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Babbling of consonants

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My son has always been very vocal starting with his "ooh"s and "ahhhhh"s at around 1-2 months...  

He "said" his very first "mammammmamm" at around 6.5 - 7 months.  It was mostly when he was upset about something and happened mostly in his crying.  I hadn't heard it since then for about a month.  Then a few days ago at 8.2 months he started very suddenly MAJOR babbling for 2 days straight almost all day non-stop "mammammamm", "babbbabba", "wawawa" back to "baba" etc...   Then suddenly as fast as it started, it's again back to just the vowels and he won't do his consonant babbling at all....


What is going on?  Is this normal or should I worry?  This is all around the same time that I'm worried about his head circumference growing a bit faster the last 2 months (see my other post about that separate topic.)


He is very social with people, looks at us and interacts, smiles at complete strangers all the time and you can tell he wonders why some people don't respond and seems to almost get sad about it.  He does not imitate however, that I can tell which worries me a bit as well... Any thoughts?  I am not ready to go to early intervention just yet, but wanted to find out in general is starting and stopping consonant babbling so suddenly normal or should I worry?

post #2 of 11

Sounds like normal to me.  Granted i only have the one daughter, and she did a lot of the same thing - where she would babble consonants, and then not for a couple days, and then find something new to babble, and then not, and so on.


She does that type of pattern when she learns things now and she is 6. Where she will be fascinated with whatever it is and then after a couple days will back off of it.

post #3 of 11

Sounds normal... my son is 19 months old and still does that (actual words now though, not just beginning consonants). But at about the same age as your baby he was babbling certain things all day some days and then not at all the next. You said he interacts well and is alert so seems like right now there probably is no need for intervention.

post #4 of 11
Totally normal. My dd did the same thing. Lots of consonants for a few days then nothing but vowels again. Then she did a similar thing: figured out about 4 or 5 words (daddy, kitty, down, mama) and then went back to babbling. Now she added new words out of the blue and is probably gonna stop and go back to babbling. It seems to me that she figures out a sound, files it away, and when she's done all the sounds to a word she wants, she goes back to babbling to get more ingredients for new words. Just my theory mind you.
The lack of mimicking im not sure about but it would depend on LO's reactions whether I'd get concerned. Some babies observe more and mimic less and as long as he is interested and engaging with others, I'd say it's just his style. My daughter is a ham but won't mimic right off the bat. She wants to see or hear things many times before she will try. In the meantime she will smile, giggle, or squeal though if something gets her attention. If you're worried then you could ask about it at a checkup but what you describe isn't ringing alarm bells for me.
post #5 of 11

My son just turned 9 months and is just the same. His brain seems to focus on particular skills for a few days then something else. If you think about how the particular sounds are made (by forming the tongue/mouth in various ways) then it makes sense that they are just exploring this cause and effect. I believe they make the mamama or nanana sounds more when upset because it is more of a 'closed' sound, closer to whining. Know what I mean? And just recently my son has started making a sound that sounds like 'up' as he's learning to purse his lips to make the 'p' sound. I am obviously not a linguist though, just sharing my own observations. Hope this helps. If you stop and think of all the skills they are mastering all at once it is quite amazing.


Oh and on mimicking my son doesn't do this a lot either though he does really pay attention to what I am doing. I think it takes a ton of repetition and some more maturity to do the direct mimicking. My older two would copy me saying 'fafafa' or 'lalala' closer to 1 year of age. And both were early talkers and are extremely verbal. This is also a great age to start teaching your baby signs if you aren't already. My son has started waving and clapping very recently and laughs when I do the sign for 'milk'. I am also teaching him 'more'. In my past experience it was helpful and fun for them to learn a few signs between 9-12 months until they could use the words. Anyway, sounds like your baby has an awesome learning environment and is very engaged and happy so try to relax and enjoy all the amazing things he is doing. :)

Edited by Gracecody - 7/1/12 at 1:05pm
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

It's good to hear, though I still worry :(... it's now been 1.5 weeks since he's said his baba/mama for 2 days, and hasn't said or cried babaa/mamama since.  How long do/did your babes take a break for from their babbling would you say?


On a separate note.. I couldn't help but wonder if I had done anything differently in the days prior to his 2 days of starting baba/mamama, and I now I realize that I had.  I keep a journal of what/when he eats/poops etc... and I had changed his diet a bit a few days prior because of increased constipation.  He had also eaten spinach for the first time 3 days prior to his official babbling.  He always had constipation off and on but that week he wasn't pooping well at all, his poops resembled one small brown marble per day for 2 days.  To try to make things regular, I didn't take him completely off formula, but I limited whenever I could or watered it down, and substituted most solids he had been eating with prunes and pears...  He's on the heavier side so I wasn't too worried about not having him gain in a day or two.  So, not to sound like a major worry wart etc... but could that have had anything to do with it?  I hear that diet can be a big one when it comes to autism etc.. and although he doesn't display any of the outward signs, not knowing what causes it I want to be vigilant in everything I do including whether if I'm feeding him the right stuff, etc..  Deep inside I feel like I'm probalbly overthinking, but it's frustrating... 

post #7 of 11
Be very careful with limiting or watering down formula. I understand that he's a big boy but he needs the fat for brain development. If he's having trouble with a particular formula, another brand might work better but until his first birthday formula (or breastmilk) needs to be his primary source of nutrition. You can offer him water in addition to formula (I did so at mealtimes until birthday and make it available throughout the day now). You could limit his solids to high fibre fruits and veggies until the constipation eases up. I know my DD skips a day or more if she has a lot of cheese for instance but a day of veggies and fruit has her back on schedule, pooping once or twice a day.

With the babbling, my LO went weeks and weeks between sounds. I heard mama around nine months and then again around 13 months or so. Dada was more uniform but she skipped that as well for about a month or so, working the vowel sounds in between. I really wouldn't worry about the babbling at this stage. He is just working hard to make new sounds before revisiting the old ones. She did the same with walking: took a couple of steps shortly after her birthday and then crawled for a month before trying to walk again. I know how hard it is not to worry, but what you describe sounds to me like a typical healthy baby smile.gif
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

He drank more water that day than normal and it helped.  He's been on more formula than he should have, looking back, so even by watering down some of it (I think with one bottle that day) it wasn't to the point where he wasn't getting enough for the day.  The prunes alone for some reason weren't doing the trick those two days, had him on pears and a few other veggies as well.  


Right now he's been trying out his sounds with ahh, ooh, and eee like in the past, and he closes his lips as if to say mm or ppp but doesn't quite make out the sounds like he did 2 weeks ago... will try my hardest to wait it out and see, but it's difficult.. :/

post #9 of 11
Ok as long as he is getting what he needs :-). Enjoy his adorable little sounds. Before you know it, he will move on and you'll miss his little eees and oohs. Learning goes in fits and starts and never conforms to any expectations we have as parents. Btw, my husband barely made a sound until he was three. He had a mild speech impediment successfully corrected with speech therapy and most days I wish he would be quiet for a minute lol. There is a huge range of normal out there. Try not to worry unless your LO starts to get outside those ranges or you'll worry yourself sick. Hugs to you. Take a deep breath and focus on the amazing things he IS doing ;-)
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I speak 2 languages to him at home, though it's an 80%/20% type thing where English is the main language and my husband speaks to him only in English.  He said he heard that babies who are spoken to in two languages need to process more so maybe that's why... I hope that's the case, not anything else.  My little one does "try" to do things, gets frustrated often with wanting to do things and explore as much as possible so I suppose those are good signs.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

So go figure, he has started "mama" again!...  Almost 3 weeks have passed since he did it last...  All this week I was really really stressing over why he hasn't done it again yet and when I was going to hear him again.  I did notice he was doing more of the single syllables this week, like "ba", "wa", "bwa", "ma", and "gu"... Today my husband was driving with him and he taped him clearly ennunciating, "mama, mama, mamammm".  When he got home he played it to me and when my son heard himself he did it again and has been "mama'ming" every hour or so for a min or two at a time! :)... GO figure...   I'm very very happy, but yet still on edge that he's going to stop tomorrow or the next day and then what.  Hopefully it will continue.  Seems to me like he kind of forgot about his ability to do it or something and remembered now. 

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