May 10, 2024

What Age Do Kids Start Talking?

What Age Do Kids Start Talking?

As you cradle your bundle of joy, witnessing their first smile, hearing their first coo, or observing their futile attempt to sit up stirs your heart with inexplicable excitement. However, amidst the cuddling, feeding, burping, and diapering, one question frequently niggles at the back of your mind: "What age do kids start talking?"

This query is understandable, as language acquisition is a small yet significant part of a child's overall development. As a parent, you're eager to hear your child form sentences and express their feelings. While every child develops at their own pace, knowing what typical speech development looks like can guide you on this exciting journey. That's why we have put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand when babies start talking, factors influencing language development, and tips on promoting early speech.

The Journey from Cooing to Conversations

Every sound your baby makes—be it cooing or babbling—is an essential step towards full-blown conversations. Understanding the developmental stages can help you support and encourage their speaking skills.

While the question "at what age do kids start talking?" may not have a definitive answer, understanding the stages of language development can help you better support your child's speech journey. From coos and babbles to first words, every stage is a significant milestone in your child’s life, reflecting their growth and development.

The Dawn of Language: Coos and Babbles

Babies begin their linguistic journey as early as three months with simple cooing sounds—expressive vocalizations that resemble 'goo' or 'gaa.' These sounds are typically vowel-based noises that act as precursors to syllable formation. It's fascinating how these random sounds gradually evolve into more complex structures over time.

Around six months of age, babies start babbling. Now you might wonder—what is babbling? Babbling can be thought of as an experimental phase where infants begin to play around with sounds. You might hear them say 'ba ba,' 'da-da,' or even 'ma-ma.' However, at this stage, these utterances don't usually carry any meaning.

Grasping the Basics: Understanding and Mimicking

By nine months, most babies have a basic understanding of simple words like "no," "bye-bye," or their own name. They also begin to mimic sounds and gestures that they observe. If you wave goodbye to them frequently, don’t be surprised if they start waving back!

First Words and Beyond: When do Kids Talk?

As your baby reaches their first birthday, you can expect to hear their first real words—usually simple and repeated words like "mama" or "dada." However, it’s crucial to note that these words may not be used correctly initially. For instance, your child might call all men "dada" because they associate the term with males.

Fast forward to 18 months, and your child may have several words in their vocabulary arsenal. They also understand many more words than they can actually say. This is why it's crucial to talk to them regularly—your little one is soaking up information like a sponge!

Factors Influencing Your Baby's Speech Development

While the timeline mentioned above provides a general guide on when children start speaking, it's essential to keep in mind that every child is unique. Various factors influence the answer to the question - "what age should kids start talking?"


Genetics play an essential role in determining the pace at which children are learning language skills. If you or your partner started talking later than average as kids, it's likely that your child might follow suit.

Environment and Interaction

The environment in which your child grows and the interactions they engage in significantly shape their language development. Talking, reading, singing songs, and even narrating everyday events foster language skills and by exposing them to new words and phrases.

Health Factors

Certain health issues such as recurrent ear infections can impact speech development by hampering your child's ability to hear clearly. Hearing loss makes it difficult for children to differentiate between sounds and thus hinders their speech development.

Cognitive Development

Cognitive delays can influence language acquisition. A child with advanced cognitive abilities might start speaking earlier.

Twin Factor

Twins often develop language skills slightly later than single-born children.

Understanding these factors can help you tailor your approach to supporting your child's speech development.

Encouraging Your Baby’s Speech Development

You can play an active role in promoting your child's speech development from early infancy.

Photo by: Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Are Reading Sessions Beneficial?

Reading aloud to your child from a young age can have a profound impact on their vocabulary and comprehension. Choosing age-appropriate books, using fun voices, or discussing the pictures with your child can make reading an engaging experience.

Can Speaking Clearly Enhance Language Skills?

Children learn by observing and imitating. By speaking clearly to them, you're helping them understand how words are formed and used, thus facilitating their speech development process.

Why is "Talk Time" Important?

Allocating specific "talk time" during the day where you converse with your child about various things can foster their language skills significantly. It can be as simple as discussing what you're doing while cooking or talking about the colors of the clothes during laundry time.

Respond to Their Efforts

When your baby coos, babbles or gestures, respond enthusiastically. This feedback encourages them to communicate and reinforces their learning.

The Role of Toys in Language Development

The right toys can play an integral role in enhancing your child's speech and language skills.

Can Wooden Blocks Aid Speech Development?

Playing with wooden blocks encourages children to communicate their ideas. The possibilities are endless - building a tower, creating patterns, or inventing stories about what they've made.

Photo by: Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Are Puzzles Effective for Language Learning?

Puzzles promote problem-solving skills and also offer opportunities for language development. Discussing the shapes, colors or images on the puzzles can introduce new words to your child's vocabulary.

When Should You Be Concerned?

While it's essential not to rush or pressurize your child into talking, certain signs might indicate a need for professional consultation for language delays:

  • No babbling by nine months
  • No first words by 15 months
  • Lack of eye contact or responsive smiles
  • Not responding to their name by 12 months

If you notice these signs, it might be beneficial to seek advice from a pediatrician or speech-language pathologist. Remember that early intervention can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to addressing speech delays or disorders. The sooner any potential issues are identified, the sooner you can seek appropriate support for your child.


As new parents, it's natural to eagerly anticipate every milestone in your child's life—especially when it comes to language development. While you might wonder what age do kids talk, remember that every child's development rate is unique.

At Raising Superstars, we understand the importance of every milestone in your child’s life. That's why we've developed the Prodigy Baby System. Our proprietary program focuses on promoting holistic child development without relying on screen time. Instead, we offer activity guides that require just a few minutes daily, making them perfect for busy parents. Not only do these activities stimulate your child's cognitive and motor skills, but they also provide opportunities to enhance their speech and language abilities.

With the Raising Superstars app right at your fingertips, you can access expert coaching and a supportive parent community—making your child's development journey easier and more enjoyable.

So whether your baby has just uttered their first 'ba ba' or is starting to form simple sentences, celebrate these special moments. After all, these are the stepping stones to countless heartwarming conversations with your little one in the future.

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