In this week’s hangout with Beckie Whitehouse, we are talking about speech and how we can help our toddlers with their speech development.

First words are usually spoken at the age of around one and usually consist of dadda, mamma or nanna.  Dadda often comes first much to any mum’s disgust ;-)  Babies will often make lots of babbling or gurgling noises way before then and if they don’t, it would be worth talking to a health professional to make sure there are no hearing or other developmental problems.

By the age of 5, most children should be able to tell a simple story and putting short sentences together.  Be aware, this is a rough guideline only.  You will know your own child and, again, if you have any concerns with regards your child’s speech development you should seek the advice of a health professional.  More often that not, if there are older siblings, they will speak for their younger brother or sister so the younger has no need to talk.  If this is the case have a chat with the older child and suggest that they allow their younger sibling to speak up.

So, how can we help our children? Talk to your child right from the start.  I have often heard mums who talk to their baby whilst changing their nappy (I did used to do this myself ;-) ).  Even talking whilst cooking or cleaning will help your child’s speech development without you knowing it.

When outside ask “can you see the duck” or “can you see the tree” (these are just examples).  This can help your toddler open up to conversation.

Asking open questions to your child such as “what did you do at school today” is another way to open up conversation with your older child.

These are just some ideas but the video below goes much more in depth so take a listen below and let us know what you think :-)