In a previous post, I talked about why babbling is important. Now, I’d like to talk about when specific babbling milestones should occur!
Just like any milestone -walking, talking… there are certain ages when babbling should begin.
Here is the typical development of babbling:
Phonation Stage: This stage occurs from birth to 2 months of age. Babbling actually begins with that first cry at birth! This stage is all about those natural baby sounds --crying, coughing, grunting, hiccupping and even sneezing. It’s funny to think that these basic sounds are the beginning of language but they indeed are important to language development.
Cooing Stage: This stage occurs from 4 – 6 months of age. These are the beginning sounds that include movements of the lips and tongue. They will begin with more vowel-like & consonant-like sounds like “aaaa” or “pa”.
Your child might do this with you or while they are alone in their crib. At this stage, babies will start to laugh and make sounds when they are happy or upset.
Canonical Babbling Stage: This stage occurs from 7 – 9 months of age. Your baby will produce sounds recognizable as true syllables with mixed consonant and vowel sounds, such as “babababa”, mamamama”,“bamamaba” and “deedabeeda”.
Variegated Babbling Stage: This stage occurs from 10 – 12 months of age. Variegated babbling is when your baby begins to combine different syllables, with varying consonants. For example, "papadaba" or "mamalat
Jargon Stage: This stage occurs from 12 – 18 months of age. This is when your little one begins to use complex babbling plus prosody. This is what I like to call using nonsense words with intention. In this stage, you know your child is saying something to you and they seem so adamant that they are saying something very important to you, but you cannot make out the actual words. They may even vary their voice so it seems like a conversation but with indiscernible words. This will often overlap with your baby’s first words! They will still most likely be using jargon along with other “real” words.
And then all of this sound play leads to…. Your baby’s first word!
First words: This stage occurs from 10-14 months of age.
Babbling is an important step towards language development and your baby’s first words! Milestones are important to know because they can help identify if your child is delayed in babbling. A delay in babbling has been linked to later speech/language delays and other developmental disorders. So, if your child is not babbling by ten months of age, consult with a Speech-Language Pathologist.
As always if you have questions, feel free to reach out!