Babbling is an important part of language development and it can help predict when a child will say their first words. Keep reading to learn when babbling typically starts, how to encourage it, and what to do if your baby isn’t babbling quite yet!
When do babies typically babble?
When babies are first born, they typically make a few standard sounds:
No matter what age your child is at though, it’s beneficial for you to interpret what you think your child may be trying to communicate with you. Sometimes, your baby will make sounds for what seems like no reason, but listen closely! If you pay careful attention, you’ll start to notice that there are times when they’re actually, intentionally sending you a message!
When should I be concerned if my baby is not babbling?
If your baby is not babbling by 12 months, talk to your pediatrician, as most babies babble between 6-10 months of age. Just remember that there is always a range for what’s typical — and that no two babies are exactly the same!
Babies who do not babble are more at risk for speech and language delays and disorders down the road, so it’s something to keep an eye on. If something is affecting your baby’s ability to babble and you and your doctor catch it quickly, early intervention can make a big impact!
Related: Help! My 18 month old isn’t talking yet
How to get your baby to babble
Here are three tips to encourage babbling in your little one:
Have you heard of mirror neurons? They’re a certain type of cell within our brains that actually mirror what we see those around us doing. And because babies are born with these cells, they’re born with the ability to copy us! (Pretty amazing, isn’t it?)
When your baby sees you babbling and communicating with them, their mirror neurons will activate, and they’ll want to try and copy you. Taking advantage of the face-to-face time you have, by talking and responding to their non-verbal cues, is very valuable!
Use parentese (AKA motherese)
This one might feel silly... but if you want to encourage your baby to babble, babble to your baby!
I recommend using real words when talking with your baby, but you can absolutely mix in some fun sound play with them, too. Babies love watching your face, and doing this is a way to play with them. (Play doesn’t just involve toys!)