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100 First Words: Ways to decipher toddler talk

Want to speak to and understand your toddler? Then crack the code of her baby chatter with these quick tips and books to help them learn their first 100 words

Five ways to decipher toddler talk

Look Who’s Talking

At around the age of 19 to 24 months, a toddler’s vocabulary will expand from 50 to 100 words. They can likely name things like body parts and familiar people. They may begin to speak in short phrases or sentences. And by the time your toddler is 2 to 3 years old, they can have a vocabulary of 250 words or more. Here’s how to understand that baby talk:
1. Be patient

Toddlers often muddle up their pronunciation, as they are learning to coordinate almost 100 different vocal muscles.


2. Listen carefully
The sounds that they make will be similar to real words (they might say “wareesha” for “what’s that?”, for example), but you will need to pay close attention to understand.

3. Ask them to repeat themselves
If you can’t catch the meaning of a word, ask them to say it again. They’ll will be delighted by this, as toddlers love repetition.

4. Get them to demonstrate
Ask your child to show you what they want if you still can’t understand what they are trying to say.

5. Buy them bubbles
Blowing soap bubbles can help with verbal coordination, as it uses similar muscles to forming words.

The Junior Bookclub Recommends: Our Favourite First 100 Words Books for Toddlers

> 100 First Words: With BIG flaps to lift! by Edward Underwood (Nosy Crow)


> 100 First Words (DK)

> First 100 Words (Pat-a-Cake Books)

> First 100 Words Board Book by Roger Priddy (Priddy Books)


> First 100 Words (Scholastic)