Thursday, May 28, 2009


Language development really takes off during this time, especially as your baby approaches the second birthday.
How Babies Communicate?
Most babies say their first words in the beginning of this period, though some start even sooner and others don't start until they're nearly 2 years old. Babies this age might have learned fragments of dozens of words that probably won't be recognizable yet. When they get around to talking, though, they'll probably progress quickly and recognize names of familiar people, objects, and body parts. By 2 years old, babies may use phrases and even two- to four-word sentences.
Your child should be able to respond to commands ("Roll the ball to Mommy") and should be fully aware of the names of familiar objects and family members.
What is your responsibility as a parent?
Instead of using "baby" words, teach your child the correct names for people, places, and things. Speak slowly and clearly, and keep it simple.
Your baby may still be communicating with gestures. Gestures are OK, but you should use a running commentary such as, "Do you want a drink?" (when he or she points to the refrigerator), then wait for a response. Then say, "What do you want? Milk? OK, let's get some milk." Such behavior encourages your baby to respond and participate in conversations. 
Between 15 and 18 months, your baby will probably begin to enjoy language games that ask him or her to identify things, such as: "Where's your ear?" and "Where is Mommy?" Your child's vocabulary will grow quickly; most babies mispronounce their words. Instead, emphasize the correct pronunciation in your response.
Should I Be Concerned?
Some babies don't talk until their second birthday and choose instead to get by with the use of gestures and sounds. Most babies this age have these communication milestones in common:
speak about 15 words by 18 months
put two words together to form a sentence by age 2
follow simple directions by age 2
Hearing problems may become more apparent during this stage because of the emergence of speech. Don't hesitate to report to the doctor. Sometimes chronic ear infections can leave kids with excessive fluid buildup that can interfere with normal hearing. Special tests can check for hearing loss.
Some parents worry that a toddler who is not speaking may have autism. Children with autism and related conditions may have delayed speech or other problems with communication, but poor social interactions, and limited or restricted interests or patterns of behavior are also hallmarks of the disorder. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's development, talk with your doctor.

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