Early in the second year, your beautiful infant will grow into a toddler. The term toddler first appeared in a Dictionary in 1812, defined as “a child not yet perfect in walking, toddle.” At this same time, your child is also learning to communicate. A toddler will suddenly seem to understand most of what you say. When you announce it’s time to eat, you will find him working his way to the high chair. If you tell him,” your shoe is missing’, he will try to find it. It isn’t your imagination – your child is beginning to grasp this “world of language”. Revel in it, your child certainly is. His development of language and comprehension skills is on the way!
Between 12 and 18 months the first of many recognizable words will be uttered.
- As your child tries new words, some sounds will be omitted. When this happens simply repeat the word correctly. For example, your child may be pointing at the window and say “ouside”. Simply say “outside.” There is no need for “no” or correction when this happens, just simply repeat the word correctly, letting your child hear all sounds.
- As your child grows many more single words will be spoken. Repeat the word said, but add more words to it. For example, when your child says “baby” you can add “The baby is soft.” Soon your child will 2-3 words together on his own.
- Your child will begin using more gestures – put words to them.
- Call out familiar objects or pictures to your child and let him name them. This is also a fun time to include body parts and song. Sing “head, shoulders, knees and toes”.
- Your child may also try to sing with music. Keep the language coming. Play songs, like language, music too has a rhythm to learn the intent of the words.
- Your child will begin to vocalize needs and wishes. Be sure to respond to the sounds and wishes so she learns you are listening – again, two way communication.
Most toddlers master at least 50 spoken words by the end of this period. By midyear, he will use a few active verbs, such as “go”, “stop”, and “jump”, as well as words of direction, “up”, “down”, “in”, and “out.” By 24 months a child is able to understand 300 words and may be using simple phrases and building 2 to 4-word sentences. Your child will also be able to follow simple instructions. Caution to adults, this is also when your child will begin to repeat words overheard in conversation. Your child clearly states and understands “NO,” as well as, the concept of “mine” and enjoys expressing it. Soon he will begin to combine prepositions with nouns to make a statement like, “ball up” or “me milk,” and questions like “What’s that?”.
So yes, the explosion is happening. Listen to your child, enjoy the journey and keep talking, reading, singing and having “Fun to Flourish.”