It is understandable for parents of toddlers who they believe should already be talking to ask how they might help their children speak and whether, if they are having trouble, to seek expert assistance.
You are not alone if this describes your circumstance. Many parents are looking for solutions to these similar issues. That is why I urge you to keep reading so that you can be properly advised on what to do when trying to get your toddler to communicate.
An infant begins life with the ability to make a variety of noises. These noises may include sobbing, cooing, and gurgling. Your child will eventually say their first word, most likely towards the end of the first year. It can be amazing for parents to hear their child say their first words, whether it’s just “mama” or “dada,” regardless of what they are. They might even consider it one of the few important developmental milestones for a baby.
As your baby gets older, you start to wonder how your child’s linguistic abilities stack up to those of other kids his or her age. This, though, shouldn’t be a major cause for concern. Children develop their speaking abilities at varied rates and throughout time. You shouldn’t be concerned if you see that your infant is taking a bit longer than their elder sibling to say their first word.
But knowing when your baby starts talking is crucial because you can use it to track other vital developmental milestones. This will make it simpler for you to comprehend any potential delays in the child’s language and speech development.
The truth is that some toddlers might need a little assistance to stay up with the language development of other kids. Therefore, we must understand that a child’s refusal to speak doesn’t always indicate that something is wrong with them.
How do infants learn to speak?
Infants are born with a natural curiosity to learn, even though they cannot speak until the first week after birth. If they can’t convey it verbally, they can do so by making crying-related facial expressions. Before they begin to speak or coo, babies cry a lot.
So how precisely do infants pick up language norms? They accomplish this with the aid of small bones in their ears and newly developing neural connections in their brains. For around three months before they are born, they may hear the rhythm and melodies in their mother’s voice, which may have an effect on how their brain develops.
This exposure to the mother’s voice and conversations while still within the womb helps train the unborn child’s brain to process language. Once they are born, they start speaking this language.
When should a child start speaking?
A toddler needs between 0 and 36 months to complete the language development process, during which time they will have amassed a large vocabulary and learned how to utilise words. Although it takes years for these abilities to fully develop, infants begin communicating in various ways as soon as they are born.
Many toddlers use the following typical methods of communicating at various developmental stages:
- 0-6 Months
Babies between the ages of 0 and 6 months frequently coo or babble. They can, to some extent, grasp what you’re trying to say when you speak to them. You’ll notice that when you speak, they begin to react by turning their heads in your direction or toward any other sounds they may be hearing in the surroundings.
Babies find it simpler to comply with commands when they begin to learn language and communication, such as responding to their name or even uttering their first word.
- 7–12 Months
During this stage of development, infants frequently comprehend simple phrases like “yes” or “no.” Babies utilise gestures to communicate when they are 7 to 12 months old, and they may also start to establish a limited vocabulary of one to three words. However, it’s very common for most babies to wait until they reach one before saying their first word.
- 13–18 Months
A toddler’s vocabulary can develop between the ages of 13 and 18 months and may contain 10 to 20 words or even more. You might want to keep an eye on how you speak and what you talk about in front of them during this period because most kids start to repeat words that they hear around them.
Simple directions and instructions like “pick up your toys” or “I want you to finish everything on your plate today” can be understood by a baby between the ages of 13 and 18 months. They can also express simple needs like wanting to play or asking for water verbally.
- 19 – 36 Months
This is the last phase of a toddler’s language development. Toddlers typically range in age from 19 to 24 months, and their vocabulary ranges from 50 to 100 words.
They can quickly name the objects in their immediate environment, recall the names of familiar people, and, when prompted, can even name bodily parts. They can also speak simple sentences and phrases during this period.
Your child may have a vocabulary of up to 250 words or even more by the time they are 2 to 3 years old. They become more inquisitive at this point and start asking inquiries. They have the ability to make requests and completely comply with instructions given to them in detail by their parents or other adults in charge.
What is the latest age at which a child can begin to speak?
Children often begin to babble at about six months old and speak their first words between the ages of 10 and 15 months (most toddlers may start talking by 1). By around one year and four months after they begin speaking, they start to pick up more verbal clues like words and combine them into short sentences.
The notion that language is merely speech is somewhat out of date, even if the majority of people see language as spoken words. Even if it isn’t given much attention on a daily basis, language comprehension can be quite difficult. One normally needs to be familiar with the words being used as well as have a basic comprehension of the various contexts and meanings when those words are employed in a sentence in order to understand language.
The arrangement of the words also conveys a lot about the intended message. Receptive language skills are what these abilities are known.
Since this is the beginning of language development, parents need to be aware that children can convey less at this age than they can understand. By listening to and comprehending the words their parents or siblings speak around them, children develop their language skills.
While some speech disorders, like stuttering, are obvious during language development, other less obvious disorders could go unreported. This occurs because, even if the youngster has some language comprehension issues, the context of the instructions makes it possible for them to comprehend even seemingly complex instructions.
To help your toddler realise that you are taking them outside, you may say, “Go wear your boots.” The toddler takes the word “boots” as a cue and equates it with leaving.
Since they rely solely on context to understand the meanings of certain words, children with language disorders may have trouble understanding the second statement. For your child, try to utilise simpler and more accessible language.
How to Get a Toddler to Talk More Often Using Home Remedies
Many toddlers may initially find it difficult to talk. The child’s parents or other concerned adults may become nervous as a result. Although there is always professional assistance available for kids who appear to be late talkers, the following list of home remedies may encourage your youngster to speak up:
- Sign Language
With young children, sign language has proven to be a great substitute for spoken language. You can teach the child sign language so you can communicate with the parents by using it. After the child plays out a word, the parent may speak it aloud while the youngster nods to indicate if they are saying “yes” or “no.”
Additionally, you can have the kid repeat the word after you and then use it the following time in place of signals. Avoid pressuring your youngster to speak before they are ready, though.
- Music Therapy
Many toddlers sing, dance, or simply nod their heads in time to the music. Some children may understand musical rhythm better than speaking rhythm. Making up tunes that represent simple activities can be helpful. For instance, you could make up a song about veggies and sing it to the toddler to encourage them to eat their greens.
They could find it simpler to sing than to utter their first words. Don’t worry; soon they’ll start speaking instead of singing.
- Use declarations rather than queries
Asking directly and aggressively, “What’s your name?” or “How old are you?” may make a toddler uncomfortable and prevent them from responding at all.
It is essential to maintain good manners when speaking with the child at this stage and to use more emotive and detailed language. Using the phrase, “You’re eating chocolate,” for instance It will be simpler for the child to open up to you if you tell them, “I love chocolate too, you know.”
Read this post if you’re unsure of the best questions to ask to engage your child in conversation: 90 fun questions that encourage your child to speak!
Speech therapists in the field frequently use this technique. A clinician’s imitation of the child may involve vocal or nonverbal actions, according to the writers of When “Simon Says” Doesn’t Work, a piece on the use of imitation to assist a child in talking. To assess how the child reacts, the clinician can, for instance, pretend to yawn while making an exaggerated vowel-like sound.
To assist, the person can mimic the toddler’s impromptu verbalizations. For instance, if a youngster says “baba,” an adult might continue by reciting the poem “baba black sheep” in imitation. The child is significantly encouraged to speak up more and more often as a result.
- Reduce speed
It is crucial to have patience and refrain from pressuring a youngster into speaking before they are ready. A child’s confidence or self-esteem may also be impacted if they start to feel as though they aren’t trying hard enough to talk.
Make sure to speak slowly while speaking to a child like this so that they can understand what you’re saying and what it means. The likelihood that they will express their requirements and wants will rise after they comprehend what you are trying to convey to them.
- Talk to your child A lot
When you have the chance, encourage your toddler to talk as much as you can. Expose the child to your language while changing diapers, feeding, taking a bath, etc. by speaking to the child frequently throughout these times, whether or not you receive a response.
- Inspire your young child to repeat words.
If your toddler is currently talking one or two words, encourage them to speak more by having them repeat the words whenever you can while simultaneously teaching them new terms.
For example, if the youngster is already attempting to demand milk and making sounds similar to “muh.” By conversing or asking the child questions about milk, you can encourage them to speak more.
- Leverage Your Toddler’s Interests to Promote Speaking
Discover what fascinates your child, then utilise it to motivate them to communicate. The interests of your child may be in anything, including eating, play, music, or toys. It is your responsibility to learn about your child’s hobbies and talk to them about them to promote interaction.
- Read to your young child
Your toddler will benefit from daily reading by being exposed to a variety of words, learning how to use them, and internalising them. Therefore, the child can effectively communicate when using these words.
- Introduce Nursery Rhymes to Your Toddler
Young children adore music. By making them watch nursery rhymes and musical videos or even singing to them well-known songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Wheels On The Bus,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and others, you may utilise it to teach them words and encourage speaking.
- Let Your Toddler Socialize
By forcing your toddler to interact with other kids their age, you are placing them in an environment where they can learn. In these kinds of situations, they will speak more and express themselves more since they want to communicate with their pals.
- Prevent Baby Talk
Avoid the urge to converse with your toddler in baby language and speak to them clearly by giving them the proper pronunciation of words. By doing this, you may teach children how to pronounce words correctly and motivate them to speak.
- Praise Your Little One
When your youngster uses a new word, congratulate them. This might encourage the kid to pick up new words and speak more.
As a result,
To aid in your child’s language and speech development, use commonplace circumstances and events. With your kid, talk your way through the day. The point at any items that are lying around the house. Point out items you notice in a park or on the road if you take the youngster for a stroll.
To ensure that your toddler understands what you’re saying, be sure to utilise simple, plain language. Avoid using baby language because it could make the child confused about how to pronounce and understand particular words. Children imitate behaviour, so be considerate in your communication with them because they are watching you.