Your baby will learn to talk in stages, beginning with sighs and coos, followed by strung-together consonant-vowel sounds — what’s often called babbling.

Baby babbles like “a-ga” and “a-da” eventually combine to create basic words and word-sounds.

But be patient, Mom and Dad: It’s going to take a while for baby’s brain to associate word-like sounds like “ma-ma” and “da-da” with their real meanings.

What not to worry about: There’s really no wrong way to talk to your baby — don’t worry that you’re reinforcing “nonsense talk” instead of “real words” by letting your baby babble on or babbling back to him. Babbles are building blocks for language and language comprehension, and even the silliest sounds and noises help your baby practice the mouth movements he’ll need for his first real words.

What’s next: With enough practice and encouragement from you, your baby’s babbles will eventually combine to create your little one’s first basic words.