After you welcome a newborn into the world, the best and most exciting thing for many parents is basking in every new milestone. The first time they make eye contact, their first smile, and the first time they're able to hold their head up are all cause for celebration. But when can you expect your baby to become more vocal (besides screaming and crying, of course)? Cooing, the precious sound babies make, will be their first vocal milestone, and it's sure to bring a smile to anyone's face.
If you've already melted over your baby's first smile, then you don't have to wait too much longer to hear their first hello. Babies should start cooing around six to eight weeks old. My son was almost seven weeks old when he first cooed, and it came out of nowhere when my Jack Russell Terrier, Axl, licked his face. His cheeks scrunched up, his eyes glistened, and his tiny little voice echoed through my house. What a rush! At his eight-week check up, I told his pediatrician about the milestone and she suggested other ways to encourage coos that didn't involve sticky dog saliva.
- Talk to your baby. Even though they don't know what you're saying, they still know that you're talking to them, and this should encourage them to talk back (or at least try to).
- It's not what you say, it's how you say it. Baby talk exists for a reason, and the higher and more annoying you can make your voice, the better they will respond.
- Keep quiet and pay attention. While the baby talk is good to get them going, you also need to give them some quiet time and undivided attention for them to be able to speak their mind.
- Read to them. Reading books can be a special bonding time for any parent. Not only are you talking to your baby, but you're also showing them new and exciting things with pictures.
No matter what approach you decide to take, remember to be patient. All babies are different, and some may not start cooing until later. If you have any cause for concern, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor.