Speech development (13-16 months)

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, New Mom Experience, TODDLER, VIDEO

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Physical Development: 13-16 months

So by now it is pretty clear that Lexi IS NOT A TALKER.

A runner– yes! An energizer bunny– definitely! A singer– hell yeah! Maybe even a dancer, or a musician. Haha. Not a talker.

She says the right amount of words for her age for us and our pedi to not be concerned, BUT for the last months she has been more interested in everything else BUT talking.

Don’t get me wrong she says real words. She makes up her own words she uses. She babbles using a ton of sounds. She talks to herself. She sings.

She signs when she needs to get the point across. But speech has been on the “need to use” basis and clearly she has not needed to use it.

It’s understandable: she has sign language for really dire situations, mommy and daddy who always seem to know what she wants, unless of course she herself doesn’t know what she wants (and then we just scratch our heads and hope that she figures it out soon and stops whining. Isn’t whining the most annoying sound on the planet?)

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She is physical, she’s smart, she’s funny and she refuses to talk much. That is unless she wants to or  in her own language, and then you can’t stop her.

Here’s the deal: she understands EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING!

She also knows how to say a ton more words than she lets on. But she won’t use them often.

Like a great example is duck, or car. She says these PERFECTLY! In appropriate situations, but ONLY when she wants to. And that is seldomly. Never when we ask, of course. In total she probably said each one of those like 3-4 times, not more. Clear as a bell, while pointing at the object, but seldomly. And there are a ton of words like that. She’ll say once or twice out of the blue and then stop saying it. Or repeat words we say knowing full well what she is saying and then never do it again.

My favorite word she picked up is OTHER! As in “I want another/the other/different something”.

CHANGE IT!- is the point.

It started with breastfeeding. When she’d motion for the other boob, I’d ask her “You want the other boobie? in Russian. Quickly she picked up on that and started saying “DUDATA TITA” in this fast forceful manner when she wanted to switch. Soon she stated using it in other contexts adn now she knows exactly when to use it. She wants a different song? “DUDATA!” She wants some other food? “DUDATA!”. We put one shoe one and now it’s time for another? “DUDATA!”-she announces. So funny!

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And even more funny that it’s one of the most used words for her. It’s obviously important to her. To have us change something that she wants.

Car, on the other hand? Or duck? She doesn’t need those words. Go figure!

She has shown no interest in announcing what things are despite the fact that we label things to her. She is ONLY interested in getting things she wants and her way! Pretty par for the course with her, to be honest.

Explains the lack of spoken words, but immense understanding skills.

I am actually reading this fun book about babies’ language development and how they choose which words to say first and when to say them. It’s, of course, based on their need, coupled with their environment and exposure to language, and based on how easy it is to pronounce.

But again it makes me smile that Lexi has determined that she has no need to speak unless she’s trying to get something.

Case in point?

DAI! (Give it to me!)

In Russian. Perfected!

DAI DAI DAI DAI, she screams while we heat up her food. DAI DAI DAI DAI, she says when she sees the phone.

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Speaking of the phone, she has her own word for it. She has had it since 9-10 months, I think.

First she called it “TANG!” ( as in “thing“, because that is what we called it so that she wouldn’t understand what we are talking about. Silly humans!) Now it has changed to DA-TING! A combination of DAI and TANG ( as in “give me the phone”). It’s always yelled out. Or at least said with conviction: DA-TING!!!!!

Her other interest is our Russian neighbors. She’s obsessed with their boy and girl. She asks to go over there daily. She calls the boy – “Dede” (Denis) and the girl – “Anya” (Alina) and Neighbors are “Nene“.

Do you know what she calls Mommy?

Boo-boo-boo!

That’s right! I am a glorified boobie :) {update: just a few days ago she started occasionally calling me MAMA again, however she will still ask for boo-boo-boo if she’s with her dad and she wants me because she knows he will think she is asking for boob and will bring her to me even if I am busy. Smart girl!}

So it’s pretty fun around here with her verbal demands and non-verbal everything else. New expressions ( I don’t even call them words as they are always demands) are added daily, so I am sure by the time this is published, we will have moved onto something else.

Just for fun, I am adding a video of her doing the animal sounds. The video itself is shot really badly, because I was multitasking and she was moving so much, but that’s not the point. It’s funny to hear how her animal sounds are a mix of Russian and English sounds based on which ones are easier to pronounce as well as used more often by one of us.

FYI,
mouse in Russian says “pi-pi-pi” and she’s signing the word mouse but missing her nose and instead signing at her mouth ( you’re supposed to be touching your nose)
When I ask her what a frog says the second time she screams DAI DAI! (give it to me!). Also in Russian a frog doesn’t say Ribbit! It’s Kvah!

Oh and as far as her first words, they were as follows:
MAMA at 6 months
TANG (phone) at 9-10 months
DADA shortly after
BOO-BOO (which replaced mama) at the same time.

Those are 4 most important things in her life! Haha!

 

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Comments (61)

  • Ashley

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    Look how grown up she looks! So adorable! Have you had Lexi’s IQ tested? I heard Einstein didn’t talk until he was 4. And with her saying mama at 6 months, she’s one smart kid! It almost unheard of for a baby to use words with meaning or comprehension at that age. She’s cute AND smart!

    Reply

  • Kay

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    Oh my goodness Lexi has grown up so much in these pictures! Thank you for this great post, I am having an opposite problem…our 11 month old doesn’t seem half as interested in walking as she does talking (we, too, are raising her bilingual)! She crawls everywhere but walking? Eh…only if she really wants to. My husband thought it was because I “wear” her so often, but then we figured out that a lot of her energy and effort goes into trying new words and “reading” books. Last week she started saying “please?!” with gusto when she wants to nurse. It totally shocked me. Anyway, having the opposite type of baby in Lexi, any advice for the baby this is not so interested in walking?

    Reply

    • Lara

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      She’s only 11 months? Pediatricians don’t start to be concerned about lack of walking until 18 months. She has PLENTY of time. It’s not at all unusual for kids to not be waking by their first birthday. I doubt it has anything to do with baby wearing. No doubt she’ll do it soon!

      Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I honestly believe that babies will do things when they are ready and that every baby focuses on one thing at a time. It’s also based on need coupled with environment. If you give your baby ample opportunities to practice walking or move around she will walk when she is ready and no baby wearing will delay that. But you gotta make sure that she has time and room to practice if she decides to. Right now crawling is what gets her places and she’s content with that.
      For example Lexi didn’t roll over till later because she just wasn’t interested. She did once and then stopped. And went straight to crawling. But when it came to walking as soon as she could grab onto my fingers she was off and running.
      I would def. not encourage the use of traditional walkers but instead maybe get her one of those bike walkers that the pewi I wrote about a few posts back. I bet she’d love it. Does she pull up?
      Otherwise just let her learn in her own time she is still young and is focusing on speech which is wonderful. Speech development is way more important. And here’s the kicker, a lot of babies start walking a few days before or after their bday.
      good luck and thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  • anushka

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    Lexi’s language seems on the slow side of average, but still very much within the range of average. Especially for dual-language households. They develop expressive language a bit later, but then more than catch up. Plus, true “crib bilinguals” really do reap developmental benefits later! Good work, mom and dad :)

    Reply

  • Sara

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    My son is a lot like this. He understands everything, but he only uses words when he really wants something and is trying to get his point across. Otherwise, he signs, points or we just know what he wants. I’ve heard that babies learning more than one language at a time are typically slower to speak. They understand and comprehend, but for whatever reason, they don’t talk as much initially. I’m sure when she does decide to talk, she’ll be speaking full sentences in multiple languages and just blow you away!

    Reply

  • Anne

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    Have you tried teaching her “please”? My little one’s demands (she says “more more more more” instead of “dai dai dai dai”) sound much nicer when followed by “please.” I admit I didn’t think to teach her that myself; they started it at preschool at 12 months and she took to it immediately. It’s quite easy to teach – you simply withhold whatever she wants until she says it.

    Reply

  • Megan

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    It wasn’t until recently that Vivien started actually saying legit words. Prior to that, she would point and say, “that!” or mutter some sort of babble. I’ve heard that like 18-24 months is the time that their speech doubles, and V is 21 months and is pretty much “average” for speech, I feel. Singing? The kid rocks it, and carries real recognizable tunes from start to finish.

    I’m of the mindset that they’ll get it. :) Until then, it’s still pretty freaking adorbs to hear a bunch of nonsense coming out of her mouth, mixed occasionally with a real word.

    And yesterday, she sat there and said, “MAMA! MOMMY!” like 84 times as I was cooking dinner, and when I turned around and said, “Yes, Vivien?” she smiled, laughed and said, “HI!”

    oh, the jokes. 😉

    Reply

  • Irina

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    It is definitely none of my business, but are you at all concerned about all these “commands” ? At first it sounds cute, but in a few months, if they never learn “please” and “thank you”, it starts to be quite jarring… I made this a point to insist on please, thank you, etc in any language spoken, and i really wish i had done it earlier! Toddlers learn quickly that demands get them attention, and it can get a little out of control.

    Also, have you considered putting L in some kind of part time preschool? interaction with other kids and adults without parents there may be stimulating to use the words to get what she needs, plus they play and talk…

    Good luck :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      She doesn’t talk enough to get that in. She does sign thank you very often but please isn’t something that has been natural in our interactions. I do think it’s a good idea to make more of a push for please. But I don’t think it will do much at this point. Dai dai dai is still give it to me give it to me even if it is followed with a please. Time will come for her to understand the meaning of please but I do think it’s time to introduce it.

      Reply

      • Lara

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        We started teaching our kiddo to sign please at around 9-10 months old; she picked up on it pretty quickly.

        Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      It’s too early for a preschool. And I know Lexi isn’t ready. Besides, when it comes to speech development there’s nothing better than quality parental (not peer) interactions which we give her.
      Once she’s no longer breastfed, and is older I do want to send her to a Montessori type preschool just for a few hours a few times a week. It will give me a break and she will have fun.

      Reply

      • Sally

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        You would be wrong here. Peers are just as important as parents when it comes to speech development. Not saying it needs to be preschool but a playgroup could do wonders for her.

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          According to you.
          But based on the reading I’ve done parental interaction is the best thing for language development.
          We go to at least one class/playgroup a day so somehow I just don’t think she is suffering from lack of peer interaction.

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          • Kay

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            I completely agree with Elena, I have read how important parental interaction is for children. Interaction with peers follows naturally if you give them the opportunity.

            Reply

          • Erin

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            Personal experience, but my two are Talkers with a capital T. Full sentences at 18 months and paragraphs by 2. Both are daycare kids and have been since they were 6 months and 8 weeks, respectively, and I wholeheartedly believe this is where their language developed. I’m sure you talk to her all.day.long but part of language development is listening to other people have conversations and mimicking. My kids’ worlds have exploded (physical development, language development, sheer knowledge, conflict resolution skills, compassion for others – all the things we all want for our kids) since they are in constant contact with other kids. I think parents do a disservice to their kids by not allowing them to interact with other kids outside of parental interference.

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            It’s simple: Your kids would be talkers regardless of whether they are at day care or not.

            And I think it’d be hard to find a parent who “doesn’t allow peer interaction” or doesn’t encourage it.

            Reply

          • Erin

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            Key piece of that being “outside of parental influence”. Not having mommy or another adult handling everything for you at the second it happens does wonders for skill development.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Handling everything FOR you is one thing. Sitting on the sidelines waiting and watching, in case there is an issue, is another.

            Reply

      • Cristy

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        Actually, I am a former Montessori teacher and my first teaching experience before moving to actual grade levels was the young toddler room, Working with this exact age (my daughter is about a week younger than yours) and we had everything from full time, to part time to one mom who dropped her daughter off for an hour or two every other day. I wouldn’t say she is too young at all! Not ready, sure maybe.

        I actually think that based on what I’ve read about Lexi, she would thrive in Montessori.

        For some kids, they benefitted GREATLY, even the little girl who was only with me for an hour in the afternoon. She was also breastfed and her mom was initially nervous but she was fine at school. It was the ONLY place she was fine til she weaned herself, lol!

        Obviously it’s not necessary, but it is something to consider. Even if not now, earlier than you originally thought. Providing you have a quality Montessori program that you can work with on hours

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Oh I love Montessori schools and I think it’d be perfect for Lexster. Just not at this time. She is VERY attached to me and won’t let me go even during her favorite gym class with daddy by her side.
          Once she feels more secure ( which will probably happen closer to weaning), it’s def. something I want to try. Right now there’s no point in forcing anything of that type on her.

          I found a tumbling class at YMCA that is done without parents so I want to try that and see how she does. It’s actually really exciting to even think about get being such a big girl.

          But in the meantime we attend a ton of classes and go to children’s places.

          Reply

  • Amy Bassett

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    I can’t believe how grown up Lexi looks in these pictures. I remember her newborn pictures – like it was yesterday. Crazy!

    I love her impression of a pig too! LOL

    Reply

  • Julia

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    Wow, what she calls you is hilarious! & her animal sounds are quite impressive. I think we need to learn some animal sounds around here, it’s just too cute.

    I think russian kids start speaking a bit later than english speaking kids because the words are much more complicated, no? Or maybe it’s just the bilingualism. My daughter is picking up a few words but not at the same pace as her english peers. She can say ‘apelsin’ & ‘piset’ perfectly but other words she either ignores (kushat, sandaliki, gulyat) or only says the first syllable (pee for peet, kni for kniga, a weird jumble of kpsa for kupatsa). She understands everything though, it just seems difficult for her to say so she points a lot.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh yeah Russian words are so much more difficult. I was telling a friend how in English it’s a dog but in Russian it’s a freaking “sobachka”, or even take word please – pozhaluista. WTF? Lol
      Ball- myachik
      Eat- kushat’.
      All simple words in English but much more complicated in Russian.

      Animal sounds are very easy for her to say and pick up because they are some of the few simple Russian words.

      Reply

      • Irina

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        You guys are funny – Russian kids start talking at the same time as their anglophone counterparts in Russia :) so Russian is not ‘more” difficult for the babies to pick up… You can also use simpler russian words – you do not have to use “diminutive” form for the word :) which is possibly more difficult to pronounce:
        Ball = myach
        eat = yest
        dog = sobaka
        cat = kot

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        • Julia

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          Oh haha, I really have no idea what they are doing over there in Russia. I think around 2 their speech takes off anyway in any language so there won’t be much noticeable difference between different languages.

          Do you guys find that your little ones prefer words that start with the same letter? My daughter, for example, will try to repeat many words that start with ‘s’ but none with ‘k’. Only one or two with ‘m’ or ‘p’. I wonder if it’s just her preference or if she just hasn’t quite mastered some letters/sound combos. I’m curious.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            I read that it’s completely normal and some sounds are harder for some babies than others. K sounds are hard.
            Lexi loooooves D and T words as well as S and B.

            Reply

      • Rebecca

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        My little guy says kushat over and over when he’s hungry and it sounds like “oh sh!t.” Makes me laugh so hard. Those big Russian words are adorable from those tiny mouths.

        Reply

  • Cilla

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    She is so freakin cute! My oldest was a late talker too but so very active. My middle daughter was a very very early talker. Isabelle seems to be in the middle. I have made a point to always teach them to say please and thank you from a very early age. Whenever I hand them something I say “thank you”. You should give it a try. You don’t want to end up with an entitled child :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      At this age they don’t truly understand the meaning. Besides these words should be said from the heart or because it’s polite (which at this age isn’t in play yet) not because mommy won’t give me what I want unless I say it.
      It’s like forcing a kid say they are sorry for something they did. Many parents do it and that’s fine. But I believe a person should truly be sorry and not just saying it. So I’d rather explain to my kid why she should be sorry and hope that I’ve instilled good enough sense in her TO be sorry when an appropriate situation arises. There’s no benefit in fake politeness.

      Sort of the same thing with please and thank you.

      I think what I do need to change and will work on a different level is model it to her. She signs thank you because she hears us say and sign thank you but we sort of dropped the ball in emphasizing please in our own conversations. Plus the Russian word for please SUCKS!!! ;)))))

      Reply

  • Miller

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    So this post tracks her development up to 16 months? So she had 4 words, at 16 months?

    It’s great that your pediatritian was happy with this. Did he/she give you an idea of what type of goal you will be looking at at 18+ months?

    I live in Canada, so perhaps the expectations are different, but my son had very few words at 18 months and was referred to speech therapy. Our doctor was looking for him to have 15-20 words at that point, he had only 3.

    Like Lexi, he understood EVERYTHING but was not expressing himself. Turns out, he does have a severe speech delay and at almost 4 years old he has made progress but he is still quite far behind.

    Obviously, I’m not suggesting that Lexi is in the same position as him but I want you (and your readers) to be aware that there ARE reasons that speech can be delayed even if they are progressing “normally” otherwise.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I’m pretty sure I wrote in the post that at 16 months or so she had around 15 words. I might have missed it(not sure, can’t look at the post right now).
      I am not concerned at all since she keeps adding new words at a normal pace and speaks when she wants to.

      Reply

    • Cristy

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      Bilingual children tend to fall behind initially on speech, and then catch up and excel later, so speech milestones are adjusted for those children.

      Reply

  • Olivia

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    Alexis is a doll and you should want her manners to be as beautiful as she is. There is no wrong time to teach a child about good manners. Do her (and yourselves!) a favor and start insisting that she say/sign please and thank you. Demands of ‘give me’ are not cute or appropriate for long! Good luck!

    Reply

  • Tawny

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    All of mine were big time talkers and speaking sentences by 18 months and let me tell you once they start they never ever ever ever stop talking/asking questions. Total Murphey’s Law lol :)

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      It is really funny how speech development jumps at 18. She’s almost there and she is speeding up with her speech exponentially. I can’t wait till she talks a lot because it’s so cute she does.
      Her friend Lexitwin is the opposite: focused on speech not physical development and I die every time I hear her say things like Oh Gosh! Lol

      Reply

  • Ella

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    My cousin’s child was slightly behind in speaking and she had some early intervention. I remember the most important lesson she shared with me was to stop giving them things. Do instead of handing him a cup at lunch she’d say “do you want me to get your cup?” Or if they would go outside she would ask “do you want to play ball or with the slide”. I guess anticipating their needs makes them feel like they don’t really need to communicate because, well, they don’t! Haha!

    Once she starts you’ll be shocked at how fast it progresses. It’s just mind blowing! Good luck! Keep us posted.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      That is a good idea. We do label things pretty well and she knows all the words we use in our day to day life. I think it’s just a matter of necessity and she hasn’t felt the need and we believe in pushing it. You provide the perfect environment and they take it from there.

      Reply

  • Erin

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    Can you clarify–her first word at six months was mama but nearly a year later she just started calling you mama? For a word to “count” for me my son has to say it with meaning, otherwise it is just babble. Did she lose the word somewhere in there? If so, I would be worried about that regression as I work with children with special needs. She’ll be talking your ear off soon enough though!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      She started calling me mama at 6 months but only when she REALLY needed me, then she transitioned into just requesting boo-boo. She hasn’t called me mama directly until recently, she’s only called For Me “mama” and then “boo boo”. So the word wasn’t forgotten it was amended and repurposed.
      One thing I did notice with her almost from birth is that when there’s something she ISN’T interested in doing, she will do it once maybe and then not do it again until she hits the next milestone, at which she will again show us that she had been able to do it all along. It happened with rolling over that way and a few other things. She’s a very particular child, doesn’t really conform to What we want to see but rather what is necessary for her which is peculiar but I love that trait.

      Reply

  • Rachel

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    Since Lexi is basically learning three languages (between English, Russian, and Sign Language), I’m impressed she does any talking at all. That seems really advanced compared to all the bilingual babies I know!

    Reply

  • natasha

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    My 2nd and 3rd children were the same way…their receptive language skills were way above average but not so much with their expressive language skills. It all worked out though and now you would never know. They both have very minor articulation issues but even their teachers tell me they don’t notice.

    Reply

  • Noor

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    For her age she is right on point so do not worry to much about it. My son is 5 now and also raised in a multi language house (Arabic and English). Kids really do not fully start talking until 3 really I mean they do say some stuff before but nothing that always makes sence. His Engliah was perfect and he was trying to learn Arabic so we started him in Arabic grade K and now he is fluent in both.

    She is a doll I love the way you dress her.

    Reply

  • Cilla

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    I guess to me teaching a child to say please and thank you is just teaching them to have good manners. I also think empathy is something that you want to teach kids at a young age. Whenever Isabelle pinches me or pulls my hair, I look at her and try to explain to her how much it hurts. I know she probably doesn’t understand everything I say just yet but I know she will soon enough.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      No I agree with that. Manners are important, I just believe it needs to be modeled and not forced (not saying you force it, just taking about it in general).
      Same with empathy, empathy develops naturally as a result of empathetic parenting and good modeling. I do believe in corrective parenting but to me it has to be at the right age where they understand the concept and reason. Otherwise, just model model model and they will repeat after you.

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  • Corinne

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    We are teaching our LO please and thank you, as well. She does please both signing and verbally and TY just signing. Just something we’ve taught her since manners are very important to my husband and I, and we also use it a lot in conversation so she hears it being used. I think, like with eating, for example (learn to swallow first then chew later, or chew first then swallow ((blw vs purses)) ) you can teach them please and thank you and then have them learn the meaning of it or teach them the meaning once they understand then encourage them to say it. I agree with what someone posted, that ” please more” or “please that” is a bit easier to hear for us than just “more” or “that”.

    Loved the animal noises, especially the pig! When she does frog the first time, is sounded like you said “ohh oh ahh ahh” like a croaking noise, but then did the kvah later. Do you do both for it?

    Celia “talks” constantly! I can’t wait till we can fully understand her, it’ll be so cute!

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  • Serena

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    A few points: I agree that the best way to teach manners is through modeling, I can’t believe people would withhold items such as food or drink from a small child just because they haven’t said “please” or “thank you”! I also agree that babies will do things when they are ready, but only if there isn’t something holding their development back, children won’t simply develop against the odds, they need the right conditions and the capacity to do so. I’m curious as to why you believe that “every baby focuses on one thing at a time”? This has not been my experience, and I have worked with literally hundreds of children. My own son walked at 10 months and was saying 7 word sentences by the time he was two, so clearly his language and physical development were concurrent. I do think though that there are such broad “norms” for development and unless there is significant delay, there’s nothing to worry about. I always tell the parents that I work with that you won’t know who did what first by the time they’re all five, and it’s true, it’s not like you’re going to put “early walker” on your resume! 😉

    Gosh she is a cutie, I could just eat her, love her dark luscious locks!

    Reply

    • Corinne

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      I’m sure the “kids focus on one this at a time” is a generalization. My 16 month old daughter has always been very physical (crawling by 6 months, walking by 9.5, etc) and still blows my mind daily with what she can make her tiny body do, and is also very verbal. She’s got about 30-35+ words already. So it’s obviously not the case for every child.

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      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        Yes of course a generalization.
        You can be great at many things but you can only be a genius at a few.
        For example Lexitwin has over 200 words right now, at 17 months. So our 20-30 pale in comparison. She’s amazing! That’s what I mean when I say focus. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t walk cuz she is focused on speech, but it might mean that she isn’t as interested in physical things as some other super active kid.
        It probably boils down to their interest as well as their ability.

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        • Corinne

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          Hahaha 200?? Well that’s a child genius right there!

          Reply

  • Anna

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    Hi, just wanted to ask what’s “the right amount of words” for that age?

    My son does not say A WORD, he babbles, makes sounds and understands everything, but not a word. He’s 14 months, so should he be saying some words by now?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I don’t know the official number (maybe someone here can refer us to a resource that is more trusty than babycenter or smth) but I did just read on baby center that at 17 months the average is 5 words which seems low.
      I can look up on my child development and language development books this evening if I find time.
      And I do think it can be completely normal for a boy not to say a word at 14. As long as his comprehension skills are good.

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      • Anna

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        Tks, I’d appreciate it!
        I am not worried, I know he will be a late speaker: his a boy and his raised in three languages (Polish, Spanish and English).

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  • Elizabeth Murilla

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    Human beings have an instinctual drive to communicate verbally. What you say about your daughter “holding back” or “only talking when she wants to” is incorrect. She would be talking if she were able, trust me on that. She isn’t being stubborn, you are making mis attributions based on what you consider to be a difficult temperament. In other words, because you consider her to be “difficult”, you are assuming that she knows how to speak but won’t do it just because she knows you want her to. This is very faulty reasoning on your part. She sounds within the realm of normal to me.

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  • Rachel

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    Lexi is obviously very smart and communicates in multiple ways. It is great that she is bilingual and will likely be on time with her peers as you probably know by age 5. I have observed that some kids are more into “motor” development and their verbal development comes later and vs versa. BTW, when did her hair grow so long? Seems like she just suddenly looks like a preschooler! So cute!

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Good suggestions!
      Lexi, like most toddlers, is very impatient, but as long as you explain to her that she needs to wait a few minutes and then she will get what it is she is asking for, she’ll actually wait. It blows my mind that she will listen and follow it because at this age they are still sooo impulsive.
      Also, she’s really good at sharing, which is how we get her to give up whatever she is holding or wants to have. We just ask her if she could give it to the birdie and that birdie wants to use it now and she will happily give it to the birdie… ( my mom’s invention btw)

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  • Emily Caltagirone

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    Seeing this post has made me feel soooo much better! my little man just started calling me “meeeee” (milkies) this past weekend. I know he can say mama, but he just won’t anymore.

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  • Rachel A.

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    I was concerned at first when my son was 18 months old and wasn’t saying a ton of words, but then over the next few months after that, his vocabulary exploded. Even now at 29 months, every day it seems like he has picked up a new word or phrase. I look back at the time when I was worried and laugh. I think it didn’t help when other mothers in my mothers group had 18 month olds speaking sentences already. It’s definitely puts the pressure on if you let it. I always have to remind myself that he will meet milestones on his own time and not to let other children make me feel like my child is behind.

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