When Will My Baby Say Mummy or Daddy?
Speech and language development in babies and children is something that most parents cannot wait for. Although a baby's communication skills begin to develop at birth, there can be no prouder moment than when a child first says Mummy or Daddy, meaning that the lines of communication between parent and child are well and truly open.
How And When Your Child's Speech Will Develop
Your baby's communication is for quite a while, non-verbal and crying is the primary way that your baby will communicate with you for the first few months. You will learn that a certain cry means hunger, tired or dirty nappy and gradually a large number of other sounds are added to your child's repertoire, most of which are being made because your baby hears you and other members of the family speaking and would like to join in. By the time they are six months' old they should have started developing the sounds they have been making into 'real' words, even learning how to say Mummy or Daddy, or versions thereof.
By the time your baby is almost a year old, they will have mastered some more words and will be able to match them with objects or people. They will be more aware of who is around them and will have learnt to associate 'Mummy' and 'Daddy', which they may have been saying for more than six months, with you, as their parents.
Helping Your Child's Speech Development
There is evidence to suggest that as there is a link between hearing and speaking, babies can start picking up speech patterns and recognising voices while in the womb, so speaking to your unborn child is very important. However, once they are in the outside world there are many things that parents can do to help develop their child's speech.
As your child will be mainly learning to speak in the home, talking to them is the key thing and this can be something as simple as chatting while they are having their nappy changed or having a bath, or reading them a bedtime story every night. As they grow older they will be learning new words from you every day and it is important to try and speak to them using proper sentences and vocabulary but in a way they will understand.
There can be a number of reasons why a child's speech does not develop properly, but one of the main reasons could be a hearing problem. If by the age of 15 months your child is struggling with their speech and you are struggling to understand them, then you should speak to your GP or health visitor. If necessary they will be able to put you in contact with specialist audiologists or speech and language professionals who will be able to help.