Speech and Language Development: Helping Your 1- to 2-Year-Old

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Speech and Language Development: Helping Your 1- to 2-Year-Old

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These are some things you can do to help your 1- to 2-year-old learn words and say simple sentences:

  • Tell your child what you are doing. Say, "I am changing your diaper" and "I'm washing your face" when interacting with your child. Always speak slowly and clearly to your child. Tell her or him the names of favourite toys and other common objects around the house.
  • To help your child's brain develop, it's best to talk, play, sing, or read together instead of letting him or her watch TV.
  • Read to your child every day from books with colourful pictures, and point to the pictures while you read. Read books that are made of cloth or cardboard so that your child can hold them and turn the pages. Visit the library regularly.
  • Take turns when talking. Ask your child a question and wait for an answer. Let him or her take the lead in conversations. For example, if your child says "da-da-da," repeat it to show that you are picking up on the conversation.
  • Praise your child when he or she correctly labels a familiar object. When your child says "doggie" and points to a dog, reply, "Yes, that is a doggie."
  • Don't imitate your child's unclear speech, constantly correct, or embarrass your child by making him or her repeat unclear words, especially when other people are around. Correct your child in a positive way by rephrasing, repeating, and relabelling.
  • Sing simple songs with your child, such as "Happy Birthday." Encourage your child to talk with others, including other children his or her age.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last Revised February 4, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.