At around 6 months old you’ll start to notice that your baby is becoming more socially interactive. As your baby continues to grow and develop they'll be using more ways to communicate. You’ll notice them making a range of different noises, pointing, gesturing and understanding routines, a range of simple words and different activities. 

There are lots of different ways you can continue to promote your baby’s speech because it is always something that can be developed and improved.

Your baby’s speech underpins their learning and development and will help them progress through life. 

When will my baby beging to make noises and talk?

It's important to remember that every baby is different and your baby’s speech will develop differently to others babies. This doesn't mean there's anything wrong, it just highlights the uniqueness of every baby. 

If you're ever worried about your baby’s speech please don't hesitate to contact your health visitor. 

By the time your baby turns one, they will be:

  • Babbling loudly, using a range of syllables like ba-ba, ga ga and da-da. Your baby may not be using ma-ma, but this is not unusual so please don't get upset. Many mums report this is usually the last to come.
  • Smiling, giggling and laughing loudly
  • Able to respond and turn to their name when you call them 

  • Looking at you when you speak to them 

  • Making a wide range of different noises 

  • Pointing and gesturing with their fingers and hands 

  • Waving and clapping 

  • Showing excitement 

  • Able to understand some simple words such as bye bye, up and no 

  • Enjoy action songs and nursery rhymes such as pat-a-cake, wind the bobbin up and row, row row your boat 

  • Turn take in conversations by using babble and other noises

  • Face your baby when you're talking to them
  • Listen to your baby when they're babbling, interact with them and allow them time to respond to you
  • Talk about and describe your daily activities to help them, this will help develop their listening skills and an awareness of what's going on around them 
  • Name and point to objects in the home and when out and about
  • When talking to your baby use words with actions and act them out such as bye bye and waving at the same time 
  • Use your facial expressions to show your baby you're interested
  • Play peek a boo games 
  • Play repetition games
  • Sing nursery rhymes and action songs such as pat-a-cake, wind the bobbin up and row, row row your boat
  • Sing to your baby
  • Share books and read to your baby
  • If you're watching TV with your baby, explain to them what's happening. Be mindful not to expose your baby to too much TV time 

If your baby is continuing to use a dummy it's recommended that you try to discontinue its usage from around 6 months as the benefits associated with dummy use start to decline around this time. 

It's important you don’t allow your baby to babble when they have their dummy in their mouth. If you continue to use a dummy for your baby it's recommended that they only use it for sleep. 

Continued dummy use is reported to lead to:

  • Dental problems 
  • Increased risk of middle ear infections 
  • Stomach and mouth infections 
  • Speech problems associated with reduced opportunity for babbling and the opportunity to copy the sounds you make

For advice on how to wean your baby from their dummy go to our ditch the dummy and bottle page.

  • NHS - helping your childs speech
  • ican - helps children communicate
  • NSPCC - look say sing play leaflet
  • ican - resources
  • ican - do dummies affect speech?