Parenting Babycare

10 Cues that lead to the first word

Sugandha Tiwari
1 to 3 years

Created by Sugandha Tiwari
Updated on Nov 16, 2016

10 Cues that lead to the first word

As your child turns one, there will be some indications that will  tell you if your child is coming closer to saying that first elusive word (“mama” – hopefully!). Knowing these indicators will help you support your child’s efforts. After all, talking is a big milestone and constant encouragement from a parent definitely helps the child form her first words – usually around 18 months. Our blogger Sugandha Tiwari brings you 10 cues that will tell you that the speech mission is well on track! 

From the first year till she turns three, you will observe a massive change in both – the way your child expresses and the way your child responds. What is important to know is that ‘receptive’ language develops much faster than ‘expressive’. It is important to know that different children develop and acquire milestones at their own pace - some may be ahead of the times while some may take time – and the below-mentioned signs are simply indicative of some progress being made. Here are the 10 signs that show the development of language in your child’s mind: 

10 Signs that indicate language development

Yes, external influences do help in speech development. For instance, family environment is a big contributor towards speech development. So are playmates! If you feel it’s taking time, do not panic and run a check. Also keep a lookout for these below-mentioned signs and if you do spot something, seek advice from specialists working in the field of speech and hearing, before jumping to any conclusion:

See a doctor if… 

  • Your child appears not to hear and respond to different sounds in the environment by 3 months
  • Your child does not give any response to what others ask her by 6 months
  • Your child does not respond to his own name by 4 months
  • Your child does not seem to make an eye contact by two years 
  • Your child is noticeably different in his communications as compared to other children in the same age range.

In most cases, it turns out that the child is simply taking her own sweet time – so it’s best to stay relaxed and allow your child to complete her mission in her time. 

Do you have any story around how your toddler formed his or her first word? If yes, please do share with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear it. Happy parenting!

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| Jul 10, 2017

Dear Parents, Kindly share if you would like to read on some other topics as well. I shall be more than happy to write.

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| Apr 17, 2017

My baby said Amma the first word by sixth month which make me felt very happy now she z 14 months old and Speaks lots of two letter words

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| Apr 03, 2017

hi sugandha, thanks for your reply. we are seeing dramatic changes every day.. like he is asking for his needs a bit these days.. trying to communicate with us with few words he knows and sometimes tries to give us clues. Also his social skills are improving as we are taking him to more social places and children round. I would say not up to the mark but he is picking up fast off late. Lot of words has been added to his list now. The moment we think we should talk to expert he surprises us with few new learnings. So do you this we still need to see the expert or just wait for some more time.. as I don't want someone to diagnose something which isn't present and add more stress to our life's. kindly reply. Thanks.

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| Mar 16, 2017

Hi Priya! thank you for sharing. I would suggest the same to you Priya. For expressive language to take place effectively there are multiple factors that need to be considered for eg. appropriate language stimulation at home, nurturing of reading habits, parents own expressive language and so on.

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| Mar 16, 2017

Hi Ruchi! thanks for sharing. For expressive language to take place effectively there are multiple factors that need to be considered for eg. appropriate language stimulation at home, nurturing of reading habits, parents own expressive language and so on.

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| Mar 16, 2017

Hi Jinkal! thank you for sharing. Jinkal , Speech and language development go hand in hand, however in speech development many sounds per say are mastered only at a particular age. Let your child take his own time as far producing " a particular sound is concerned.

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| Mar 16, 2017

Hi Kalpana! thank you for sharing. I can completely get your concern as a parent. After reading what you have shared here,all I can suggest is that you should definitely go for a screening process, where formalized tools and techniques are used for assessments. I do see some areas that are of concern and your child would certainly benefit from early intervention. I would suggest get in touch with " Action For Autism" situated at Jasola Vihar, New Delhi.

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| Mar 16, 2017

Hi Vanishree! Thank you for sharing. I would say there is nothing to worry about such things. Children like we as adults also have their own mood many a times.

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| Mar 16, 2017

my child is 3 years old. he tells what we says like numbers, alphabes etc. but he don't say again when we ask him. what to do?

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| Feb 22, 2017

Hi, my son is 2. 9years. He is a very active child. he has a word for every thing he sees or notices. He uses 2-3 phrases for communication (but not for asking things). He also started imitating sentences and phrases we use. He sings rhymes and songs most of the time. Respond to instructions or 2-3 word sentences - come and sit here, give me the ball etc. Though he doesn't play with other kids.. he gets along when left in between kids and plays his own thing. His IQ is excellent. Says numbers till 100, alphabets, says atleast 50 spellings of words he knows. memory is also is good. Now coming to the concern part - he doesn't look at strangers and try to ignore them by looking away. He still doesn't communicate well his needs. He still doesn't frame sentences to ask or communicate his needs. Though i know and feel he is learning little late and learning at his own pace.. want to know if there is something we need to be concerned and take expert help.. or just give him time to pick up things on his pace. please help.

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| Feb 09, 2017

Our son started making words of his own very soon when he was just in his 10th month. Now he makes new new words on a daily basis and communicates with us. His both expressive and responding skills are very sharp with keen observation to every new thing he gets introduced. It is very nice to watch him grow. Just feel Awesome.

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| Dec 11, 2016

my son is 26months old ..he speaks sentences, play rhymes with action everything is OK but his speech is not clear.. alphabets like r,s,w,l are not spoken correctly.. how do I improve?

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| Nov 17, 2016

Hi Sugandha, interesting blog piece. Would love to read more about on the topic.

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| Nov 16, 2016

At the age of one the first word said by my child was muma. After that he started speaking single words like dedo, lelo ,pani peena. Now he is three nd a half bt does nt speak lines clearly.

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| Nov 16, 2016

My boy gonna be 3 yr old in 3 months... all rhymes... animals... everything he is saying... yet not communicating in sentences... afraid much... following all commands... could you please send me some solutions... afraid about this much...

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