Tracking or monitoring your child’s speech development is important to overcome any speech development problems in your child. You can watch for signs to see if your child is on right track in terms of speech development. Here are some developmental milestones to look for:
The following checklist will help you to monitor your child’s speech.
Before 6 Months
Your baby coos and makes pleasure sounds
Your baby babbles in a speech-like manner using many different sounds.
Your baby makes gurgling sounds while playing with you or alone
By 7 to 12 Months
Your baby babbles using long and short groups of sounds (“tata, upup, bibibi”)
Your baby babbles and repeats sounds (babababa, duhduhduh)
Your baby says words like “Dada” or “Mama” by first birthday
By 1 to 2 Years
To encourage speech developments in your child keep communicating with him or her. Sing and read to him or her. Take everyday situations to strengthen your child’s speech such as name foods at the grocery, point out sounds you hear, etc.
Your baby makes at least four different consonant sounds - b, n, d, g, w, h.
Your baby combines lots of sounds as though talking - abada baduh abee.
Your baby uses at least two pronouns - "you", "me", "mine".
By 18 months your baby says about 20 words.
By 2 years your baby says 50 or more words.
By 2, combines two words to make simple sentences "baby crying" or "Daddy big.
Your baby uses one- or two-word questions (“Where kitty?” or “Go bye-bye?”)
Remember, every child is unique and there can be differences among the same age-group children. Recognising and treating problems earlier is the best approach to deal with speech disorders. Some of the common speech disorders faced by child of this age include stammering, lispering and apraxia.
While monitoring your baby’s speech, ensure you monitor your speech and know what not to say.