What should babbling sound like at 5 months?

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:

  • Cries

  • Grunts

  • Squeaks

  • Coos (vowel sounds)

  • ...and other little adorable (and random) sounds.

Then, at around 5-10 months old, they start to make consonant sounds with vowel sounds, also known as babbling! This may sound like:

  • Bababa

  • Mumumum

  • Didididi

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!

What should babbling sound like at 5 months?
What should babbling sound like at 5 months?


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:

Get face-to-face 

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!

Put it in action:

It’s easy to spend time face-to-face when you’re feeding your baby, changing their diaper, or dressing them, so these are the perfect opportunities to encourage babbling! You can also kneel or lay down to join them while they play on the floor, sit across from them at the table when they start to eat solids, or try reading books to them while facing them.

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!)

Put it in action:

Try babbling to your baby, and then PAUSE to give them a turn.

Have fun!

Make kissy faces, smack your lips, blow raspberries, and make other and fun sounds! Your baby will be fascinated just by watching your face, which can encourage them to make sounds as well. And don’t forget to sing to your baby, too! There are so many benefits to singing with your child.

Put it in action:

When your baby does make sounds, copy the sounds they make! This shows them what they have to say is important.

What should babbling sound like at 5 months?
What should babbling sound like at 5 months?


Your Next Steps

Love learning about what they’re learning about? Keep encouraging your baby’s language development with these Wee Talkers resources:

#1 Baby Talking Milestones Freebie

Understand what they know now, and plan for what comes next.

Download Baby Milestones

#2 Talkbaby

Take our online course for parents of babies to learn how to encourage first words!

Join Talkbaby Today


McGillion, M., Herbert, J.S., Pine, J., Vihman, M., dePaolis, R., Keren-Portnoy, T., & Matthews, D. (2017). What Paves the Way to Conventional Language? The Predictive Value of Babble, Pointing, and Socioeconomic Status. Child Development, 88(1), 156-166.

What should baby babble sound like at 5 months?

At this age, your baby smiles when they want to. But your baby also grunts, frowns and cries if they're angry or sad. When it comes to communicating, your baby might babble and make sounds like 'baba' or 'gaga'. But your baby will also let you know what they want using other noises, movements and smiling.

What noises should my 5 month old be making?

These noises include crying, coughing and sounds made while breathing. During feeding, your baby will also make sucking, burping and quiet low-pitched contented sounds. Crying and making noises are important as this is how your baby learns to control the air that comes from their lungs and use their vocal cords.

What should baby babbling sound like?

Babbling is a combination of consonant and vowel sounds — single syllable sounds like “pa” or “ba,” as well as more complex, strung-together sounds like "a-ga," "a-da" or a long “ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.” Over time, baby babble evolves into word-sounds and eventually, basic words.

What are the 5 stages of babbling?

Stages of babbling:.
Months 0-2: Crying and cooing..
Months 3-4: Simple speech sounds (goo)..
Month 5: Single-syllable speech sounds (ba, da, ma)..
Months 6-7: Reduplicated babbling – repeating the same syllable (ba-ba, na-na)..
Months 8-9: Variegated babbling – mixing different sounds (ba de da)..