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Baby Steps: Translating Your Baby's Babbles

While much of what you hear from your baby is random babbling, babies this age begin to make more purposeful sounds. They're also more aware of your response, so if your son says "Dada" and Dada himself howls with delight, he's likely to say it again. His motor control is still developing, but you can most likely expect to hear certain consonant sounds at this age, namely "ba," "da," and "ga." And many "words" may end up sounding alike. In our house, my son Nathan's "Da" meant ball, doll, and dog. However, if your baby doesn't have any words at this point, don't worry. Many kids -- especially boys -- don't start talking until much later.

What They Say: "Chu"
What They Mean: "Sure"
--Sarah Gongora, Bellflower, CA

What They Say: "Pooba"
What They Mean: "Football"
--T.J. Clark, Colorado Springs, CO

What They Say: "Key"
What They Mean: "Cat"
--Aiden Weigel, Williamsport, PA