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How to Help Your Child’s Speech
It can feel like a lifetime until you hear your toddler talking.
It starts from the day that your baby is born that you can’t wait for your baby’s first words. The babbling and coos start soon enough. And then they start making silly noises.
They sound so cute and I love their little reactions when you play with them, whether it’s peek a boo, singing them nursery rhymes or just showing them some new toy.
Once the noises start coming, waiting for them to say their first word can seem like forever!
Then they become toddlers and start “talking”. It is so funny when they sound like they want to tell you a whole story and yet, you can’t understand a thing!
They look up at you with those expecting eyes like, don’t you understand what I’m saying??
Speech and language development is an important milestone for children. Generally, kids are saying a couple words by the time they are 1, 5-10 words by the time they are 15 months and 10 – 20 words by the time they are 18 months.
Some children are simply late talkers. My daughter, Peyton, took a little longer than the average to start saying words. We ended up having some help with her language delays. We got some tips and tricks to help get her talking more.
Meanwhile, my son, Gage, is babbling like crazy with close to 10 words under his belt at a little over a year old. He will tell you everything he needs to and not stop, but you can only understand a word or two.
Through my journey with helping my toddlers to talk and discussions with their pediatrician, I’ve come across a few tips that have helped.
Reading and Singing
Reading to your toddler and singing songs with them are great ways to help them learn their words.
Generally at younger ages, you tend to read the same books or sing the same songs. A lot of times this is during their bedtime routines. Hearing the same simple words every day can really help get a toddler talking.
Pictures books and board books are the best kind of books learn new words. These are the best books for helping toddlers learn to talk.
Singing in particular is great because toddlers will start to try to say the words with you as you are singing. You may not understand them at first, but I’ve been amazed at how both of my kids will pick up on songs so quickly!
There is something with the melody of songs that keeps them entertained and wanting to learn the words.
Labelling common objects as you give them to your child is a great way to help your toddler to talk.
It will likely make you feel like you sound ridiculous, but it really helps your toddler to identify items and use the words in the right context.
As you are playing, repeat what each item is, such as block, book, toy, train, etc. In addition, you can label the motion – for example, if you are playing with blocks and putting them on and off, say on and off so that they understand what the motion is.
Another important thing for labelling things is to do this as you are feeding them. Tell your toddler exactly what you are giving them. Then they can learn the words and be able to ask for them on their own.
Playing games is a great way to interact with your toddler and help them to start talking.
One of the easiest examples of this is peek-a-boo.
Babies and toddlers love this game, whether you play with your hands or an object. They can learn to do it and repeat it.
Another good one is to talk about animals and what sounds they make. A lot of these sounds are easier for a baby to make so can encourage them to use their voice more often.
We have also done it when playing outside on the swings. Just making the sound “whee” as we go!
As kids start to get used to using their voices, they will feel more confident trying to talk.
Giving your child choices is a great way for them to learn how to say words and ask for what they want.
It may sound a little strange to be giving one year olds choices, but it helps them to learn and label what you are asking them.
For example, when making breakfast, hold up a banana and strawberry and say, banana or strawberry and show each item to them. This is a great way to help them learn to ask you for a specific item.
This also helps them to associate words with objects.
Another way to start your toddler talking is when your little one does something, or wants something, help them identify the motion.
If they want to be picked up, say up and hold your hands out so they understand that is what up means. Or if they are clapping their hands, say clap.
These help them to understand what movements they are doing and express what they want. We have also used it to say what we would like our kids to do, such as hold hand, or walk.
Repeat What Your Toddler Says
When your toddler starts talking, they can say a lot, but most may not be decipherable.
The best way to understand what they are saying is to repeat what you can understand. Toddlers so desperately want to tell you things.
If you repeat what you believe they are asking for, you will learn what words they use to ask for certain items and help to encourage them to continue talking.
These small but simple and easy things can really help to encourage your toddler to talk. But it can be a long road, trying to understand what they are trying to say.
Get your toddler talking by interacting with them during everyday activities and helping them to understand the world around them.
What are your tips to helping your child begin to talk?
Ways to Develop Your Toddler’s Speech
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