Language Development in Toddler

by Adriana Vermillion

Did you know your toddler is listening to absolutely everything you say and he is storing it away at an incredible rate?

In our previous article we looked at Effective Communication with Toddlers, and this week we are looking at Language Development in Toddlers. I hope you find this short article helpful in your journey as a parent.

I would like to encourage you to use the correct names for people, places, and things when you address your toddler instead of using a “baby talk” form of conversation. It is also best if you speak slowly and clearly, and keeping it simple for your toddler to follow and actually engage in conversation.

Your toddler may continue communicating with gestures by pointing at pictures in a book, handing you his shoes or jacket when he wants to go outside, pointing at something he wants, imitating actions and may very well use them in play.

Encourage him to use gestures because they are an important part of language and comprehension development. 

As a parent or educator you can make the connection between gestures and language by using a running commentary such as, "Do you want a banana?" (when your child points to it) or “Do you want a drink?” (when he points at the sink or a beverage), then wait for a response.
Once he is done communicating ask him, "What do you want, juice or water? Allow him to respond by making a choice and say to him, “OK, let's get some water." If you encourage this type of behavior it encourages your toddler to respond and participate in conversations, therefore his vocabulary will increase and so will his communication skills.

Your child will probably enjoy gesture games as well such as pat-a-cake and so-big, and identifying things, like body parts, pictures or objects, and familiar people. You can use questions like "Where's your ear?" "Show me the ball" and "Where is Mommy?"

Pronunciation may not be as clear as his communication since his vocabulary is growing at such a pace and most two year olds can be understood half the time. Repeating to him what he said with the correct pronunciation helps. Remember he is a toddler and “baby talk” is no longer cute.

Should parents be concerned if their child does not talk by a certain stage in his development or age?

How old was your child before you could understand him or her?

Do you have any concerns about your child?

In our next article we will be looking at some of these concerns so join in the conversation bellow with a comment or question since this is our topic for our next article.

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Adriana Vermillion is the Founder and CEO of P.O.T.T."Y" Generation®, The Potty Whisperer™, a Lead Trainer and Parenting Coach with over sixteen years of experience in potty training special needs children and coaching parents. Adriana is an Author, Freelance Writer, and a frequent Motivational Speaker available for your event at

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