Toddler development and learning to talk [video]

Video author: Streaming Well
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Video Transcript
Baby Care: encouraging speech development in toddlers

Dr. Carol Cooper, General Practitioner: From the age of 2 months, your baby will begin to coo, but she won't be able to say words until she's about a year old, and she may not be forming sentences until she's between 2 or 2-and-a-half years old. Use eye contact and attention when you're talking to your baby. This helps her learn to speak.

Reading her stories, singing nursery rhymes, and leaving gaps in conversation for her to fill will also help her language development. A toddler may be put off from speaking if her parent corrects her pronunciation. Instead be positive and encouraging by saying things like "Yes, that's right," and then you can repeat the word correctly in a new sentence. Toddlers often develop their own words for things, and while you're able to understand what she's saying, don't be tempted to use that word back at her because the best way for her to learn is by mimicking your speech.

You can help language development by being patient and positive. Children develop each at their own pace, and how quickly they speak is linked with her inborn ability to use language. All the same, if your child isn't saying recognizable words at 18 months, you should speak to your health visitor as your child may need a hearing test.

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