Milestones: Talking

As your mental, emotional and social development progresses, so will your baby gradually learn to use words to describe what it sees, hears, feels and thinks. Researchers today know that, long before the first spoken word, a child learns to use language rules and language the way an adult does.

From babbling to the first word

Children learn to speak within the first two years of life. This starts with your child using tongue, lips, palate, and possibly appearing teeth to make noises (Oohs and Aahs in the first one or two months, the chattering soon after). Soon the sounds become syllables like ""ma"" or ""ga"". From this moment your child will take more and more words from you, your partner and other caregivers. Between the second and third birthday, it then begins to speak in two or three words.

Development Steps

The birth cry of your child is the first step into the world of language. He is the expression for the fright to find himself in a new, unknown place after the tightness in the uterus. From that moment on, it will absorb sounds, sounds and words that will later influence its way of speaking.

Speech is inseparable from hearing. When it listens to how others speak, your child learns how words sound and how sentences are structured. In fact, many linguists believe that speech understanding begins in the uterus. Just as your unborn child has become accustomed to the sound of her heartbeat, so it adjusts to the sound of her voice. Already days after the birth it could hear your voice from others.

First to Third Month

The first way for your child to communicate is to cry. A shrill scream may mean that it is hungry, while a whimpering, choppy cry may mean that a diaper change would be needed. As you grow older, your child develops a delightful repertoire of sounds such as chuckles, sighs, and coos. Linguists believe that babies over four weeks old have a language ability that enables them to distinguish between similar syllables like ""ma"" and ""na"".

Fourth Month

Now your child starts babbling by connecting vowels and consonants (eg ""dada"" or ""jaja""). A first ""Mama"" or ""Baba"" could slip out of him now. Although you will surely melt away, your child will not connect these words with you. That comes later, about a year.His attempts at language will sound like a conscientious monologue in another language, endless strings of words. Vocalization is a game for your child, who experiments with the use of his tongue, teeth, palate and vocal cords, producing a lot of funny sounds. In this phase, babbling sounds the same with all children, whether you speak German, English or Japanese at home. Your child may prefer certain sounds (eg ""ka"" or ""da""), which it repeats over and over again, simply because it likes their sound or how it feels in the mouth.

Sixth to Ninth Months

When your child babbles or sings, it sounds like it makes sense. That's because it uses a similar tone and pattern similar to yours. Encourage your child's flow of speech by reading it to him.

12th to 17th month

Your child now speaks one or more words and knows what they mean. It also speaks with emphasis by raising the voice when it asks a question and says z. ""Arm?"" When it wants to be worn. He is now aware of the importance of language and feels the power to articulate his needs.

18th to 24th month

Your child's vocabulary now has around 200 words, many of which are nouns. Between the 18th and the 20th month, children learn ten or more words per day. Some learn a new word every 90 minutes, so be careful what you say. You can also combine two words into a simple sentence, eg. B. ""Mama Arm"". At the age of two, your child makes three-word sentences and sings simple melodies. The understanding of yourself as a self-sufficient person is fully mature and it begins to talk about yourself - what he likes or dislikes, what he thinks and feels. Using pronters can confuse your child and you can avoid them by saying ""Mom throws"" instead of ""I throw"".

25th to 36th month

Your child has to struggle for a while before it reaches the appropriate volume when speaking, but you learn that early enough. Slowly it also understands the meaning of the proverbs like me, me and you. At the age of two to three years, the vocabulary grows up to 300 words. Nouns and verbs are now linked to simple but meaningful sentences like ""I'm leaving now"".

At the age of three, your child is an experienced speaker. It can take part in longer conversations and adapt the tone of voice, language pattern and word choice to the interlocutor. So it uses z. For example, easier words in conversation with another child, but speaks fluently with you. His pronunciation is now very easy to understand. It can say its name and age fluently and will fulfill a requested favor.

What happens then?

The older your child gets, the more it becomes a chatterbox.You will hardly remember the time when it almost did not speak at all and you will enjoy it when you hear what it all did in the playgroup, what the girlfriend had to eat, what about Cinderella mean stepmom thinks or whatever it is dealing with. Now it will also approach the difficult art of writing.

Your task: Talk to your child!

Studies show that children whose parents have spoken extensively to them during their childhood have a significantly higher IQ than other children. Their vocabulary is also far greater than that of children who did not receive many linguistic suggestions. You can start already during pregnancy, then your child gets used to your voice. Read aloud or sing for your child while lying in the bath. After giving birth, talk to him when changing nappies, feeding or bathing, and giving him time to react with a smile or eye contact. In about the fifth month, you may observe how intense your mouth is. Keep talking and soon your child will answer you.

The baby language is always very tempting, but also speak in normal sentences. Your child will only learn to speak well if you teach it to him. You do not have to do without complicated words now. As long as you can make your child understand what you mean, using new words means expanding his vocabulary. The same applies to toddlers and preschool children whose language skills improve as long as you stimulate them through conversation.

Reading aloud is a wonderful way to expand language acquisition. Your baby will enjoy the sound of your voice, your toddler will enjoy the stories, and your preschooler will discuss the stories with you.

When to Worry

Babies with hearing problems stop babbling about six months later. If your child does not make (or at least tries) sounds, or seeks eye contact with you, contact the pediatrician. While some children make words as early as nine months, many wait until they are 13 or 14 months old. If your child does not say a word at the age of 15, or you still can not understand what it says, you should talk to your pediatrician. Some children may learn to speak late, but your pediatrician may rule out language development problems.

If your child does not speak end consonants at the age of three (for example, saying ""hun"" instead of ""dog"") or swaps one letter or syllable with another (for example, "" Cat """" paw ""says), then behind it may be a speech disorder or a hearing problem. Talk to her pediatrician so he can examine her child.

All infants stutter and stutter from time to time. Sometimes they are so excited to tell you something that moves them, that the words just do not want to come out. Pediatricians call this developmental stuttering. Have your child finish the sentence alone and avoid helping to intervene. This can be perceived as a reduction and does not help to cope with the situation.

An ongoing stuttering should be examined by a speech therapist. A child makes the most progress by doing speech therapy within the first six to twelve months after stuttering, regardless of age. You can ask your pediatrician for a referral, but many speech therapy centers now bill themselves with the health insurance companies.

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