“Nov you” “Owe you”
Yes, I am waiting for my little man to say that, since he hasn’t yet said “love you” to me, I am only guessing the sound of it (knowing he doesn’t say “La” still) Like everything that happened on its own time, this too shall.
In my previous post (Click here) I shared some bits from my baby’s vocabulary and speech journey, each day I have something new to listen to and it only makes my smile wider.
A child has her/his own time to meet the milestones, there is no magic wand to have them up n running and dancing and singing. Out of all the milestones speech has the widest range from 8-9 months to 24 months for their first words.
The two types of communication that a child uses are Receptive and Expressive. The Receptive communication means that he/she knows a particular word and Expressive communication is that they are able to speak or express it. For example, a baby may know what water is, but may not be able to say it, this is receptive vocabulary.
Babies begin communicating since birth, initially with cries and coos and gestures which later takes on to prominent babbling to first words.
Your child will generally surprise you with his/her first word between 7-12 months. It could be mama, Dada, baba or papa, in our case it was bubu and the meaningful word was A.C.
Between 13- 18 months the child has an expressive vocabulary of 5-20 words. This could be dudu, ma, pa, dada etc.
A child between 19-24 months has an expressive vocabulary of 50-100 words and receptive vocabulary of around 300 words or more.
Some even begin communicating with 2 words sentences like come mama or door open.
My son is really fond of our pooja space (place of worship at home), mainly because of the interesting paraphernalia that he doesn’t have access to, apart from the time when his bubuji (grandpa) does pooja. So, these days the moment he sees his grand father he starts screaming come pooja, come pooja.
The above milestone range is just an indication. It clearly doesn’t mean that if a child is falling behind he/she has a developmental issue, however if you observe delays, it is always better to discuss these with your doctor.
Can’t wait to hear those words? Here are 7 things that you can follow to help your baby communicate sooner and better.
• Talk : You may think it to be stupid and futile, but it isn’t. The best way to have your baby speak is to talk to them, just about anything. Keep talking while you are cruising through your daily activities , like mumma is having tea, reading newspaper or chopping vegetables. Etc.
Studies have shown that the sense of hearing develops in the womb. Speech depends largely on the sense of hearing; from the time they wake up to the bedtime at night keep talking.
• Point to objects and name them, one day you will hear her say that word. My toddler surprises me each day with new words that I don’t even remember using. For example, this morning he brought a rubber-band to me and said “choti” ( pigtail in Hindi) I did not know that he knew that word.
• Read books, show images and narrate stories- Reading exposes kids to new words, books have attractive illustrations, often imaginary characters like fairies, unicorns and dragons which drive their interest in stories and thus gives an opportunity of fun learning.
• Music immensely helps in development of cognitive and spatial intelligence. Songs and rhymes when sung and enacted help the child learn and grasp better. Check out my detailed posts on music for babies Here.
• Limit the exposure to screen – The easiest way to have our little ones engaged is to either hand them over our phones/tabs or to switch on the T.V.
Kids learn from 2 way interaction, they need human touch. What you as parents can do, no screen can ever do for them.
There are times when you have no option but to give them some screen time, and that is absolutely fine. Even if you give screen time make it effective by playing fun yet educational programs. Limit the time and ensure they don’t get addicted to screen. AAP suggests completely restricting screen time for kids upto 18months of age and to choose high quality age appropriate programs for toddlers beyond 18 months.
• Avoid baby talks, your baby is a baby not you! He can understand your language the way it is. Use proper names for things. The baby may say mumum for water, but you must persistently use the word water or paani or whatever it is called in your language.
• Reduce the noises in the background- The loud TV or music playing all throughout can cause major disruption in your child’s learning. Noisy backgrounds affect the focus and hearing which in turn impacts speech.
These were some of the pointers that I as mother to a toddler could think of. Please share with me if there is more that I can add to the list.