Thursday, March 21, 2013

Toddler Talk

Today was cold and SNOWY! So much for Spring's official arrival. We donned our warm boots and winter coats and set out to run some errands. We met Whitney and Baby Girl at story time then went to the grocery.

And we went to the bank, library and pet store.

First library book!
I got home later than I like to on Thursdays so the rest of our evening ran a bit late but we enjoyed ourselves, and Ayden was happy until he went to sleep around 8:30, so we just went with it.

My dad is a retired educator and we share a passion for child development. He has mentioned time and time again that one of his favorite parts of being a grandfather has been to observe all of his grandchildren as they develop over the years. As an early childhood educator myself, part of my reason for keeping such detailed documentation of Ayden's development, other than memories sake, is for professional reasons. Who knows if I'll ever do anything with it but at least I've got it just in case. If nothing else, I have it all to fondly look back on when he's all grown up and on his own.

My dad was saying yesterday that he is a linguist at heart and that he thinks I should keep track of his language as it develops. I told him I'd write a post documenting all of the words he has so far and then add to it from there. So here you have it, Ayden's comprehensive 14 month sign, word and noise counts:

All done
Milk (for nurse)
Waves hi
Waves bye
Blows kisses
Gives kisses
Tickle fingers
Nods head for yes
Shakes head for no
Hat (pats his head)
* some are official ASL, some he has come up with. All are used consistently in context.

Bye bye
Tickle tickle
Ball (ba)
Drink (di)
Kitty kitty
Fish (ish)
Blueberries (Boo-boo)
Apple (ba-pa)
Bow wow
Tweet tweet
Choo choo
That (da)
Hat ("ha" and pats his head)
Help ("ha" and puts his hands over his shoulders...not sure why)
Belly button (ti-too)
Naunie ("Naw-na" - the name for my mom)
Banana ("Nana")
*some are intelligible, some are baby talk but all are consistently used in context.
* we figured of an animal noise could be written phonetically, it counts as an official word as well. In other words, if you might read it in a children's book, it is more than sound imitation.
updated 3/25/13

Sounds for:
Cat (hi pitched whining sound)
Dog ("bow wow wow")
Kisses ("mmmmuah")
Tastes good ("Mmmm)
Horse (blows air through loose lips)
Elephant (blows air through tight lips)
Snake ("ssss")
Cow ("booo")
Chicken ('ba ba ba")
Bird ("tweet tweet")
Goat ("naaa")
Sheep ("baaa")
Bee ("ssss" sounds the same as snake)
Rooster ("doo doo doo doo" for cock-a-doodle-do)
Monkey "(ooo-ah!")
Lion ("Aaaaah!" In a growly voice)
Owl ("who who")
All animal sounds listed as words above.

Well. If you made it though all of those lists, you must be as interested in language and/or child development as we are :). It is hard to recall everything all at once so it is possible that i left a few things out. As far as his "first word" after dada and mama, it was hi. It was harder than I thought it would be to pinpoint his first official word. It was like his babbling slowly morphed into things we could begin to understand and it seemed several developed at once. Now I have totally forgiven my parents for "forgetting" my first word. Because if I was anything like Ayden, there was never a black and white moment that screamed, "She just said her first word!"

I'd love to hear what words your toddler likes to say or sign. It is so interesting to me that different children focus on different things and how those interests dictate what words they pick up first. Ayden is fixated on animals at the moment (specifically farm animals, imagine that...) so he seems to be picking up words and sounds having to do with that category first. They spend their first year learning how to walk and their second year learning how to talk. Pretty cool stuff!



  1. I really appreciate when you share your professional views on Ayden's development. It helps me decide what things I focus on with my own child's development.

    At 23 months he no longer uses his signs which I'm ok with as he is extremely vocal. He makes conversation, asks questions and communicates his wants and needs. It's a great stage! At last count he had nearly 250 words/sounds in his regular vocabulary. I have stopped keeping track, unfortunately.

    It was hard for us to pinpoint his first word. He made the "mama" sound a lot so we decided mama was his first word but its hard to say which word he used in context first. No black and white moment for us either.

  2. Very interesting post. I'd never thought about children focusing on different words but I guess they do.

    My Ax at 2 years is saying lots of words but he has a severe speech impairment so most are only understood by me. We have him in Speech Therapy and hope he progresses by leaps and bounds.

  3. My son is the same about not being able to pinpoint the *first* word. He's 10 months and mostly says mama (mom and milk) and dada (dad and other fun stuff.) I love this post! I love lingusitics as well

  4. Your blog posts are always interesting for me to read as a speech therapist. Please keep them coming.