• Your newborn will acquire language skills through sounds, sights and being exposed to other people’s conversations. To boost her attempts to communicate, make sure to look at her, sing nursery rhymes, speak to her often, and imitate the sounds she makes.
• During this period, she’s able to distinguish different sounds, so she’ll calm down or smile when she hears your (or her primary caretaker’s) voice. She will also use different crying sounds for various needs.
• From around 3 months, your tot will start to gurgle, babble in a speech-like manner, and make sounds, especially those starting with “p”, “b” and “m”. This means she’s either responding to you or expressing excitement.
• Play games with her. Teach her to imitate your actions, like blowing kisses, playing peekaboo, or talking her through her daily activities. For example, “Mummy is going to massage baby now.”
• Your sweetie can make out the different speech sounds by this stage, which means that she can recognise and understand the basic sounds of her native language.
• Instead of bawling to get your attention, your baby will try to communicate verbally with you. She also knows what common items like “shoe” or “juice” are.
• At around 7 months, while she’ll try to imitate different speech sounds, she would prefer using words like “ba” or “ma” as they’re easier to pronounce. Her ﬁrst words might very well be “mum mum” or “dada”.
• By her ﬁrst birthday, she should be using one or two words including “hi”, “dog”, “dada” or “mama” — although they might not sound clear.
Click “next” to see how your year-old tot should be babbling.
• By now, your mini-me understands simple instructions like “eat your food” or “bring that ball here”. To boost her speech and help her make connections between actions and objects, verbalise everyday activities, such as “Mummy is moving the chair, so you can play.”
• At around 15 months, she’ll probably raise her voice at the end of a question, and may use hand gestures — like pointing or waving — to complete a sentence or emphasise a point.
• Most kids this age are able to say 20 words, and will keep on picking up new words as the weeks go by.
• Simplify your speech when you talk to your little learner. Use short sentences and stress key words — you’ll be helping her identify the main message, such as “Please pick up your toy.”
• At 18 months, words like “I”, “he”, “she” will confuse her because she’s still too young to understand what these pronouns mean. So, you’ll often hear her say “Baby hungry” instead of “I’m hungry”. The good news is she’ll start to form sentences that make sense.
• This is also the time your toddler will bombard you with questions like “where”, “how”, “why” (even though you just answered where daddy is). Although this may test your patience, it’s her way of satisfying her curiosity and understanding the world around her.
• Your toddler’s vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds now: By 2, she may be using 50 or more single words, compared to the 300 by age 3. She’s now able to form complete, although simple, sentences such as “Where [is] the ball?” She also knows what “No!” means and uses it.
• Between ages 2 and 3 , your chatterbox will have a word for almost everything. You’ll notice she uses “d”, “k”, “g”, “f”, “t” and “n” sounds more often than any other to communicate. Her speech may only be understood by familiar listeners, but don’t worry, children learn various things at different stages.