Understanding Baby Babble
A baby starts babbling at a very early age and might go on doing the same for up to 2 years of age. Though the babbling sounds might seem random and unrelated, these sounds generally have some meaning and are repeated in a pattern. Generally, babbling is taken as the initial sign that the baby is starting to adapt to a language and babbling is the initial, broken form of the speech.
Some amount of research has been done in this field, with one of the most prominent one done by Priscilla Dunstan. She came up with some common sounds that every baby produces while babbling irrespective of the country or location of the baby. These sounds have been mentioned below.
1. Hungry sounds
The baby sometimes tends to make the sound “Neh” when s/he is hungry and wants you to feed them. This sound is relatively easy to hear if you listen carefully when your baby is babbling or crying. At times, the baby might make other sounds too while pointing towards you or something edible. This will mean that he/she is hungry.
2. Sleepy noises
Like us, babies too get tired and want to sleep, and like us, they make yawning sounds when they are tired and want to sleep. However, your baby is not able to yawn the way adults do and thus, the sound of “owh” comes from the baby’s mouth as a symbol of a yawn. Along with this, the baby will close his/her eyes and get irritated often.
3. Being uncomfortable
When we get uncomfortable, we tend to readjust ourselves and show it with a different face. Babies too do something similar and make a weird face with some sounds when they are uncomfortable. They usually make sounds of “heh” or “uh-uh” when in an uncomfortable position. Babies also become frustrated and start moving their arms and legs.
Your baby might have a tiny gastric problem and wants to be burped. But sometimes, they are not able to burp on their own and need your help. So, in an attempt to get your attention and even try burping, your baby might produce sounds like “eh” or “ah”. Discomfort due to gas will also result in pain and therefore, a lot of crying.
5. Wants to play
When the baby is bored and wants to play, they tend to make different sounds in order to get your attention so that you pick them up and play with them. It often sounds like “oooh” or “uh” and the baby looks at you and tries to raise their hands.
A baby learns his/her vocabulary from the words that are spoken to them and thus, it is important for the parents to take note of what they say in front of the child. Apart from the above-mentioned sounds, babies also start saying “ma-ma-ma”, that would be for mama, and “da-da-da”, as in dad, or “pa-pa-pa”, as in papa. Keep your child in a conversation when they babble and it will help them refine their language more.