I never knew babies would be such a delight. All I knew was ‘babies are adorable’. But when I had my own baby, I came to know that babies do many wacky things apart from just being adorable. In spite of all those wacky things, I admit that babies are still adorable. I also learnt an important thing that in the first four weeks post childbirth, babies learn something or the other every day and also you can closely witness the physical growth in them day to day. That’s why I called it delightful to watch a baby grow and learn new things every day. The first cry, sipping the first drops of colostrum, giving bath for the first time, the first frock or the first shoe, the very first somersault, responding to speech, teething, moving forward, standing up, walking, starting with speech and so on…
Every new thing learnt is interesting and every new growth is a sheer joy to watch. My second baby is just ready to start on his speech and being an experienced parent, I am looking forward to a noisy home in a couple of months and would like to share some inputs on baby talking with new mothers out there.
Babies do not start talking instantly. It is a series of phases of hearing, grasping, speaking and understanding! The first time when the child speaks something understandable such as mama or dada, parents are undoubtedly excited but a little disappointing fact is that they don’t really mean it and they don’t know the meaning of words that they just spoke. They just try to reciprocate the sounds they hear around. May be they hear their elder siblings calling you mama or dada and try to imitate it…Although, they produce similar sounds by eight plus months, it takes a few more months for them to connect those words with their actual meanings. That is by 11 to 15 months of age, their thought process starts in relation to objects, people and their sounds. By 18 months, they should be able to progress with more words on their databases to utter with meanings.
By the end of the third year, your home will be full of chatter with lovely words and phrases in the air; poking too many questions to you. Now you wish you had not asked for the baby talk part so soon; it is mighty hard to answer their weird and tricky questions. Cognitive and motor skills start developing rigorously in this phase and they start learning many new words in the new surroundings, such as a preschool or a day care. Keep the learning environment open for them so that they can grasp the articulation, vocabulary and communication skills as they try to imitate the elders. At this age, if they call you mama or dada, you need not be disappointed as you will be able to relate to those words being proud parents of a talkative child.