None of us can talk unless we know how to produce sound purposefully!
Some babies are extremely quiet and make noise only when it’s reflexive, meaning they cry, burp, cough, sneeze, and laugh, but it’s not something they seem to know that they can control.
In typically developing babies, vocalizations become more and more intentional as they learn to coo, squeal, grunt, whine, and babble. They learn to use their voices in different ways for different purposes, so there’s variation in the sounds we hear.
Questions to ask to determine if this skill is present:
• Does a child make noise to get my attention?
• Does a child look at you when he’s making noise?
• What kinds of noises do I hear every day?
• Are those vocalizations strong, loud, and intentional, or do they seem random?
• Is she babbling?
• Do I hear anything that sounds like a word?
Parents may miss how quiet their child is.
Sometimes a parent is thankful that their child hasn’t been too noisy until they realize how unnatural that is. Typically developing babies and toddlers make noise all day, every day. They learn that they can use their little voices to get your attention. Babies babble and make purposeful noises for months and months before vocalizations begin to sound more like words. When a child is very quiet for most of the day, he’s not getting the practice he needs in order to be able to talk.
There are several reasons that a toddler may not vocalize purposefully – too many to list here! Delays in language may be partially due to difficulties with speech production. However, if we can get a kid vocalizing intentionally as early as possible, we lessen the effects of even a significant speech problem.
Learn great ways to get this going in my book Let’s Talk About Talking… still in stock for a few more days! Don’t miss out!