A Verbal Milestone
Parents eagerly await demonstration of nearly all developmental milestones. A child who appears on the brink of his first step is likely to take center stage over even the Big Game as parents run haphazardly to retrieve every conceivable recording device in the house.
Equally exciting is a child's first word. We imagine days of long, thought-provoking conversations with our budding philosopher—or at a minimum, a coherent explanation for why there's jelly all over the wall.
The reality of speech development is that while many other milestones are seemingly reached in short order, speech takes a bit longer to perfect. In fact, the challenge really is twofold: Parents must not only weather the time period when their children are learning to coherently pronounce words and form sentences, but they must also wait patiently as their children master the ability to communicate their thoughts and needs at a speed relative to that at which their brains are spinning.
Understanding what's normal (albeit frustrating at times) and what's not will help parents recognize when to seek help and when to simply take a few deep breaths and try again. These language milestones in Baby's first year will get you started, but read on for age-by-age talking pointers.