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The Mommy Mindset: Baby Talk and Language Development

We can’t help but compare our kids sometimes, but sometimes we get a little too caught up in the “should bes,” I think. This week we discuss language development.

Thank You for participating this week: Gena of Captain Fussy Buckets, Darcy of Tales From the Nursery, LaVonne of Long Wait for Isabella, Emily of Nap Time is My Time, Mariah of Formula Mom, Sarah of East 9th Street, Lena of Way2GoodLife, Ghada of Mama Goes BAM, and Leila of The Go To Mommy.

Lena: My kids are not early talkers and I get that each kid goes at his own speed. However, I cannot help myself – I compare my kids to other kids. My friend’s 2 yo daughter speaks almost as good as my 4 yo, and my 2.5 yo boy finally started pointing instead of screaming when he wants something.

Gena: Lena, do you speak more than one language at home? I’ve heard that can delay speaking for a while. My first was an early talker and people always comment on his speaking, but our second didn’t meet the 3 words expectation at his 1 year check-up. So I am constantly comparing him to other kids, and his older brother. He did just have ear tubes put in, so it’s quite possible that his hearing was/is affected.

Gena: Also, I have a couple of friends who have kids with speech apraxia, where they can’t make the connection between the brain and the mouth to speak. Kids are just different and do things at different speeds, but if you think there is a problem, definitely talk with your pediatrician. Early intervention has really helped my friends’ kids out!

Darcy: I was an early talker so we aren’t too surprised by my daughter’s vocabulary. Signing helped too. Knowing signs counts as knowing words per the doctor same as if spoken because the comprehension is there. The two languages thing I’ve heard as well. They don’t develop language as fast because they are learning 2 at once which is a lot to process.
LaVonne: My daughter is now four but it took her longer than normal (for a girl, it seems) to speak clearly. She is still struggling with a few letter sounds. I am not too worried about it. I am thankful we used sign language with her as a baby, this allowed her to communicate with us when she didn’t know the words.
Leila: My daughter didn’t start talking until she was 2ish and wasn’t even clear until 2 1/2. She is 6 now and speaks perfectly, but we think that’s because she has grown up with more adult socialization then kid socialization. My son on the other hand is almost 4 and doesn’t always talk the greatest. He tries. Bless his heart he tries and his vocabulary is growing, but he was a way late talker because he didn’t need to talk. In between us babying him and his sister telling us what he needed- he didn’t need to talk. Everyone else did it for him!
Emily: We used signing, which was wonderful. I loved that The Boy was able to communicate his needs/wants before he was verbal. He spoke his first word (‘Hi’) just after turning five months old. Now, at 2.5 he has a wonderful vocabulary, speaks in full sentences and you can carry on a very lengthy (and entertaining!) conversation with him. Also, I never did ‘baby talk’ with him – and I talked to him all day long. When I was folding laundry, I’d tell him the color of the shirt & who’s it was, if I was preparing dinner, I’d describe everything. In my opinion, the more language the child is exposed to, the more likely they’ll be to pick it up.
Darcy: I think lots of regular talking is important but motherease or baby talk has its place too. I remember reading somewhere that the singsongy rhyme stuff is helpful for them especially when they are little little. I mean I read her a lot of Dr. Seuss! I do sometimes get concerned about certain consonants being off but I think that’s fairly normal. Like she says boo for moo but she knows that sound goes with a cow. She talks FAST in her jibber ish too lol
Emily: Whenever I read Dr Seuss to The Boy, I find myself talking the same way for at least 15 minutes after we’ve finished!
Darcy: Rhyming and songs are excellent for learning especially when it comes to recall!
Emily: Yes! Exposure to music is super important. We’ve been taking music classes (through the Music Together) program since The Boy was 6 months old. I am sure that contributed to his speech & language development.
Gena: I agree, Darcy, the sing songy stuff is good because it helps enunciate the sounds. But I was talking about using words like “wittle” and using made up words for EVERYTHING all of the time, so the poor kid doesn’t know how to speak or understand real English, KWIM? I think I’ve read that moms naturally have that sing songy voice when talking to their babies….so it’s very beneficial in the baby stage. But there should be a good mix. Kids aren’t going to pick up a large vocabulary if you’re not talking to them a lot and using a “normal” voice. These are really good thoughts, I’m enjoying this thread!
Mariah: Moon This makes me think about something J said to me not too long ago. He made a comment about how I talk to W like he is an adult or something. It’s true! I ask him questions and converse with him just as I would with an older child. Of course, I do the baby talk sometimes too. Music is a huge part of things for us and I’m hoping it will help him. We never quite managed the signing but we make do. So far, at 14 months, he doesn’t really have any words. He will say “up” sometimes and “ba ba” and “mama” but those aren’t very consistent. My pediatrician (who thinks I worry more than I do) assured me that it’s normal for boys.
Sarah: My husband had issues with speech development as a child and they finally determined part of his problem was his hearing. He had multiple ear infections, tubes, etc. at a very young age.
Gena: thank goodness, Mariah. I think W is just a few days older than Baby D and….well, yes, here I go comparing again…but that sounds about where D is. phew. :)
Darcy: Recently I read (well hubby read!) an article about the 20 words a 2 year old should be able to comprehend. If they didn’t have those it was an indicator of possible reading issues later. I need to find and share it.
Lena: The other problem I see if my son IS talking, but I don’t understand him: Is it considered a word if I don’t understand? Did he say something or was it just gas?
Leila: ‎Darcy, Yahoo just had an article today about “25 words toddlers should be using” and something about if they aren’t by the age of 2, it could indicate a hearing problem or possible autism. I didn’t bother reading it because it’s just jumping to conclusions in my opinion.
Darcy: This article talked more about reading difficulties not that it signaled hearing or autism. Though, those things can raise red flags to delays. This was more of if they aren’t comprehending (not necessarily saying but just understanding) it may mean they will have some reading delays and difficulties – so they may need extra help.
Darcy: But this we read last weekend – not on Yahoo news.
Leila: Oh, the one I mentioned was today on Yahoo and the headline had said about the hearing problem or the autism concern. It listed the 25 most common words a toddler should know and say by 2 and if not, don’t panic, but get the child evaluated. I’m not sure my kids could properly say the 25 words by their age of 2…
Ghada: It’s so difficult to know, but I have to reiterate – TRUST YOUR MAMA INSTINCTS! Don’t compare and don’t take what others say at face value. My son always looks 1-2 years older than he is, so people often expect more. One preschool teacher recommended we see a speech therapist – after months of waiting, we finally got in to see one. She was surprised we were there. His speech was just fine. I cried. I knew all along it seemed to be, but of course I was swayed by someone that I thought knew better than me. I can’t remember everything the therapist said, but one thing that stuck was that as long as mom and dad can understand the child, that is a strong indicator that all is fine. Proper language dev that others can understand can happen at 4. Also, our society expects kids to speak at the 80%+ level, Preston was more at the 60%+ level and that is just fine.
What are your experiences?


Saturday 3rd of March 2012

my baby is only 3 months but this post is very interesting.. i can't wait till she starts talking!


Wednesday 7th of March 2012

It'll be an awesome moment - just don't let the worries get to you if you have any!