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Baby talk

Posted by Matthew Sharp on

Hello again today were discussing baby talk and what ideally should happen of course every little ones different so don't worry if your little one seems to quick or a little slow they all get there eventually but ideally by 6 months, your baby should respond to sounds, be interactive with you, and smile and laugh. You should hear babbling with both consonant and vowel sounds such as “mamama".

Around 12 months, first words emerge. Fifteen months is considered late for first words. By the time first words emerge, your child should already be a very good nonverbal communicator — using gestures like waving and reaching for “up,” understanding the names of things in his environment, and following some simple directions. If your child does not seem to understand simple words or directions (e.g. “come here,” “give me,” “get ___”), make many sounds, use many gestures, try to communicate often, or produce a first word by 15 months. A “word” is anything your child says that has meaning, even if it’s not pronounced correctly! “Baba” used to mean “bottle” absolutely counts.

Age 18-24 months is typically when we expect a child’s vocabulary to explode and for two-word phrases to emerge. You should be hearing things like “more milk,” “no doggie,” “hi cat”, “daddy car,” or “mommy up.”

During this stage, your child’s listening skills should advance and your child should be able to sit and listen to a short story and engage with you while reading (e.g. pointing to pictures you name, some commenting on the pictures). Your child should be able to reliably follow 1-step and some 2-step directions (e.g. “get your shoes and bring them to mommy”). Of course, complying with your requests may be a different story! If your child has trouble understanding what you say or is only using single words, or his vocabulary does not seem to be growing, consult with a speech-language pathologist.

By age 3, your child should be able to understand and say quite a lot! A three year old should be able to follow two-step (and some longer) directions. He should be able to follow along with a story and answer simple questions about it. At this stage, children typically have a word for most things and speak in short sentences. You’ll often start hearing “why?” at this stage. Your child’s speech should be fairly intelligible. It is still normal for your child to mispronounce words, such as saying “tat” for “cat”, “pish” for “fish,” “fum” for “thumb,” “wabbit” for “rabbit.” A possible red flag to look out for at this stage is frustration on the part of your child, which may manifest itself as behavior challenges. Also, while we don’t encourage direct comparisons, if your child doesn’t seem to be understanding or expressing himself as well as his peers, it may be a good idea to consult with a speech-language pathologist.