People ask me all the time, “how did you get your son to talk so much, so early?” I was sick of guessing what he wanted, and I wanted to be able to communicate with him very early on. There are many ways to get your toddler talking at a young age, and I implemented ALL of them.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Check out our Privacy Statement for more information.
Why Should You Listen To Me?
I am a very impatient person. When my son was little, I was always eager to get to the next stages (which I sadly regret now). I couldn’t wait until I could make my newborn his first baby food, or he said his first word, or he took his first steps.
Although I do miss the baby stages, I am very happy that I found ways to get him to talk early on.
On multiple occasions, I was out with my son (anywhere between the ages of 12-15 months), and he would start whining and crying. I would immediately say, “I do not understand you, use your big boy words.”
Boy oh boy, people gave me crap for this! They would snap back, “he’s just a baby, he can’t use his words.”
And to everyone’s surprise…every time…he would use his words and tell me what he wanted.
By 14 Months, my son knew all of the recommended sight words for up to 24 months.
Now, at almost two years old, he is using complete sentences all the time.
There are so many benefits of finding ways to get your toddler talking at a young age!
First, you will be able to communicate with them. Now, this might seem obvious, but really think about this. That precious little baby that you love so much, will be able to tell you that they love you. They will be able to tell you that they are happy or having fun.
Being able to communicate also makes hitting other milestones easier for both mom and toddler. The earlier a toddler is talking, the earlier you can potty train, teach responsibilities, teach manners, etc.
Second, it will be easier to handle all of the toddler meltdowns. Many times toddlers throw temper tantrums, because they cannot communicate what they want. If they can tell you, that they want a snack instead of throwing themselves on the ground kicking and screaming. This makes both of your lives easier.
Plus, you will be able to tell them to use their big kid words when they do have meltdowns.
Make sure to check out Tackling The Terrible Twos!
So now onto the 13 ways to get your toddler talking at a young age!
1. Talk To Your Toddler
Talk to your toddler about everything! Seriously, just narrate your life.
For example, let’s say your toddler is playing with a ball. Say things like, “Oh good job throwing the ball. Now you are bouncing it, good job. You kicked the yellow ball.”
Even if they do not understand words like ‘yellow’ yet, the more you use the words, they sooner they will start making connections.
Ask your toddler questions, even if they do not answer you. When you talk to your toddler, act like you are having a full conversation with an adult, even if it is like you are talking to a brick wall.
Make sure to use full sentences. If you point at a toy and just say, “car,” they will learn the word car, but they will have a more difficult time forming sentences. Make sure to say, “this is a car.”
2. Listen To Your Toddler
Take time to listen to your toddler and engage with what they are saying. If your toddler tells you something, and you just nod your head and walk away, they didn’t gain anything from using their words.
If your child bring you a toy and says, “cow,” make sure to engage with them and say something like, “yes, that is a cow. A cow says moo.”
Once your child realizes that you can understand them, they will want to communicate with you more often.
3. Mimic Them
You should start mimicking your child even at the baby stages. If your child is babbling, remember this is still a found of communicate. Mimic them, because your child will feel like you are engaging and communicating with them even if you do not understand them.
This will encourage them to babble more often, which will eventually turn into using real words.
4. Make Your Toddler Talk
Practice makes perfect, so make sure to have your toddler use their words as much as possible.
It is so easy to get into mom mode, and just take over and get everything done that needs to be done, but this will not benefit your toddler in the long run.
If you realize your toddler’s cup is empty, instead of just filling it up, turn it into a conversation. Ask, “is your water all gone? Would you like more? Would you water, juice, or milk?”
Before you fill up their cup, make sure they have given you an answer. If they are still learning, get down to their level and encourage them to give you an answer.
If your toddler doesn’t give you an answer when you ask, “would you like more?,” have them repeat after you, make them say, “yes please.”
5. Talk About Things They Are Interested In
If you have a toddler that just loves baby dolls, when you play with the baby dolls and talk about the doll, your toddler will get excited and be more likely to engage over the doll.
Now, if you take this same toddler and try to talk about a toy train, they might not be as engaged and willing to talk about the train.
6. Be Consistent
Think about this with me for a minute….If you are learning to dance and you practice once a week, how good will you be at dance by the end of the month?
Now, if you practiced to dance every single day, how much better would you be at dance by the end of the month?
You need to consistently use these tricks to get your toddler talking at a young age.
Have ever you caught yourself singing along to a song, and you surprise yourself because you know every word, but yet you can’t remember what you ate for breakfast?
Songs are very catchy and easy to sing along to because of the rhythm and rhymes.
Make sure to sing with your child everyday. You could turn on music and sing and dance, or you could just sing a simple nursery rhyme.
Ask your toddler to do something and make sure they understand what you are saying, even if there are no words involved.
If you ask your child to hand you the airplane toy, if they pick up the airplane and bring it to you, you know that they understand what an airplane is.
Understanding vocabulary words in very important in speech, because to be able to use words correctly, toddlers have to know the definition of the words they are using.
When my son was just over a year, his favorite game to play was, what I liked to call- Toddler Fetch.
I would fill up a basket of random toys and dump them at one end of our hallway, then I would take the basket and sit at the other end of the hallway. I would call out a toy, he would find it, run it back to me, and put it in the basket. Plus…this tired him out!!
Even though he didn’t say a word the entire game, in the following days, he started to use words that he learned while playing the game.
9. Screen Time
Now, I know some mom will want to strangle me for saying this, but I love screen time!
Hear me out…don’t just put your toddler in front of a screen and walk away for a long period of time.
Turn on something…anything (it doesn’t have to be educational, you can turn anything into a learning experience), and stay by your child’s side.
Let them watch, and interject with statements and questions.
My son LOVES Paw Patrol. So we will sit and watch an episode of Paw Patrol, and I will ask him, “what color is the garbage truck? What sound does the cop car make?”
I will explains things to him, and get him excited for what is going to happen next.
My son has learned so much from watching TV and playing game on his Kindle Kids Edition.
However, as a parent you will have to encourage your kids to learn from screen time, just plopping them down in front of the TV and hoping they learn something will not work.
10. Talking Toys
As your toddler learns to use their own voice, they will start copying things they hear other people say. (Now is the time to start being careful about what you say in front of your kids.)
Invest in toys that talk, because your child will start repeating what the toys are saying. My favorite is the VTech Ultimate Alphabet Activity Cube.
Look into toys that repeat what they hear. This talking hamster is my son’s favorite toy right now. He carries it around, talks to it, and cracks up when it repeats him.
Because he thinks it is so funny, he just keeps talking to it…over and over and over again.
Read to your toddler every day. Toddlers can learn from books in many ways.
First, your child will hear words that you may not use in your everyday vocabulary.
Second, your child will be able to learn new words by looking at the pictures in the book.
Third, your child will be able to see the words written out as you read them, which will help in a few years when they learn to read themselves.
‘My Little Animal Book’ is another great book to teach your child animals. I love this book, because it is so colorful, it has real animal pictures instead of cartoons, and it has every animal you could think of separated into categories.
The little board books are also great books for toddlers. They have alphabet boards books, Disney stories, Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse, and so much more. These books are short and to the point, which is great for learning new words and simple concepts.
They also have fun toys that read stories for you. We just recently got this Paw Patrol Read To Me Adventure Toy, and my son loves it. He is playing, which makes him happy, and he is learning, which makes mom happy!
While reading to your child is great, and you should be doing it every day, it can be confusing for toddlers to learn individual words from longer stories.
Flashcards are great for teaching sight words. You can buy flashcards for animals, shapes, colors, and counting. Or you can download flashcard apps, which works great on the Kindle Kids Edition.
The feeling you will get when you finally get your toddler talking at a young age is priceless. You will feel so proud, and your toddler should too.
Make sure they know they you are proud of them. Praise them every time they make progress. You should praise them for trying, even if they are not making any progress.
Make sure you get excited and make a big deal about it, because they will want to continue to use their words if they get praised for it! 😀
Bonus: If you think your child has a speech delay, or want to check an assessment guide, check out Toddler Speech Boost.
I hope you implement these 13 ways to get your toddler talking at a young age, just like I did.
Make sure to share this with your mommy friends, and join the Moving Mountains With Motherhood Community below.