Oakley is 25 months old and is saying about 500 words and 2-4 word sentences. I feel like there was a switch that flipped about a month ago where she really started talking A LOT. She was saying pretty traditional words for months prior but she truly tries to say almost every word we work on today- ranging from elderberry to daddy sleep to need more water and everything in between.
I would like to mention that I am not an expert. It’s important to not compare child to child, especially what you see online. If you have a concern with any part of your child’s development, please discuss with their pediatrician or SLP (speech language pathologist)!
- Avoid “can you say” WORD. This puts pressure on the child and does not help them to say a word just by asking them to say it. I know it’s so hard to kick the habit but it truly makes a world of difference! Simply say the word you want them to repeat over and over
- Slow down the words you want them to say. When I tell Oakley we are going to do chores, I say “let’s go do c h o r e s” and really slow down on the “chore” word. Also, sound out the syllables
- While we want to speak slow, we don’t want to “baby talk”. I personally avoid using made up words. Example, she calls cookies “tooties” and while it’s adorable, I always use the right word.
- Work on a few new words a day- imagine if you were learning a new language. If you work on a few words at a time, you can build and add to your foundation without getting overwhelmed. Start small! Don’t try to jump right to hibiscus or pineapple, start with rose and apple!
- If your child says the incorrect word, example: yellow instead of blue, do not say “no”. Simply say the correct word over and over- slowly. Hearing “no” so often is discouraging and not helpful in encouraging to say the right word. Imagine if you were trying something new and you kept doing it wrong but you were trying and all you heard was “no” over and over.
- Use their interests! Oakley doesn’t know one word that has to do with makeup but she knows about 100 that have to do with chickens and being outside
- Copy your child’s attempt at words to increase the repetition of how to pronounce it correctly- again, try to use the correct word even if they don’t.
- Read to your child everyday- I aim for ten books a day spread out between morning and evening. I let Oakley pick what books she wants to read and we usually end up just pointing to things in the book and learning new words instead of actually reading now that she is saying so many words. Below, I have all of the books we read most often that I truly believe have contributed to how well she speaks now and how confident she is in trying new words:
- As a final tip, I avoid books that use the word “no”. Kids hear that word enough during the day (despite our best efforts) and I don’t want reading time to be so negative
I hope these tips help!