Learning to speak is a process that begins right at birth! From this time, your baby will make lots of sounds and noises, which include cooing, gurgling and, of course, lots of crying. And often, before the end of their first year, they may say their very first word.

When your child reaches toddler age, around 2, they will start to master language. Most babies will have a large vocabulary at 2-years-old, and they are able to string together words to express their needs and ideas. Your child has been learning words and sentences and sounds through listening to back and forth conversations since they were born.

Let’s go over expectations and things you can do to help encourage your toddler’s speech development.

Toddler Talking:
– Your toddler will probably start speaking in complete sentences from 24-30 months of age.
– They will be understood more by strangers from 26-36 months.
– They will start to use pronouns (I, you, we, they) and some plurals by 26-36 months.
– And they will understand most of what adults say when they are about 3-years-old.

By the time your toddler is 2-years-old, they will start to be able to name things like, “doggie” or “drink.” They will also be able to follow simple requests like, “bring your blankie” or “wave bye-bye.”

At 3-years-old they will start to form simple sentences. For example, “where daddy is gone?” And by now, most strangers will probably be able to understand what your child is saying, even if they still struggle to pronounce words clearly.

Talking can be a frustrating thing for toddlers. They will have so many ideas and things they want to express but just can’t get the words out. If you give your toddler time, they will be able to get there eventually. Trying and making mistakes is important when learning.

Toddlers respond best to positive encouragement and interest, rather than being corrected or made fun of, so avoid correcting your toddler’s mistakes too often. This can discourage them.

Play ideas to encourage toddler talking:
– Reading with your child
– Talking about everyday actions while doing them
– Responding and talking to your child about their interests
– Reciting nursery rhymes and singing songs
– Copy your child’s words to encourage having a two-way conversation and build on basic words
– When your child is “talking,” show that you are listening by smiling and looking at them, and praise their efforts
– Have patience, and leave time for your child to talk after you have said something to give them a chance to reply

Shelley Ortved believes that healthy communication is the foundation of a child’s healthy development. Her Speech and Language programs are offered to children of all ages, from toddlers to adolescents and are dedicated to helping your child gain confidence in speaking, learning and social interaction. For further information please browse through her website or contact her at 416 488 0988.