starts with pointing, gestures, grunts and nods
- 15 months: baby talks with a vocabulary of approx. 14 words
- 16 months: baby talks with a vocabulary of approx. 40 words
- 18 months: baby talks with a vocabulary of approx. 68 words
- 23 months: baby talks with a vocabulary of approx. 200 words