Why isn't my baby using consonants?

Q: My 7-month-old daughter doesn't seem to be using consonants at all. She babbles with vowels. She has hit almost every milestone till 9 months. Is this something I should be concerned about?

A: If a seven-month-old is not doing this, then it should be brought to the attention of the pediatrician so that he/she can evaluate the situation further, and make any necessary suggestions/referrals if needed.  It’s also important to let the doctor know so that there can be close follow up.   There is oftentimes a “range” when it is considered “normal” to acquire skills, so it’s important for an infant to be followed closely in case the skill does not emerge within the expected time frame.  It can be hard to predict when language milestones will be achieved, so it’s always a good idea to be in touch with the doctor to be sure everything is on track.  The doctor may request an evaluation from a speech/language pathologist or Early Intervention, if there are concerns.

It’s possible that your daughter will begin babbling consonant sounds any day now.  However, since this is something we can’t predict, it’s best to check in with her pediatrician and discuss her specific situation so that the proper follow up can be assured.

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