Sunday, 15 May 2011

Toddler talk - what's normal?

When it comes to toddler's learning to talk, 'normal' can be very different from one child to another.  What most parents want to know is "Is my child doing alright?"  Here are a few handy milestones that will help you determine how your child is learning language? 
  • By their first birthday, most children say "mama" and/or "dada" meaningfully.  They may also be saying one or two other words.
  • Toddler's often learn new words very quickly between 12 and 18 months.  By 18 months, your toddler might have as many as 25 different words.  Many of these words will likely be labels for favorite things (eg. puppy, milk).
  • By age two, it's typical for toddler's to have at least 50 different words.  Instead of just using labels, your child should now have different types of words (eg. action words like 'eat', descriptive words like 'hot', and position words like 'in').  A bigger variety of words will mean your child should now begin to put two words together (eg. 'more milk', 'eat noodle')
  • Three-year-old's say the darndest things!  They now have a big vocabulary (possibly a few hundred words!) and can put words together into simple (and sometimes not-so-simple) sentences.  Although your three-year-old might be talking up a storm, it's still normal for them to make lots of grammar errors (eg. "him want a sandwich", "Is you going upstairs?").
  • By age four, children should be able to make their wants and needs known pretty easily.  Your four-year-old likely knows a few hundred words and can put together nice sentences that may still have the odd grammar error.
The above points are just a few of the most common milestones at each of the ages, if you have concerns about what your child is doing, feel free to ask me a question by email!


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