For parents, hearing their baby say his or her first word is a very special and priceless moment. During this time, the child has taken the first steps to learning one of the most fundamental skills of being human—talking. Research suggests that even before a child blurts out a word, he or she is already learning how language works and the skill of talking begins to develop from there. Children also study how adults communicate with each other and that contributes to their learning.
Now, there are a number of milestones to be aware of that are intrinsically linked to a child’s speaking development.
Sound and Communication
All sounds are a form of communication for babies and young children because they are still learning how language works. Even when a baby screams at birth or cries through the night, he or she is trying to convey distress at something for it’s their means of expressing their feelings.
At about four months, the average child begins experimenting with different sounds. This is when “mama” and other such words are often employed, but that does not necessarily carry meaning for them. Rather, they are trying to string different sounds together in an effort to communicate through what will become their formal language.
After the one year mark, a child begins to realise what certain words mean and begin using them appropriately. For example, he or she will use a single word, such as “eat” to convey that they are hungry and would like food. At a rapid rate, the toddler will begin learning and using new words in more complex sentences with more words.
During the second year, he or she will learn how to control volume and what is appropriate in certain situations. Vocabulary will continue to expand and soon, your child will attain relative mastery of language and learn when and how to use it.
The ability to talk is something that a child will develop at a certain time. Understanding the milestones will give you an idea of your own child’s development.
To learn about how we at Cuddles can help too, call the St James centre at +61 (08) 9358 4673, the Bertram centre at +61 (08) 9419 1844 and the Carlisle centre at +61 (08) 9472 4702.