Learning to communicate using language is a lengthy process. Up until the first four months, your baby will not speak or attempt to speak. The little one will cry often and maybe gurgle and coo at times. But all this while, your baby will intently watch people’s lip movements and get attuned to the different sounds and noises around.
Over the next two months, your baby will slowly learn how to pronounce simple syllables and tongue sounds, such as g and k, and lip sounds like m, w, p, and b.
The next five months until the first birthday are the crucial months for speech development. At this time, your baby will start mouthing simple words like “gaga” repeatedly. At about 10 months, s/he will gain more control and begin combining sounds.
The first word often appears around 12 months. They would be simple words which are easy to pronounce and generally have a repetition of similar-sounding syllables like a “hi” or “bye-bye”. Or they might be words the baby has heard repeatedly like “ma, ma” or “da, da”, “doggy” or “kitty”, or food “cookie and “teddy”.
Starting from this time your baby will starting building his/her vocabulary. S/he will also try and imitate different expressions and may modulate the voice according to the question or sentence. Parents should talk or read out to their baby as much as they can during this time. Use different intonations, modulations, pitch and expressions to teach your little one the art of communication. Your baby will also be able to grasp full sentences that you say by this time, if not be able to reproduce them ad verbatim. Also use names instead of pronouns as it may confuse your baby. Repeat easy and quick-to-learn words so your baby can grab them.
By second birthday, your baby’s language development would be happening in full swing. S/he would be picking up close to 9 or 10 words per day. S/he will be able to fully understand short sentences by now, and will develop a basic understanding of language construction and syntax.