The early years of your child’s life are an integral time for speech and language development. Like crawling before you walk, speech requires a combination of milestones that eventually build up to understandable language. The first two years are an exciting time in which your little one will go from babbling to speaking 2-3 word phrases. Check out the stages below to see where your child falls on the journey of speech development.
The first (non-crying) noises your baby makes will no doubt bring you joy. And it’s a good thing, too! You’ll want to encourage these sounds of cooing and gurgling, as these are the first building blocks to language. Motivate your baby to explore creating sound by getting close to their face and repeating the adorable little noises they produce.
At 4-6 months, your baby will be babbling and engaging in “baby-talk”. This repetition of short, consonant-vowel sounds is a necessary step toward speaking their first words. Like with the previous stage, making eye contact and repeating their babble is a great way to bond and encourage practicing sounds. You can also sing songs with lots of simple sound recognition, like “Bah Bah Black Sheep.” Enlist Storypod’s Pudgy Pig to help!
At this stage, your baby will continue their consonant-vowel babbling, but will do so with increasing variety and intonation. Some of these combinations will start to sound like familiar words like, “bah bah” for bottle, and “dah dah” for daddy.
This is an exciting time for language development. Between 12 and 20 months your child will be able to point to objects that you name and follow simple directions. They’ll recognize their name and be able to say 10-20 single words. They’ll also use a lot of gesturing to communicate. Facilitate this fruitful time by having conversations with your toddler. Use plenty of facial expressions and gestures. Play games like “Simon Says” to encourage listening.
By 2 Years
By 2 years of age, your toddler will know between 200 and 1000 words. They will be speaking in 2-3 word sentences and using pronouns to refer to themselves. At this point, speaking clearly to your child is encouraged. Reading stories and listening to books also promotes language skills and will expose them to varied vocabulary.
Language Development Comes Naturally
Don’t stress out about developing language. It comes naturally by engaging with your child through conversation, singing songs, and reading books! Let Storypod’s Uma Unicorn help out with some groove-alicious songs to start the morning or use Rapunzel to regale storytime classics at bedtime. Turn off screens and give little ones the opportunity to explore and practice!