It’s an exciting time when a child begins to talk! From their first sounds to complete sentences, the experience of watching a child develop their language skills is a joy. Every toddler is different, and the milestones they reach with their speech patterns are unique. There are significant steps each child will take as they continue to verbally communicate. Here are some resources that explain where your child might be in their communication journey between the ages of 1 and 2, as well as tactics to help their progression.

 

Language Milestones

Every language milestone is a cause for celebration. In each milestone, the toddler has gained development in their speech and listening skills. They begin by demonstrating their successes with sounds and words. This article notes specific milestones toddlers meet in their first couple years… from “ma-ma” and “da-da” to short phrases. This lightly toned article expresses the pride that a child feels when they successfully begin to speak. A child will say their first words and may begin to name parts of the body as they continue to progress in their use of language. They may begin to repeat words they hear regularly, too. By 2 years old, they should be able to say their name and use short sentences, but every toddler develops in their own time.

https://www.healthline.com/health/baby/toddler-language-milestones

 

Speech and Language Skills

By the time a child is 2 years old, their communication usually develops significantly, but this article addresses the range of differences in development from child to child. Because toddlers are learning from their parents, it’s not uncommon that parents might understand the child a little better than other people. However, others should be able to understand the toddler about half of the time as they begin pronouncing both vowels and consonants. Small sentences begin to take form as they are guided to answer questions, follow directions, and react to certain behaviors. Books are key to a toddler’s beginning communication; they might even pretend to read the book themselves. Find out how many words a child should know by 2 years old, and whether there should be any cause for concern.

https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/what-speech-and-language-skills-should-my-2-year-old-have/

 

Expanding Language

There are a variety of tactics for helping a toddler with their language skills. The process can be natural,  correlating with children as they play. A toddler will develop their communication based on objects they’re using during playtime. The article offers fun and easy suggestions for parents to expand their toddler’s language skills. Putting objects further away or arranging things differently prompts the child to ask for what they want. Mix up a routine or hesitate when singing a song, and you’ll help your child reach their next milestone. For further language development, the article goes in-depth about how you can imitate what the child is saying, interpret what they are saying and repeat it back to them, comment as they use vocabulary words, and label objects you want the child to say. The article speaks to these tips plus many more to expand the child’s language skills.

https://childmind.org/article/helping-toddlers-expand-their-language-skills/

 

Language Delays

A common concern about a toddler’s developing language skills is a delay in progress. This article begins by listing milestones that a child should reach in the first couple of years (both verbal and nonverbal.) It is stressed that delays are very common in both sets of skills. The author delves deeper into the topic of language delay and what you should tell your doctor if you have concerns. Keep in mind your toddler might conquer this issue on their own, with a little time and encouragement. If that is not the case, the post speaks to what can be expected at a doctor’s appointment, common problems a toddler could be experiencing, and programs that can help support the child (and parent!) through whatever they are challenges they may be facing.

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/language-delay.aspx