Talking & Speech

Baby is 15 months – walking & talking – what we can say and do

How many words can a 15 month old say? Here's a list of ours and walking progress! baby-brain.co.uk

Look at my cool yellow hat

The baby (or is it toddler now?) is 15 months! He’s been talking more and is now walking fully – when I say fully, i mean he’s walking everywhere and not resorting to any crawling. However, his walking is still a bit robotic and jerky, cowboy-esque.

 

Here’s some words I’ve noticed he can say, appropriately and in context, although not all of them are clear:

  • thank you (clear; one of his first words)
  • daddy (very clear)
  • pea (very clear; he likes peas)
  • sock(s) (clear)
  • banana (but not very clearly)
  • attempts to say “open” but not clear at all
  • down (clear; put me down – is confusing up and down though, mainly just says “down” for wanting both to be picked up and put down)
  • sit down (clear; he likes to sit on the sofa)
  • wow (very clear)
  • wee wee (very clear; and will go sit on the potty – has probably been influenced by his brother’s potty training, also see here and here for more on potty training)
  • poo (clear)
  • apple (clear; one of his first words)
  • Sarah duck (kind of clear; a kid’s cartoon he and his brother like to watch about a girl called Sarah and her friend, a duck)
  • ball (not very clear)
  • twinkle twinkle (and can sing more of the song including up above the world so high, not very clear)
  • round (kind of clear – relates to wheels on the bus song)

 

Next development step with talking: putting two words together!! (not including wee wee)…

 

First words, first steps and (nearly) first birthday baby

Baby's first word and steps, nearly 12 months old. Baby-Brain.co.uk. Psychology, children, parenthood

I can talk and walk now! (nearly)

Ever noticed your baby/child becomes a little more grumpy, more difficult to settle, get to sleep, more crying etc just before a big developmental change? A week or so ago the baby (nearly 12 months old) needed a lot of help getting to sleep. He cried and cried if I dared put him down in his cot. I had to hold him, rock him, sit down next to the cot and pat his back until he fell asleep. He didn’t want to nap and was quite grumpy.
Big changes were afoot
So a few days ago we think he said his first word. He appeared to use it in context and appropriately. His first word was…
“Up”
Then today, he took his first steps! Haven’t been able to get him to re-create this however. The toddler I remember was quite uncertain around walking at first, but after a few tries his walking really sped on. So here’s to crazy baby and toddler running up and down the corridors!

Baby says Moo

Baby says moo: what my 11.5 month old can say and do (nodding)

“moo”

Baby says moo
The “baby” can now say moo. I’m not sure why it’s important or that I think it’s significant that a 11.5 month old can say “moo” when you ask “what sound does the cow make?”, but there we go. I also caught him nodding today like he was actually trying to say yes. I experimented with and observed what he was nodding in response to (when I say nod, he was kind of nodding his head but quite jerkily and if he was sitting down he would kind of bob his whole upper half up and down). He was apparently actually nodding to communicate yes. Woo, infant communication has been somewhat shaped and constructed in a way that adult humans can understand!!
Now on to other important animal sounds…

Verbal progression (19 months)

Biscuit - verbal progression at 19 months. We can now say Bikkit! Baby-Brain.co.uk

Biscuit

We have progressed from saying “Mumma” and “Dadda” to Mummy and Daddy (but only some of the time). And, more importantly, from “bis” (for biscuit) to…. BIKKIT! Yeah (aged 19 months). Now just need to wait for proper biscuit pronunciation.
We also had a longer sentence uttered to day – He asked “mumma hold the car”, whilst eating his dinner (wanted me to hold his toy car). Very good, although he forgot to call me mummy!

We are 18 months old! Child development and update at 18 months

Typical baby/toddler development at 18-24 monthsWe are one and a half years old! Time has gone quickly; it doesn’t seem like that long ago I was planning his little first birthday get together.

 

What have we noticed? Well in the last few weeks he’s:
  • Been using more than one word at a time and
  • Making small sentences.
For example, he might say “off the bus”, or “kiss owl” (kiss his toy owl).
  • He can also repeat short sentences and strings of 2 or 3 words that I say to him, although I don’t know how much he understands as it’s only repetition and not generated by himself in context. But, that said, this seems different because recently he’d only say one word at a time.

 

Typical developments at 18-24 months:

This timeline of typical development from birth to five years old from the NHS outlines skills and milestones at different ages. There’s also a link to an article from the Zero to Three website on their page here on child development at 18-24 months, what your toddler can do and how to support emerging skills.

 

 

child development at 18-24 months: toddlers start to learn ball skillsAccording to the NHS:
  • Apparently it’s typical at 1.5-2 years old for children to start to put at least 2 words together.
  • At this age toddlers will also learn to kick or throw a ball.
That’s great because we’ve signed up for football classes and have been going for a few months. Initially he wasn’t kicking the ball but was picking it up and putting it in the goal (at least he understood the concept). But more recently he has been able to kick the ball, plus we’ve been out with the ball at the weekends too, which I think has helped because of the added practice of those motor and coordinator skills.
  • From 1.5 to 4 years children start to develop bladder control
We bought a potty but haven’t started any potty training yet. For a month or even two now he’s been able to tell us when he’s done a poo which I assume means that he is more aware of his bodily functions and can communicate that. My plan is to buy a story book about using a potty to start to introduce the concept to him. I don’t know if he can tell us in advance yet that he needs to do a poo. We haven’t discussed that with him but I suppose I could start talking with him about “tell me if you need to do a poo”, or something, and reinforcing or rewarding if he says something.
Zero to Three write that
  • at 18-24 months toddlers are starting to use their imagination, e.g. feeding a toy pretend food, making car noises when playing with cars
I’ve definiately noticed this. The Little Lovely has “fed” his milk to some of his toys before. Not sure we’ve heard car noises though. Extend on these skills by pretend and imaginative play!

 

I will drop this banana. Child development and update at 18 months

I will drop this piece of banana on the floor! For no apparent reason!

I’ve noticed increased “obstinate” behaviour!! 

OK, not a fair way of putting it, but what I mean is that when I ask LL not to do something, he pauses and does it anyway, like “drop” his food on the floor (he throws it sometimes, but then looks up and says “dropped”), or touch on the television screen. I repeatedly ask him not to do it and issue a consequence like turning the television off (*gasp*, yes, we watch some television) and asking him to pick up the food off the floor and put it in the bin (which he does). But he still repeats the same behaviour.
  • Apparently at this young age he might understand what i’m saying, but not have the self control to do much about it (according to the Zero to Three handout on 18-24 month old development). And this is a skill that can take some time to develop. I guess I’ll have to remain consistent, firm, and give clear instruction and consequence anyway.

 

For other areas of development at 18-24 months (and from prenatal to 36 months old) see this brilliant “baby brain map”, (zero to three) that outlines different areas that are developing in the brain (e.g. social and emotional) at this time.

 

 

 

Baby talk – helping infants and children with speech

How to help speech and communication develop with babies and infants. baby-brain.co.uk

Hello?

16.5 months – we are copying a lot more words. Yesterday he learnt to say “cheese”, and “ring”. He can copy quite a few words now and use them appropriately. For example, today he went to the fridge, found the cheese and asked for cheese.

He doesn’t always pronounce everything “right” though. I’ve also noticed him trying to “talk” by saying nonsense words, with the odd real word in there like “bus”, usually relating to something we’ve just been playing with or is in front of him (e.g. toy bus).

 

What should I expect of baby talk?

 

 

Verbal communication and all those other related skills (non-verbal, facial expression, gesture, words, etc) are SKILLS. Babies and infants need to understand communication and words before they can learn to use these skills themselves. How can you teach and build these vital skills with infants? The site above writes:

You can help your child learn by holding them close, making eye contact and talking to them as soon as they’re born.

They will look back at you and very soon begin to understand how conversations work.

Even making ‘baby noises’ will teach your baby useful lessons about listening, the importance of words and taking turns in a conversation.

When baby gets a bit older and starts to notice and take interest in their surroundings:

Start naming and pointing at things that you can both see (‘Look, a cat!’). This will help your baby learn words and, in time, they’ll start to copy you.”

 

Putting words together: 

We haven’t started this yet, but apparently it doesn’t happen until around age 2, when toddler can say around 100 words.

 

Other baby talk tips:

  • From day one – asking questions such as, “are you hungry?” or “would you like some milk?”

  • When you’re out with baby or around the house – pointing out objects and saying things such as “look, there’s a dog!”

  • If baby can partly say a word, e.g. “poon” (spoon), then repeat the word in it’s correct form – “yes, spoon”, rather than copy baby so that they can hear the full pronunciation

  • Give baby choices and questions to increase their vocabulary such as “would you like a strawberry yoghurt or an apple”

 

Concerns about your child’s speech?

This website, Talking Point, has a lot of information about children’s communication, broken down into ages and stages from 0 to 17 years old, such as this page here about development at 12-18 months.

They also have “progress checkers“, such as the one here for 12 month olds, and one for 18 months old (other ages available), that asks a series of questions about what baby can do.

 

  • For the progress checker please note they write that: “This Progress Checker has been written by speech and language therapists, based on typical developmental milestones – It is intended to be used as a guide only. No diagnosis can be made as children are not seen face to face – It is possible that concerns may be highlighted when there are not issues with children’s speech and language. If in doubt, check with a health visitor or speech and language therapist – If your child has just had a birthday, you might want to look at the age-group younger than them. Similarly, if your child is coming up to a birthday, you might want to check the age-group older than them.

 

So enjoy a nice little chat!

Update on our week and development at 13 months – talking, walking, accents

We are into the 13th month. What has the Little Lovely (LL) been doing?

 

update at 13 months - now we are walking. baby-brain.co.uk. Psychology, babies, motherhood, blog

Baby Feet

He started walking about a month ago, with his hand being held and then independently. Before he turned 1 we saw maybe 1 little step a couple of times. Then a few weeks later a definite series of 3 steps or so, which turned into more steps and then he just decided he would walk. I wonder if it was a confidence thing because he could walk with two or one hand being held but wasn’t able to do it alone. Now he is walking quite a bit, not very fast and with a slightly awkward gait and leg position, bit like a cowboy but he is probably walking more than crawling to get places he wants to go.
He also decided to dive head first onto the floor few days ago. Not from very high but resulted in a slight bruise. We called the NHS helpline on “111” (when you need help and advice but it’s not an emergency) and they were semi-helpful, if not a bit “automated”. I think the 111 number involves call centre staff who go through a series of prescribed questions with you over the phone, but they might not necessarily be highly medically trained. Anyway, he’s all ok but was an unpleasant experience.

 

We are also talking more and he has added more words to his vocabulary. There is a lot of gobbledegook but no string of real words yet, or even two real words linked together, only single words. His favourite word at the moment is “bath”. “Bus” comes second. He can also say toes, and point to them, and this morning was able to repeat “Kirk”, and “Spock” when watching Star Trek. He has a strange, possibly twang of northern accent for some reason (we don’t have one), for example, he says “baath” (rather than barth), “turrs” (rather than toes), “turst” (toast) and “shurrs” (shoes), that I can think of off the top of my head.

 

Which makes me wonder, do babies speak with an accent?

Well, we don’t have this odd northern accent so i’m not sure where he gets it from, I think it’s just the way he is able to pronounce certain syllables at the moment and possibly about the maturity of his palate as he is still quite young. Once things flow a bit smoother verbally maybe it will change. Looking into this a bit more, however, this article from the BBC writes about research that looked at “cry melodies” in newborns and found “clear differences in the shape of the infants’ cry melodies that corresponded to their mother tongue”. Further:

Babies begin to pick up the nuances of their parents’ accents while still in the womb

The reason for this?

 

They say the babies are probably trying to form a bond with their mothers by imitating them… “Newborns are highly motivated to imitate their mother’s behaviour in order to attract her and hence to foster bonding”…

 

…This is really interesting because it suggests that they are producing sounds they have heard in the womb and that means learning and that it is not an innate behaviour.

Interesting. Also, they suggest the “cry melodies” were shaped because “melody contour” might be the only aspect of the mother’s speech that a newborn is able to imitate at their stage (as vocal control does not develop until later).

 

Older babies at one year also “acquire the specific accented sounds of their parents and…the first year of listening makes a lasting impact on the way we speak for our entire lives”, according to research by Professor Patricia Kuhl, as discussed briefly here.

 

Babies and infants then do pick up on accents and nuances of their parent’s pronunciations. But, we might have to wait a bit longer to see what kind of accent LL develops.

Baby’s first words and speech development


Baby talk - how to support infant speech & language development, typical developments at 0-12 months. Baby-Brain.co.uk

What was your child’s first word? What words are “normal”?

This article discusses: first words – speech development at 6-12 months and 0-6 months, tips to support and encourage development at 12 months, the importance of talking to and around infants

 

Just came across this list of first words with examples from a number of children, and the story behind them. Here are a few:
  • Oscar – Oscar is the cat next door. When Oscar comes in to the house, he always says ‘hello’ to the baby
  • Pop – When a balloon she was holding burst she copied the word pop
  • Book – As her parents used to look through books with her and repeatedly tell her what they were
  • Duck
  • Quack quack– baby started saying quack quack when her parents played with her rubber duck in the bath. Now she gets very excited whenever she sees ducks or chicks in books
  • Hat – As she loved putting on hats
  • Bear – As mum’s old bear was always on her bed
  • Fish – He loved watching fish in his friend’s aquarium
  • Samich (sandwich)-  His mother was standing at the kitchen counter right beside him when baby reached up and said “samich”

 

So looks like first words can really vary. I think that the Little Lovely might have said “dada” first, but also he was saying a few other things like “kiss”, and “fish” because we went to an aquarium and I kept saying look at the fish, the fish, a lot. By the end of it, he was saying fish. Quack was also an early favourite.
Monitoring and encouraging first words
Baby’s First Word – an initiative from the National Literacy Trust (see the Words for Life website) – you can download a pack from here that has a series of templates to monitor first words and more information. The pack includes:
Everything you need to get involved in Baby’s First Word, including a step-by-step guide, poster and hand-out for parents.

 

How does speech develop?

Talking Point, a site that gives some good information and resources on children’s communication writes that children develop skills at their own pace but some general things that you might see between 6 months and 1 year are that children will:

  • Listen carefully, and turn to someone talking on the other side of the room.
  • Look at you when you speak and when their name is called.
  • Babble strings of sounds, like ‘no-no’ and ‘go-go’.
  • Make noises, point and look at you to get your attention.
  • Smile at people who are smiling at them.
  • Start to understand words like ‘bye-bye’ and ‘up’ especially when a gesture is used at the same time.
  • Recognise the names of familiar objects, things like ‘car’ and ‘daddy’.
  • Enjoy action songs and rhymes and get excited when sung to.
  • Take turns in conversations, babbling back to an adult.

 

How to encourage and support your child 12 months:

encourage your child at this stage:

  • Make different sounds to interest your child. This can be the sound of your voice or things like a rattle or squeaky toy.
  • Pointing to sounds will help develop your child’s listening skills. This will also help their awareness of the world around them.
  • Encourage your child to look at you during activities. This could be dressing, feeding or nappy changing. This will help your child’s attention and communication skills.
  • Talk about everyday activities, like getting dressed, eating and bathing.
  • Copy your baby when they are babbling. This is a very good way to show how to take turns in communication. This will encourage them to make even more sounds.
  • Use actions with words. Try waving as you say ‘bye-bye’ or picking up their cup as you say ‘drink’. This will help your child to relate what they see and do with language.
  • Sing action songs and play games like ‘peek-a-boo’ to encourage communication and attention skills.
  • Have some special time with your child each day to play with toys and picture books.
Why talking to babies is important - the psychology of it. Science, brought to you by Baby-Brain.co.uk

Why talking to babies is important

Talking about everyday activities with babies is important.

Research (1) has also shown that while reading to baby and showing them pictures did contribute to cognitive development in terms of increasing scores on problem-solving and communication scales of a test, more substantial effects were found for:

the more informal activity of frequently talking to the infant while doing other things; and this was observed for both communication and problem-solving.

Reading was shown to increase both problem-solving and communication, showing pictures only had a positive effect on communication scores, but talking had a more substantial effect than both reading and picture showing.

 

But will baby understand when I talk to them?
Babies at 6 months have been shown to understand that concept of speech (2) – i.e. that speech is used to communicate information (rather than random, interesting sounds that come out of our mouths). They also prefer speech over other sounds (3)

 

Younger babies 

How children develop speech and language between 0 and 6 months (quote from talking point)


by 6 months, usually children will:

 

  • Turn towards a sound when they hear it.
  • Be startled by loud noises.
  • Watch your face when you talk to them.
  • Recognise your voice.
  • Smile and laugh when other people smile and laugh.
  • Make sounds to themselves, like cooing, gurgling and babbling.
  • Make noises, like coos or squeals, to get your attention.
  • Have different cries for different needs. For example one cry for hunger, another when they are tired.

How to support the child at this stage:

  • Mirror/copy the sounds baby makes – it’s the start of a conversation and will encourage more sound making
  • Ensure baby can see your face clearly when you talk to them. Newborn visual range is not that great and vision is developing the first months, so maybe move a little closer to talk to them. Eye contact is important for language development.
  • As with 12 month olds, talking to baby about what you are doing is important as they will hear and start to learn words.
    • I didn’t even know my Little Lovely was paying attention until one day he copied a word that I had been saying, or I was talking about brushing my hair and then he made a motion on his own head like he was brushing his hair. He was listening to me, all along but with no verbal feedback from him before that point, I didn’t realise  just how much he was taking in.
  • Talking point suggests using a “sing-song” voice with baby to keep them interested in what you are saying. An article on music and child development that baby-brain wrote recently also highlighted the usefulness of singing with baby:
    • Singing is important for vocabulary development: “Singing songs teaches children about how language is constructed. When you sing, words and phrases are slowed down and can be better understood by your baby. Singing regularly will help your baby to build up a vocabulary of sounds and words long before they can understand the meaning”, according to this article from the BBC.

 

Some links to other resources

Talking Point website

Talk to you baby – from the Words for Life website

More tips here, from the NHS on “helping your child’s speech”.

A video from the NHS on “how can I help my child to start talking? (12 to 30 months)”

 

References:

  1. Murrary, A., & Egan, S. (2014). Does Reading to Infants Benefit their Cognitive Development at 9-months-old? An Investigation using a Large Birth Cohort Survey. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, Vol. 30, No. 3, October 2014, pp.303-315
  2. Vouloumanos, A., Martin, A., & Onishi, K. H. (2014). Do 6-month-olds understand that speech can communicate? Developmental Science, pp 1–8
  3. Vouloumanos, A., & Werker, J.F. (2004). Tuned to the signal:the privileged status of speech for young infants. Develop-mental Science.  7 (3), 270-276

Updates at 10.5 months – teeth, sickness and words

So what’s been going on recently for the Little Lovely? He’s 10 and a half months.
♥ He’s currently sick with some stomach bug that he picked up from who knows where. He got ill the evening after attending a baby class, so probably some other child at the class or he picked up and put something contaminated in his mouth that had been touched/mouthed by an infected child. Slightly annoyed, want to email the class and tell them he’s been sick now for 6 days, but babies put things in their mouths, but on the other hand, he’s never been sick before. Anyway, 3 trips to the doctor have been had and he is ok, but it could take 2 weeks to go. He’s not dehydrated and doesn’t have a temperature. If you’re concerned about or want to read more about Gastroenteritis in children, here is an NHS page about it! Have fun reading about the vomiting.
♥ He has a molar coming through on the bottom right. He had two hemotomas on the back of the top left and right gum, where I thought molars were coming through, his upper first molars, but no teeth have appeared. Instead one is coming in on the bottom (lower first molars), which is strange because according to information on appearance of teeth in children it’s usually the upper molars that appear first and then the lower ones at 12-18 months-ish.
♥ He can follow some simple instructions and pays attention when you say something to him such as “Little Lovely, can you say DaDa”, or “can you say cup” – and he’ll most of the time say DaDa or in the last few days can say “cup”, but says it as “bupp” – or something to that effect. He really just makes a “buu” or “bupp” noise but will say it specifically if you ask him to say “cup”, so I think this shows evidence of him listening to what you are saying and trying to speak.
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