By Robin Stevenson
From the print edition, April 2012
Your baby may have had a couple of words besides “mama” and “dada” under her belt by her first birthday, but it was still hard to know exactly what it was that she wanted. During the toddler years, not only will she finally be able to express what she needs, she’ll be able to ask you for it as well!
A child’s vocabulary will grow much larger between the ages of one and two, says Brie Schindel, a pediatric speech-language pathologist in Lethbridge, Alta. “We hope to see at least 50 words by age two, but many children have hundreds by this point.”
By 24 months your toddler should be able to put two words together or combine several words into phrases. But saying the words is just part of this development, explains Schindel. “As parents, we often focus on what children are saying, but what they are understanding is very important too. Children should understand a lot more words than they can say (just like adults do), and they should learn to follow increasingly complex directions (such as ‘Get your shoes and come to the back door’) between their first and second birthdays.”
If you feel like you are the only one who understands your child’s developing speech patterns, don’t worry, says Schindel. “It’s definitely typical that parents, because they spend the most time with their child, will understand her better than anyone else.”
Q: Do children need a physical every year? A: That...