A parent’s happiness is unmatched when their little one starts making cute little sounds. When they start speaking words and start calling you mama and papa, even incomprehensible words will get you excited. As they grow older, they’ll start to put words together and effectively convey what they want to say.
But before you get worried that your child is not yet speaking, it’s important to note that children learn to talk at different speeds. Furthermore, your child’s teething stage can affect their speech development. Those aching gums can affect your child’s speech patterns if not addressed properly. These aches can cause an early trauma to your child which can lead to speech impediment.
In this blog post, we’ll help you navigate your way around your children’s language development and give you some practices to help them with their speech and other oral health concerns.
Continue to take note of these practices to help your parenting journey.
The first three years of a child’s speech development
There’s no need to alarm yourself if your kids are slow when it comes to talking. Children between 0 to 3 years old have different learning paces when it comes to speaking. But it’s also helpful to be observant to pinpoint an issue early if it arises. To help you, here are some observable skills you can spot through the first three years.
First 6 months
It will be rare to hear your kids make cooing sounds or even random babbling during the first six months. Instead, the sound coming from your kids will probably be from their cries. During this stage, they will start to recognize sounds. You can see little kids following the direction of the sound with their heads.
This is a good sign of speech development, especially when they turn to you when you speak to them or call them by their names. Eventually, they’ll be able to mimic these sounds and say their first word.
6 months to year 1
During this phase, you will notice your kids produce more sounds. For example, they’ll start to babble when you talk to them as if they are answering you back. In this period, your kids will start to understand simple words like “yes,” “no,” and “don’t,” which are good indicators of their communication skills.
You can expect to hear your baby’s first words a little past their first year.
Year 1 to year 2
This is the time when their vocabulary grows. You can expect your kids to speak and know the meaning of at least 20 words. They’ll start to mimic the words coming out of your mouth at this stage. Furthermore, your children will understand simple command phrases like, “come here” or “go pick up your toy.”
You should be able to observe that your kids can follow simple tasks at this point and be able to convey the things they want to say by using simple words. For example, when they are hungry, they can tell you “milk.”
Year 2 to year 3
After three years, you can observe a great expansion of your child’s vocabulary. According to expert studies, kids can already speak and understand more than 250 words at this age. In addition, at three years old, your kids can already converse with you and name other family members and common things they see in their surroundings.
It is also the phase when your kids will ask so many questions and say everything that comes to their minds.
Helpful practices to teach your toddlers how to speak
The guidelines above aren’t hard and fast rules. Some children can speak more advanced for their age, and some will be slower than usual. There’s no need to worry unless you see behaviors out of the ordinary. Instead take note of the easy ways to help your kids practice speaking.
Take time to read together.
According to doctors, the most effective way of developing your kid’s speech is through reading time. Doctors recommend reading to your kids every day for at least half an hour. The sounds you produce and even how you move your mouth are essential for kids’ learning. Little kids tend to copy what the adults do. So if you indulge them with new words now and then, it will help them speak on their own in no time.
Speak all the time if possible.
Keeping silent will not help your kids speak. Even though they can’t answer properly yet, hearing you speak can prompt them to communicate. For example, you are walking in the park with your kids. You can narrate everything you see in your surroundings. It will be a learning experience for your kids.
Furthermore, it’s always helpful to elaborate on the things your kids say. For example, your kids say “butterfly.” You can expand on it and say, “Yes, it’s a beautiful yellow butterfly.” With this, you can teach your kids to communicate better.
Avoid baby talk.
Your babies may enjoy it if you baby talk to them, but it won’t help them with their articulation. Hearing the proper use of words and pronunciation at an early age will help them learn faster. Furthermore, correct your kid’s pronunciation when they use a word incorrectly. But don’t get frustrated when they can’t do it immediately. It’s normal for kids to have a hard time producing certain sounds. Instead, continue to use the proper words so they can say it properly over time.
Control their screen time.
Although media can help your kids speak and understand words, too much exposure to it can have negative effects, especially when it’s unsupervised. Be strict when allowing your kids to watch cartoons or other forms of media. Many doctors recommend that children below five years of age get no more than one hour of screen time a day.
Overuse of electronic gadgets, especially for kids 18-months and below, is one reason for speech delay.
The best teething toys for your kid’s growing teeth
Since we are talking about speech and the mouth area, it’s also important to take note of your kid’s teething discomfort from their 6th month to their first year. This is the time when their teeth start to come out, and their gums start to ache. Any changes in your baby’s teeth and overall health can affect their speech. Fortunately for parents, there is a simple way to help their babies overcome this painful period.
Teething toys are a great help to relieve gum pain. There are different materials for chewing toys available in the market. For example, there are wooden teethers, plastic teethers, and even gel ones. But how can you be sure these teethers are safe for your kids to use?
Ashtonbee offers you the best teething toys for babies. It’s guaranteed safe for your kids to use and eases the pain on their swollen gums and growing teeth. Let’s check out your options so you can choose the best teething toys for your little one.
Fruit teething toy set – $14.99
- This baby teether toy comes in 4 pieces per pack with fun fruity designs that your kids will surely love. In addition, the teether is guaranteed to be non-toxic for your kids to chew on safely.
- The teether has silicone beads that provide different textures and sensations to your kid’s gums, promoting pain relief and comfort.
- The teethers are easy to clean and are perfect to carry around for your kids to use.
Baby feeder pacifier – $13.99
- This teether doubles as a feeding pacifier. The feeder has small holes that allow small bits of food to pass through. For example, you can put mashed fruits and vegetables, which your kids can enjoy chewing on.
- You can freeze purees and milk in this feeding pacifier. You kids can chew on them as the cold sensation numbs their swollen little gums. Furthermore, this pacifier is a perfect tool for transitioning your kids to solid food.
- The feeder has an easy-grip handle to teach your kids to eat and hold on their own. In addition, it’s made from 100% high-quality food-grade silicone, so it’s safe for your kids to put it in their mouths.
Ashtonbee’s teethers are PVC-, BPA-, lead- and phthalates-free. In addition, we can assure you that all products are non-toxic and long-lasting.
Listening to your kid’s first words is pure joy. It gets more exciting when you can converse with them and share things that strengthen your bond. Celebrate every achievement of their milestone, big or small, to encourage them to speak and communicate better.
We hope these tips we shared help your child’s speech development, while our recommendation for teething toys helps you take care of your kid’s oral health. In addition, you can visit our shop for more premium quality baby product selections.