What’s Happening in the Toddler Brain?
You’ve heard during the first two years of your little one’s life their brain is growing and expanding at a rate unparalleled to any other time. But what does this really mean for toddler language development?
We’re hear get specific with one of the greatest developments happening inside the minds of 13-20 month olds: understanding and responding to language.
The time period between 13-20 months is special for children because it marks a big change in brain processing. Due to baby mumbling, overhearing language, and sensory stimulation, most toddler brains have strengthened to a very specific phase where word differentiation is achievable. Toddlers can hear specific words and recognize patterns, whereas before there’s thought to be only continuous noise.
Now children can actually process speech, making it possible to understand and react to words using non-verbal communication. This is an extremely important step towards toddler language development and being able to respond with language, although for most talking comes much later.
What does this mean about your interaction with your little one?
Here’s 3 quick tips:
1. Make sure to talk at eye level, making eye contact with your little one to assist in comprehension and let them know you’re addressing them specifically.
2. Describe everything! You should assume your toddler is listening to everything you’re saying (so, choose your words carefully!) and describing play by play is a great exercise for them to connect vocabulary with actions.
3. Always greet both verbal and nonverbal language attempts with enthusiasm and positivity. When your little one is trying in any way to communicate with you make sure to acknowledge them, trying your best to decode and solve their commentary.