When your child begins to “talk”, he is showing off his nascent language skills. Of course, you have no idea what they are saying, but this gibberish will eventually lead to real words. Chattering also gives you a glimpse into their cognitive development as they memorize and repeat sounds, spend time thinking about what they want to “say” and learn to use verbal and non-verbal actions.
Chatting also has a social component. Long before your child says a word, he learns the rules of language and socialization by watching you. Babies see how you react to sounds and watch you take turns talking to others. Through this, they learn languages and imitate how others verbally communicate with them. Remember, children develop skills at different times. As long as your child is chatting and interacting with you and other people, you probably have nothing to worry about.
But if their speech and language development stops or regresses at any point, if they don’t chat or make eye contact or gesticulate, or if no words are spoken by the time they are 15 months old, make an appointment with your pediatrician and speech therapist. Also, call your local public school at any age—the sooner your child gets help with speech or language problems, the better.