Parents of early talkers, I need your advice. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 11-13-2011, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter started consistently saying words I could recognize a few weeks ago at 10 months. Now she is repeating everything I say (or trying!) and she is picking up several new words every day. Today she even used a two word combination (more water) but that's only happened once so it might be a fluke.

I have to admit I am a little bit scared at how quickly this is going and I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to help her communicate. She's trying SO hard, but there are still many sounds that she doesn't know how to make. I try to talk to her a lot and label everything but other than that I am at a loss. Any advice would be appreciated, also stories and anecdotes of course! Thank you.
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#2 of 21 Old 11-13-2011, 05:24 PM
 
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Just talk to her. Read her stories. Tell her the names of food choices in the supermarket. She and you will be fine.



My dd is bright and was an early walker and talker. At 12 months in a crowded room, she would say " 'cuse me" to part the crowd in front of her... folks would then trip over themselves to talk to me and her dad about what we'd done with her. Uh, we ate lots of protein in pregnancy, had a natural birth and we talk to her. No, we aren't doing flashcards. Yes, we read to her.. mostly at bedtime. No, she doesn't have a special diet but she is still breastfed. People are funny.
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#3 of 21 Old 11-14-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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DS is the same! Early words, early sentences, and now at 21 months we are having the most amazing conversations. I'd say just enjoy it, have fun with it - so cool to know what's going on in the hearts and minds of such little people. I also think it has helped him maintain his mostly contented personality as he approaches 2 - when you can communicate well, there is less frustration!

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#4 of 21 Old 11-14-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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DS was the same.  We teach him sign language.  When he is interested in something, we teach the sign.  He is 27 months and knows around 200 signs, amazing. 


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#5 of 21 Old 11-14-2011, 12:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goldenwillow View Post

DS was the same.  We teach him sign language.  When he is interested in something, we teach the sign.  He is 27 months and knows around 200 signs, amazing. 



Actually I feel differently. I'm not arguing, clearly signing is working for you guys, but here's my take:

 

We taught DS a few signs as a baby although were never that consistent. Then around 12 months he started talking and it took off pretty quickly. At that point I decided not to use sign language anymore because, well, for most of the important everyday words he uses the words, ya know? And I feel that signing would actually discourage his talking which seems to be his natural flow at this point. I know many parents love signing and it gives the child many more possibilities to communicate, but I've also heard~ and it makes sense~ that some kids will delay speech slightly when they are signing because they already have what they need to communicate in the signs. So I personally would not recommend using sign language at this point, except maybe for a few essentials that your DS doesn't seem to be picking up verbally, if you or she feel frustrated with the lack of communication.

 

 

...but actually I came here to say that I was kind of confused by your post. I'm not sure I understand why you feel the need to do more. It sounds like your LO is clearly learning naturally and rapidly, and it just doesn't seem like more is needed, does it? You are doing what most parents naturally do, which is the natural way language is learned, without stress and without trying really. I get that you want to help her because she is finding joy in learning, so do what has been recommended here and just keep talking to her and reading a lot. I am not someone who believes we need to do anything special to teach children language, that it is a natural process and trying too hard can create stress and kill any joy the child has, IMHO. Just share her joy and be natural. I'm finding it's just the cutest thing ever to hear a little toddler speak and we are really having fun with it! No need to do much more than enjoy IMO. blahblah.gif     thumb.gif


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#6 of 21 Old 11-14-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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I agree with PJ, I don't see the need to do more so I'm a bit confused too, it sounds like she is doing just fine without you doing anything special.

My one piece of advice would be to remember how old she actually is. It's easy to get caught up in how old she might act and forget that she is not even 1. So it helps to be mindful of that when you consider what your expectations are of her -- just because she CAN talk doesn't mean she will always want to in various situations, for example, and if she's 10mos old emotionally, that's something to keep in mind when talking to her or requesting things of her.

My DS started talking around 9mos, saying things like "kitty" and "uh-oh drop cup"... by 18mos he was talking in regular sentences & had a vocabulary of around 1000 words, so could usually express most things he wanted to say. Now at almost 3 is still very verbal, words are one area in which he particularly excels. I never did anything special with him, just talked to him (and not constantly, quiet is important too!!) and read to him whenever he requested it. Now that I think of it, I also did tend to parrot his words back to him, correcting any grammatical errors, but in a conversational tone. So if he said, "I felled and hurted my knee," I'd say something like, "Oh, you fell and hurt your knee, are you OK?" Not something I made a conscious effort to do and it wasn't a big deal, not, "Oh, you mean you FELL and HURT your knee," just normal conversational parroting in a way that shows I heard him but also served a second purpose of reinforcing proper grammar. DH & I do tend to talk to him like an adult (we don't use simpler words or 'baby talk' sentences) but we try to keep our expectations of him at an age-appropriate level.

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#7 of 21 Old 11-14-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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I've had 4 early talkers.  I think the biggest thing is to listen very, very closely.  Once you have recognized that they are trying to talk, there is a good chance that a lot of what they say IS a word.  If you pay attention, you'll be able to decode it.  Just today, dd3 (13mo) was yelling something from the chair in the kitchen.  At first, I thought she was just yelling, but then I realized she was saying, "Down! Down! Down!"   So, I said, "You would like down?  Down, please."  And put her on the floor. 

 

My really little ones also tend to speak in phrases.  They say the same things I regularly say to them.  It is easy to miss a whole big thing coming out of such a little one, but they get frustrated when I don't understand.  Things like "hereyago."  Or, "nutherbite?"  They are not speaking in sentences when they do that.  To them it is just one word.

 

The other thing is to speak simply, and parrot, as CM said, but not correct.  I slowly increase what my children hear/say when I am parroting.  For example, when dd said, "Down!"  I repeated, "Down, please."  Stretching her by one more word...and a slight lesson in politeness.  It is easy to do that with colors, numbers, etc.  Baby says, "Cup!"  I say, "Yes!  Cup.  Here is your RED CUP." 

 

All of mine around two begin to stutter.  It's like they suddenly have a lot more words, and huge complex sentences and their mouths can't keep up with their brains.  It doesn't last very long, though tends to be worse when they are tired.  I just wanted to mention that so that you didn't worry if your dd experienced the same at some point.  The best advice I've found is not to correct, not to fill in the words, just patiently listen as if they were not stuttering.  Mine have all appreciated being told it was normal and would go away soon.  They all seemed a little worried and a lot annoyed by it.

 

The last thing I'll say is make sure that her words work.  (Like when dd wanted down, she got down.  In the early stage, I try to also give them what they ask.)  If she tries to talk to you and finds you unreasonable or that you aren't paying attention, she'll have to go the good ole route of tantrums.  She'll have her fair share anyway, but being able to communicate helps them out tons.


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#8 of 21 Old 11-14-2011, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your answers. I wouldn't say I think I need to do more, I just wonder if there is anything important that I'm missing. I am overwhelmed by how quickly she's learning and I want to make sure that I'm not slowing her down!

For example, her first "external" word (after nurse, mama, dada and no) was book. I noticed that she also called my laptop "book", which I found endearing. But then my husband realized that, in fact, she calls any kind of print "book", from the text on the nappy box to a slogan on a T-shirt. So now I've started pointing print out and calling it "letters" so she'll have a word for it, but if my husband hadn't caught that I would have never imagined that she was noticing the words, much less associating them with books!

I guess I wanted to hear from other parents who had gone through this just to get a few pointers about what might be going on in her mind and what to watch out for in the future. Thank you all for your contributions.
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#9 of 21 Old 11-14-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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My little guy was a very early talker, too.  He spoke well at 10 months, and walked well at 8 months... Now at almost two I swear he knows what everything is... he must have nearly 1,000s of words.

 

I agree, just talk to her and enjoy what she has to say.  If anything it is easier in one sense, because you can understand their words and she will be able to describe feelings.

 

However, often with precocious toddlers comes sensitivity and extreme emotions, and big feelings.  So, the pendulum kind of swings the other way! 


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#10 of 21 Old 11-14-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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I'm responding to your cross post. There really isn't any difference between how you handle an early talker and an average or later talker. My DD was an early talker. At 7 months she was adding several new words a day. By 12 months, she was speaking in full sentences. There was truly nothing that had to be done and no reason to be overwhelmed. I thought it was great fun honestly. A child speaking early is actually easier as they can start expressing their needs and wants that much earlier. My DS didn't say a word until 19 months and that was far more frustrating for him (lots of ideas without the language to express them.) 

 

Don't stress about her little mistakes. When you catch them, just provide her with the correct word but she would not have gone long before realizing that not all print was called "book." It's really important to give her some room to solve her own problems. Toddlers are programmed to aquire language and there is absolutely nothing short of abuse that could stop her. Just keep talking and reading to her. If she points to her plate and says "blue balls" just smile and say "yes, those blueberries DO look like blue balls!" Have fun!


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#11 of 21 Old 11-15-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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My daughter was talking before she was 1 and able to hold a conversation by 2. 

With her i did baby sign language and sung to her a lot.

I would sing what I was doing, like: I'm going to change your bum bum, bum bum, oh yes your mum mum is going to change your bum bum. 

silly songs and  silly rhymes. I don't know if this helped her with the early speech or not. but maybe try them with your child.

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#12 of 21 Old 11-15-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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don't stalk me later and flog me for suggesting this (cause i have hid the things under the couch, etc. more times than i can tell) but those first dictionary books can really really occupy a child like that.  when i am feeling particularly evil, i will unhide the child's picture dictionary (the huge one that's not for toddlers) and leave it for her to take to her daddy.  she now knows words like "awl" and "cicada." 

that's not helping with the whole grammar thing, vocabulary is so much easier.  i have no idea whatsoever why she says things like "felled" and "goed."  pretty funny, she has never heard anyone else say those things.  i just parrot the right words like crunchymommy said she does.

 


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#13 of 21 Old 11-15-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

don't stalk me later and flog me for suggesting this (cause i have hid the things under the couch, etc. more times than i can tell) but those first dictionary books can really really occupy a child like that.  when i am feeling particularly evil, i will unhide the child's picture dictionary (the huge one that's not for toddlers) and leave it for her to take to her daddy.  she now knows words like "awl" and "cicada." 

that's not helping with the whole grammar thing, vocabulary is so much easier.  i have no idea whatsoever why she says things like "felled" and "goed."  pretty funny, she has never heard anyone else say those things.  i just parrot the right words like crunchymommy said she does.

 



ha.  I like that!  I think I will try that... FIREdevil.gif

 

Agree, a lot of grammar is just trial and error.  You make the correction without much a do, and go on. 


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#14 of 21 Old 11-15-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by P.J. View Post



Actually I feel differently. I'm not arguing, clearly signing is working for you guys, but here's my take:

 

We taught DS a few signs as a baby although were never that consistent. Then around 12 months he started talking and it took off pretty quickly. At that point I decided not to use sign language anymore because, well, for most of the important everyday words he uses the words, ya know? And I feel that signing would actually discourage his talking which seems to be his natural flow at this point. I know many parents love signing and it gives the child many more possibilities to communicate, but I've also heard~ and it makes sense~ that some kids will delay speech slightly when they are signing because they already have what they need to communicate in the signs. So I personally would not recommend using sign language at this point, except maybe for a few essentials that your DS doesn't seem to be picking up verbally, if you or she feel frustrated with the lack of communication.

 

 

Should have added in my post...

 

DS spoke the words as he signed.  It helped us determine what he was saying a little more clearly.  I understand your point about a child having the sign to communicate, possibly delaying speech but our child speaks and signs with no delays.  Worked really well for us.  It is funny, now when his mouth is full eating, he will sign "thank you", or while nursing he will sign "I love you", etc.  I am very glad we did it and were consistent with it. 

 

Like Tesbabe, we sing a ton as well.  I talk a lot so I imagine he is following my lead winky.gif.

 

DS also was walking well at 10 months.  Just an early kiddo. 


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#15 of 21 Old 11-15-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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Actually, those words like "felled" or "goed" are technically correct.  Most words DO use -ed as a past tense.  Another mistake littles often make is to call a mailman a mailer, or something similar.  But, that is also right...someone in the act of doing something is generally followed by -er. 

 

It isn't that their grammar is messed up, usually.  It's that it takes a while to learn the exceptions of our language.


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#16 of 21 Old 11-16-2011, 03:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stohelit View Post


For example, her first "external" word (after nurse, mama, dada and no) was book. I noticed that she also called my laptop "book", which I found endearing. But then my husband realized that, in fact, she calls any kind of print "book", from the text on the nappy box to a slogan on a T-shirt. So now I've started pointing print out and calling it "letters" so she'll have a word for it,


Actually this a how the brain learns language ~ by first using one word for a broad category and applying it to all things in that category. Whenever DS sees someone writing he says "color" (as in "coloring", one of his hobbies lol). Pretty much all paper is "book", all vehicles are "car", etc. He has plenty of specific food words, but he refers to a lot of food as "noonie" (his word for noodles), even when the cats get fed it's "noonie". If I'm not mistaken all toddlers so this and they learn more and more specific words gradually ~and naturally. I also repeat back the correct word most of the time (like when he says "noonie" I say "Do you want some rice?" if that's what we're having), but there really is no need to make an effort here. In time they get all the words they need. I think the most important effort to make is to try to understand what they mean (as your husband figured out the "book" thing).


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#17 of 21 Old 11-16-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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My one piece of advice to you--stop swearing. NOW. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

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#18 of 21 Old 11-16-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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My one piece of advice to you--stop swearing. NOW. (Don't ask me how I know this.)



totally! 


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#19 of 21 Old 11-17-2011, 06:31 PM
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I'd also suggest that if your LO is repeating a sound that might be a word but you aren't understanding it, make sure that you coordinate with other caregivers (husband, child care, whoever) on what it may be. It takes a team effort in our house to figure out some of the new words. When my daughter started saying "agalatoragalator" when she was 15 months, neither myself nor the nanny had any idea, but my husband quickly recognized it as "alligator, alligator" which is part of a rhyme used in the swim class he takes her to. And others that cleared up in pronunciation over time, but were very frustrating at first.


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#20 of 21 Old 11-18-2011, 06:44 AM
 
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My first thought was, "Chillax."  Chill out.  Relax.  Enjoy.

 

I love the thoughts on swearing.  Extra time with Grandma and we get a lot of "My goodness!"  

 

My 2-year-old DS is working on "felled."  Like PP said, it's them figuring out the rules and exceptions to the language.  It's typical to learn many exceptions first but then go through a phase that seems like regression when they try to regularize the language with words like "go-ed."  It sorts itself out.

 

I say just have fun figuring out how their brains work.  My DS was saying "fire truck!" on a particular route.  My husband figured out he was seeing the cell phone tower and thought it was a hook and ladder fire truck.  This flexibility will come in handy later when your child refuses to eat "macaroni and cheese" but will happily eat "cheesy pasta."  

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#21 of 21 Old 11-18-2011, 07:17 AM
 
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Just enjoy it.  We dont' have a huge kids dictionary, but my son at nearly 3 has an ENORMOUS vocabulary (well over 2,000 words by now), and was at about 1,000 words by 28mo.  He talks constantly, so much that I get annoyed by it in the morning while we're getting ready to leave the house. So, enjoy it, read to her, and talk to her like you would talk to an adult. She'll pick everything up just they way she should be.

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