Having a baby is a different experience altogether. It is also mesmerizing to watch that tiny bundle of joy turns into a good human being, especially with you being responsible for their upbringing. It is adorable to watch when they try their first words. But before that, while learning how to talk, the first thing they do is cooing. In this article, we will talk about cooing and how and when babies coo.
In this article:
All You Need to Know About Babies Cooing
What Is Cooing?
When it comes to vocal skills, cooing is the first vocal milestone that your baby will reach. Cooing is usually a vowel, like ahh, but sometimes cooing can sound like gurgling noises. It’s absolutely adorable, but it’s also really important as it signifies baby is starting to work on language development.
When Do Babies Start Cooing?
Babies usually begin to coo around six to eight weeks of age. But cooing can vary from baby to baby. If your baby isn’t cooing right at six weeks, don’t worry. All babies develop on their own schedule.
Remember that some babies might not make the “ahhh” cooing sound; they only gurgle instead. However, if your baby is three months old and still not cooing, you’ll assuage any concerns by talking with your baby’s pediatrician.
If the baby isn’t cooing in the least, it might be linked to a hearing problem, but this is often rare. If you’re worried, you should make an appointment with your child’s doctor to rule it out. In the meantime, you can check your baby’s hearing at home to ease your nerves. When your baby is awake and alert, you should clap loudly. If your baby turns to follow the sound, then they don’t have any hearing problems. Again, always check in together with your pediatrician to verify.
How To Encourage Babies To Start Cooing
Once you hear those first few coos, it’s infectious, and you’ll want to listen to more and more. Here’s the great news: There are several ways to encourage your baby to coo and develop those language skills.
Talk To Your Baby
Talking—even in “baby talk”—to your baby is important for language development. In fact, speaking in high-pitched tones (called “motherese”) to your baby helps them learn to coo because those high-pitches and sing-song sounds highlight vowel sound like ‘ahhh’ and ‘ohhh’.
Speak Clearly And Often
It’s important to talk clearly, annunciate, and elaborate on what you’re seeing or doing. Remember that babies understand words long before they will ever utter one word. Speaking clearly not only helps babies to find out words, but also essential sound combinations. Narrate what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to use “real” words: rather than saying “nigh nigh,” tell your baby “goodnight!”
Make Eye Contact And Repeat Sounds Back
Whether your baby coos, repeat those sounds back to them. Making eye contact helps your baby focus on you. Repeating an equivalent sound over and over helps your baby learn to vocalize that sound. Interestingly, this is often an equivalent principle that explains why babies and toddlers have a better time remembering words that repeat.
Mamas know that lullabies can help a baby or toddler fall asleep to sleep, but music also can help encourage cooing. Music helps babies process the sounds they hear.
Cuddling up with a book isn’t only a comfortable experience; it also allows your baby the chance to listen to new sounds. And it’s never too early to get started (even if it seems like they aren’t paying attention). Reading to a six-month-old baby leads to improved language development and increased vocabulary.
Get Out Of The House And Explore The Planet Around You
Exploring the world isn’t just fun; it can help your baby develop more language skills. Imagine this scenario:
Your baby is in your baby carrier as you walk through your city zoo. As you reach new exhibits, you spend a moment or two talking your baby. You might say, “Here’s the lion” or “Look at all of those parrots.” This interaction is simply another opportunity for your baby to listen to the sounds of your native tongue over and over again. And, remember repetition the key. No matter where you go—the library, the grocery, the post office—narrate your day to your baby. The more he hears, the more he learns.
It might seem futile or even exhausting to practice all of the above language tips with a newborn (who sleeps the majority of the day), but you’d be surprised just how much those little babies absorb. You’re laying the foundation for when cooing gives thanks to babbling, around four to six months old.