Does your child drop final sounds in their words? Does your child substitute sounds in words (‘doddy’ for ‘doggy’)? Is your child nonsensically babbling with a few real words here and there? If so, these are all a normal part of their speech development process! 

What is speech-babble?

Speech babble is a way to develop a child’s auditory feedback loop (their ability to self-monitor their speech). They hear us produce a word, they try it themselves, and then we repeat it back to them.


  • How long has my child been amplified (their hearing age)?
  • What sounds can my child hear in the speech range (familiar sounds audiogram)
  • What sounds should my child be producing?
    • By age 3: m, b, y, n, w, d, p, h
    • By age 4-5: t, ng, k, g, f, v, ch, j
  • Does my child imitate?

Learning to Listen sounds

  • Pair an object with a distinct repetitive sound or phrase
  • Target early developing sounds your child is working on through fun playful experiences together!
    • Boat (p-p-p-p)
    • Bus (b-b-b-b)
    • Ice Cream / Food (mmm)
    • Baby sleeping (shhhh…)
    • Bunny (hop, hop, hop)
    • Slide (up, up, up, wheeee!)

Strategies if your child does not respond or imitate:

  • Wait Time (provide time for processing)
  • Move closer
  • Highlight missed sound (pause, increase intensity and intonation)
  • Whisper the missed sound

Using Routines to Practice Speech Babble

Routines are repetitive, easy to remember and natural!

“It’s Hot” (whispered /h/ when pouring coffee, cooking in kitchen)

“Pee-You!” (for a smelly diaper change)

“Roooooollll” vs. “Bounce Bounce” (playing with a ball)

Songs (“E-I-E-I-OHHHH” in Old MacDonald)