Happy Mom Talk Monday mamas!!
Today I wanted to share some very helpful tips and advice with you!
I recently asked on my IG stories the question about how to help your child learn to talk, what tips to do, and anything you found that helped you.
I was so excited about how many helpful responses I heard back from you all, but one person took it to the next level of helping me and I am forever grateful for Tatiana Lawson M.S. CCC-SLP, a sweet follower of mine. She sent me personalized videos of how I could help Edison. I have been using them everyday and have already seen so many improvements from Edison. However, he is still deciding to take his time talking, which is totally okay. But I still have seen him try form words, or try sounds. I have to credit Tatiana who is a certified/licensed speech-language pathologist for all her help!

So for today, she is helping me with this post and has created several helpful tips, as well as guidelines! Hope you love it as much as I do!

DISCLAIMER: This information is based on research about typically developing children. There is a wide range of “normal” and even if your child is slightly behind in a few areas, it doesn’t necessarily mean he or she has a speech or language delay. Please contact a speech-language pathologist for a screening if you are concerned about your child’s speech and language skills. All of the following data was taken from Linguasystems Guide to Communication Milestones, which sites the specific research articles used to find each milestone. That resource can be found here.


Responds to “no”, pointing at things, responds to his/her own name
Smiling at himself in the mirror, try to communicate with others through gestures like pointing, reaching, eye gaze at what he wants, coos, squeals or shouts for attention
Play skills are very telling at whether a kid is age level or reaching developmental milestones. Play skills at 1 would include: playing peek a boo, I’m going to get you while running, pat-a-cake, and even pretending to talk on the phone.
Should be copying simple actions of others. Stacking blocks like I am, knocking on a door like I would be too.


Peek-a-Boo! Pull a blanket up over your baby’s face and say “Where’s Baby?” (or use Baby’s name?). Then, pull off the blanket and say “peek-a-boo!”
So Big: Hold up baby’s arms and say “How big is Baby? Sooooo big! Someone’s gonna get you, here come’s a pig!” and then make oinking sounds on your baby’s tummy. Feel free to switch animal sounds so they learn. Once they get old enough to respond, you can say “Here comes a pig!!” Gasp, look expectantly before making sounds on their tummy to give them an opportunity to make the sound of the animal you named.
Ride a Little Pony: Bounce Baby on your knee and say (in an animated voice) “Riding on a horsie, going down town. Better be careful so you don’t fall down” then hold your baby by the arms and tilt him/her back. Let your child dangle for a second and say “up!” as you pull him/her up. As they get older and acquire more language, you can pause after pulling them back up to see if they give you a sign that they want to do it again and label it either “again” or “more” and indulge them in another round of riding on a horsie!
I’m gonna get you! Chase your child, pause and wait for them to look at you as though to say “chase me more!” and then continue playing.

Receptive Language, aka Listening Skills

Responds to sound when the source is not within sight. Example of this would be: Dad comes home, puts the keys in the door, does he hear it? Does he stop what he is doing to look for the sound? Or the washing machine turns on in the other room, does he look up or notice?
Dances to music
Stops an activity when name is called
Recognizes words for familiar items
Points to named picture in a book
Listens to simple stories
Understands simple questions, such as “Where’s Daddy?”
Follows one-step directions with gestures and cues.


Likes to pat books, point, and can focus on large and bright pictures
Shares books with an adult as a part of their routine.
Recognizes certain books by their covers
Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes
Likes to turn pages
Attends to a book or toy for two minutes
Points to and labels pictures independently
Pretends to read books
How to read to your child:
Children can follow better and thus learn more when you read slowly. It seems so unnatural, but it is beneficial.
Repeat books A LOT. I’m sure your child has requested books to be read over and over. It’s like when you’ve watched a movie over and over again (Bridesmaids on E! every weekend, anyone?) and learn all of the lines. They acquire language through this repetition and might pick up on something new each time you read a story again.
Have them point to pictures. If they’re not doing it yet, model the action for them. “Where’s the tree? There it is!”
Ask your child “WH” questions (Who, what, where, when, and yes/no questions) which will help your child understand what’s happening in the story and it’ll give them a chance to answer a variety of questions.
If your child is not into reading, be sure it’s a book of his/her own interest.
Copy actions and scenes in the book, label verbs, etc.


Twelve months of age is typically when we hear children say their first true word. Some children say their first words a few months before that and some a few after. If your child has not spoken his/her first true word by 16 months, you may want to consult in a speech-language pathologist. The following chart resembles the average words a child has at specific ages. Once children have about 50 words, they typically begin using two word phrases.

Age Approximate Words in Expressive Vocabulary
12 months – 2 to 6 words other than mama and dada
15 months – 10
18 months – 50
24 months – 200-300

Ways to support child in using verbal language:
When child says something, even if it is not a meaningful word, imitate what he is saying and act like it is an actual word or statement. For instance, if your child babbles while looking and/or pointing at a cat, you can say, “Look! A cat! I see it! What does a cat say? Meow.”

Create “Communication Temptations”:
Put several of their favorite toys in clear boxes or place them out of reach, but within sight, like on the counter or mantle. This situation will tempt or force your child to use whatever skills they have to convey wants and needs to you. If you see your child reaching towards a toy, he/she may not have the word for it yet, so be sure to label the object as you hand it to your child. For instance, if your child wants a toy in a clear bin, claim ignorance. “Did you want something? Oh! You want something in the box? Okay, I’ll open it!” (Say “open” as you open the box) “Do you want a toy?” “Want legos?” “Okay, here are your Legos! Legos are fun!” (Repetition is always helpful!)
Caretakers are so in tune with what their child wants. Most of the time, all it takes is one glance in a certain direction for a caretaker to know what their child wants. Eye gaze can be a very efficient form of communication. In order to help your little one use expressive language, it is recommended that you label items before giving them to your child. Let’s say you see your child look at a bottle of milk on the counter as they begin to cry. Instead of handing it to them without saying anything, you can say something like, “Oh, did you want milk? Want milk please! Okay, here is your milk. Is it yummy? Yummy milk!” Repeating the word “milk”. Again, repetition, repetition, repetition!
A recent study showed that mothers who use sing-songy tone of voice when speaking to their children kick-starts language acquisition.

Activities to support language development:
Sing songs over and over again, ones that they are familiar with. When you are singing them, pick some random spots to pause to give them an opportunity to let them fill in the blanks. For example when singing Wheels on a bus: The wheels on the bus go round and …….. (give them an expectant look on your face like it’s their turn). Songs and rhymes contain rhythm , which helps speech and literacy development.
Engage and connect with your child. Make time to sit down with your child – even if it is just for a few minutes a day (although the more one-to-one time the better), spend some quiet time with your child, away from distractions. Look at a book together and talk about the pictures. Get on the ground with them as much as possible. Follow their lead, as whatever they are interested in will result in longer attention on a single activity and thus provide you with more opportunities to focus on repeating key words while playing. This blog post about the importance of play is full of wonderful information about how children learn.

Use simple language. Asking your child to repeat after you can feel like a lot of pressure for them, so expand on what they say instead. For instance, if your child says, “car”, respond with “big car” or “red car”. Hearing new vocabulary around their experiences is how they learn language.

Two important ways to talk when your child is present:
Self-talk and Parallel talk
Self-talk is a speech pathology term. It simply means, talk about what you are doing, seeing, eating, touching, or thinking when your child is present. In other words, narrate your actions.
Some examples include:
“I’m washing the dishes. Now, I’m drying them. All done.”
“I see a doggie. He’s a big doggie. Jackson is a big doggie”.
“I’m cooking. I’m making mac and cheese. Yummy!”
Parallel talk is another speech pathology term and it’s closely related to to self-talk. To use parallel talk, talk about what your child is doing, seeing, eating, or touching. In other words, narrate what he is doing.
Some examples include:
“You’re building a big tower!” Wow!
“Uh oh, your tower fell down.”
“You’re cleaning up!”
“You threw the ball! Nice throw, Ben!

Play with bubbles:
A fun starting point. Early speech sounds are m, b, p which are all made with the lips.
You can say Bubble, Up, Pop. Blow bubbles with them and keep saying the words Pop and Bubbles over and over again.
Try to eliminate screen time, especially before 18 months. Children don’t learn language and social skills by watching television. Evidence has shown that too much TV watching prior to school age can affect listening and attention skills, which will impact on their learning skills.

Speech and Language Red Flags: (Credit)

UNDER 18 months:
No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months
No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months or thereafter
No babbling by 12 months
Does not respond to his/her name by 12 months
No sharing/reciprocal interactions like pointing, sharing, reaching or waving by 12 months
No pointing at objects of interest by 14 months (pointing at a car driving by)
Does not understand simple common words like mama or milk
Is not using any words by 16 months
Does not imitate gross motor movements like clapping or stomping feet

Does not use at least 8-10 meaningful words
Does not follow simple commands like “come here” “stop” “don’t” “give me the __________” or “touch your nose”
Does not follow your pointing with his gaze
Is not playing “pretend” with items (talking on toy phone, feeding a doll)
Does not play in proximity to other children

By Age Two
No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
Does not follow simple two step commands such as “Get the ball and put it on the table”
Speech is not at least 50% understandable
Cannot point to pictures of items in books when asked


The Book “It takes two to talk” is a helpful tool and teaches + helps make early language development a natural process


Daisy Embroidered Top: Madewell  |  High Waisted buttoned front Shorts: Madewell – also sold here  |  white sandals: Sam Edelman

Edison’s Swimsuit: H&M sold out



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