Your little one is well past their first birthday now, and there might be some big expectations piling on. Their little feet will be itching to walk (if they’re not already) and you’re desperate to hear more words coming out of their mouth. Milestones are important to help judge how their development is going, but remember every baby is different. Soon enough they will be chatting away and telling you stories nonstop.
Should my baby be talking by now?
Most babies will have said their first word by this point, most commonly it will be mama or dada, but don’t get offended if it’s something to do with food or a favourite toy or pet! Your little one’s first word is a memorable moment in your family, so get excited! Other than that, at this time they will most likely be joyfully reciting around three other words in their vocabulary. From doggy to milk you will be hearing them on a constant loop throughout the day. By now they might be communicating through pointing at objects when you say them or repeating the simple words you tell them. A fun way to celebrate and remember these moments are by recording them, and repeating the words back to them, and encouraging them with praise. Hearing your excitement will only make them want to speak more – and by recording it you’ll have a gorgeous memory to keep. Don’t worry about how many words, or stringing sentences together just yet, you’ll have plenty of time to talk around 2 years when the lightbulb turns on and the speech floodgates open.
What if my little one isn’t speaking yet?
Don’t fret! It’s difficult to not compare them to their playground friends or social media, but remember that every child is different and they will get there in their own time. As long as they are showing effort and interest they are developing and working on it. If they make noises and use their voice but have yet to form a proper word, they are just practising and one day out of the blue you’ll hear it.Encouraging them with lots of opportunities during storytime and games, such as pointing at their toys and saying the words out loud. Ask them questions and give them the opportunity to choose things with their words by asking them things like, “milk or juice?”. When they make noises give them direct eye contact so that they feel heard and more excited to make some progress. Speak to them often and emphasise words like mama or dada that they can begin to formulate. If you’re still worried about their progress, contact your GP. Other than that you can consider a speech pathologist. Your little sidekick will be chirping away in no time!