When my youngest was around 17 months old I remember wondering when he’d start really talking. He could say “dadda,” but not much else. He seemed to understand most of what I said to him though, and was very good at communicating, only he didn’t use words. Then almost overnight, it was like a verbal explosion. Nowadays, I can’t shut him up!
The point is, all little ones develop in their own time and while first words tend to happen somewhere around the 12-18 month mark, some tots take a little longer reach this milestone.
Whenever your baby decides they’re ready to get talking, it’s important to remember that they’re picking up language skills from you and the other adults in their life, well before they open their mouths and surprise you by saying “ca” as they point to the toy car.
Here’s 16 ways you can encourage her speech and language development:
1. Keep up the 'motherese'
You know that high-pitched voice you use when you talk to your baby? Well, don’t worry about how silly you sound! It’s called ‘motherese’ and studies have now found that it helps to build our little one’s ability to understand and create sentences of their own. The exaggerated speech also helps babies to identify where words begin and end, and gives them the clues needed for developing language skills. So keep it up!
Need some more speech and language development advice? Our Parent School experts can help. Click to find out more or book a one-on-one screening call with a speech pathologist.