When Do Babies Start Cooing?

7 min read

At what age babies start cooing? This is a common question for new parents. This blog post will explain when you can expect your baby to start making these cute sounds.

One of the most cherished moments of parenting is hearing your baby’s first coos! These early sounds are more than just adorable; they are a crucial sign of your baby’s vocal development.

So, what exactly is baby cooing and when do babies start cooing? And what does cooing sound like? Let’s explore this charming phase together and when you can expect to hear those sweet sounds.

What Is Cooing for a Baby?

Cooing is a mix of soft laughter and vowel sounds, and it usually means the start of language development in babies.

Cooing consists of simple vowel sounds like “ooh” and “aah.” Sometimes, the noises your baby makes sound like the word “coo,” which is how the action got its name. When a baby coos, it’s their first step towards expressive language, making this an exciting milestone in their development.

Although you might hear other baby noises before cooing, such as crying and grunting, these sounds come from the chest. Cooing, on the other hand, comes from the larynx, the organ in the neck that holds the vocal cords, and uses different mouth muscles than crying.

What age do babies start cooing?

Babies usually start making cooing sounds around 2 months old, but this can vary from baby to baby. The key to supporting your baby’s cooing and language skills is to communicate with them right from the start. Babies absorb speech like sponges, learning to talk even before they can form words by mimicking the sounds they hear around them.

Each baby progresses at their unique pace, so don’t worry if your baby starts cooing earlier or later than others. This individual journey is part of their development.

As early as 1 month, your baby might recognize your voice and react with smiles and gurgles. Encouraging these early interactions can help them understand the dynamics of communication.

Cooing is a significant step in your baby’s language journey. It shows they’re exploring using their mouth to make new sounds, setting the stage for further language development. Enjoy this phase as your little one embarks on the exciting adventure of communication.

What does cooing sound like?

Cooing is a gentle and soothing sound that babies make, often resembling soft “oohs” and “aahs.” These sounds are sweet and melodic, like a combination of coos and sighs.

You might also hear your baby experimenting with gurgling noises or making sounds using their lips. Cooing is a joyful form of early communication for babies, reflecting their happiness and sense of comfort.

It’s a delightful way for infants to explore the sounds they can produce while discovering their own voice. These initial vocalizations not only express contentment but also help babies develop the muscles needed for future speech.

How can I encourage my baby to coo?

Supporting your baby in developing their cooing skills is a joyful part of parenting. Here are some simple ways to encourage your little one to start cooing and vocalizing more:

  • Facilitate Sound Formation: Allow your baby to explore safe objects and their own hands to help strengthen their mouth muscles for making sounds.
  • Respond and Mimic: Mimicking your baby’s sounds helps them feel heard and encourages further vocalization. Maintain eye contact, smile, and imitate their coos.
  • Lead Conversations: Engage in face-to-face interactions, making simple sounds for your baby to mimic. Exaggerate lip movements and use a high-pitched tone to capture their attention.
  • Maintain Eye Contact: Babies tend to coo more when making eye contact with adults. Watch your baby’s cues and adjust as needed to keep interactions positive and engaging.
  • Ask Questions: Even though babies can’t respond, asking simple questions and providing answers can help build their vocabulary and language comprehension. Repetition is key in language development, so practice naming objects and actions consistently.

Should I be worried if my baby isn’t cooing?

If your baby hasn’t started cooing by around 3-4 months or babbling by 6 months, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your pediatrician.

Here are some signs to watch if your baby is not cooing:

  • Doesn’t react to loud noises: A loud bang or sudden shout should cause your baby to startle or at least turn their head in the direction of the sound.
  • Doesn’t follow moving objects: Babies are naturally curious and will often track objects with their eyes.
  • Doesn’t smile at people: Social interaction is important, and a smile is a great sign your baby is happy and connecting with you.
  • Doesn’t try to “talk back” with sounds or expressions: Cooing, gurgling, or even just trying to mimic your facial expressions are all ways babies start to communicate.
  • Doesn’t show interest in imitating sounds: This could be anything from trying to copy your happy babble to responding to silly noises you make.

Early intervention is always best, so if there are any hearing or speech delays, your pediatrician can help you get your baby the support they need.

What baby milestones come after cooing?

After mastering cooing, babies progress through a series of developmental milestones. Here are some common milestones that typically follow cooing:

  • Babbling: Babies start babbling around 6-9 months, producing repetitive syllables like “ba-ba” or “da-da.”
  • Gestures and Pointing: By around 9-12 months, babies begin pointing to objects of interest and using gestures to communicate.
  • First Words: Around 12 months, many babies utter their first recognizable words like “mama” or “dada.”
  • Understanding Simple Instructions: Between 12-18 months, babies grasp simple commands like “wave bye-bye” or “give me the toy.”
  • Combining Words: By 18-24 months, toddlers start stringing words together to form short phrases or sentences.
  • Expanding Vocabulary: Continuing into the toddler years, children rapidly expand their vocabulary, learning new words and concepts daily.
  • Complex Communication: As toddlers grow, they develop more sophisticated language skills, including storytelling, asking questions, and expressing emotions effectively.

How Baby Cooing Supports Development

Those sweet, melodic coos your baby makes aren’t just adorable – they’re a crucial first step in a remarkable developmental journey. Here’s how cooing lays the foundation for future communication and social interaction:

  1. Muscle Training: Cooing requires precise control of the vocal cords, tongue, and mouth muscles. These muscles are still weak and underdeveloped in newborns. With each coo, your baby strengthens and coordinates these muscles, paving the way for more complex sounds like babbling and eventually, speech.
  2. Brain Development: Cooing isn’t just about physical movement. The brain is actively involved, making connections between the auditory and motor cortexes. As your baby hears their own coos, the brain processes the sound and refines the muscle movements needed to produce it. This ongoing feedback loop helps to solidify the neural pathways for future communication.
  3. Social Interaction: Cooing is a two-way street. When your baby coos and you respond with a smile, cooing sounds of your own, or playful talk, you’re creating a positive feedback loop. This encourages your baby to coo more, laying the foundation for turn-taking conversations and emotional connection.
  4. Emotional Expression: Cooing isn’t just random noise. The pitch and tone can actually convey emotions. Happy coos sound high-pitched and bubbly, while fussy coos might be lower and more drawn out. Learning to associate sounds with emotions is another important step in social development.

So, the next time you hear your baby cooing, take a moment to appreciate this beautiful symphony of development. It’s a sign that your little one is well on their way to becoming a master communicator!


Hearing your baby coo is a magical milestone, a sign that they’re entering the world of communication. While most babies start cooing around 2 months old, remember that development happens at its own pace. Soothe your little one, talk to them often, and celebrate every gurgle and giggle.


You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours