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Article: Don’t Speak: Why a Few Words of Baby Talk Are All You Need

andrea richards

Don’t Speak: Why a Few Words of Baby Talk Are All You Need

dontspeak My 15-month-old is stuck in a holding pattern with her speech; she's had the same words for the last five months. They are, in order of use: "no," "Mama," "Papa," "dog" and the very rare, "yes." Not a bad selection given that the "no" alone mostly communicates everything she needs. I'm just glad her father and I both made the list, although I would like to mention that we don't have a dog. How handy is it to have a word for something we don't even have? You know what she does have - a sister, but I haven't heard her even try to sound out her sister's name yet. Perhaps her love of dogs is less complicated. Though my baby girl can toddle around like nobody's business and pretty much keep up with the rest of the family in all other ways, her silence comes as a surprise. Am I getting concerned that her linguistic development is stuck in a groove? Or am I tired of hearing the same five words? Not at all. I'm enjoying every second of her limited language skills. 027297960824 Why? Two reasons: one, her big sister, the hyperverbal three-year-old asks enough questions for all of us. There's no lack of conversation around our house and it's nice to have a somewhat silent partner around. "Use your words," has long been the house mantra with the three-year-old, and indeed, she's a case of watch what you wish for, folks. Now she can pretty much negotiate her way into (and out of) anything. At least with the younger one, I still have a chance at winning a debate. As long as she stays quiet I can dodge the inevitable a little bit longer: two tiny people trying to boss me around all the time. Secondly, I love the prelingual stage and it was way too short-lived this time round. The more my girl talks, the less of a baby she is, so sticking with just a handful of words is fine by me. Plus, it's not as if she isn't saying anything - she speaks, mostly in screeches, blabbers and babbles - but for the most part, we know exactly what she wants or needs. Without even using her voice, she's made her demands clear, and somehow manages to intimidate even the big sister. But mostly, I love the way she runs around the house shaking her head in silence at us, as if exasperated by all our useless chatter. For more from Andrea and her mommy moments, click HERE. And please show Rockabye Baby your support by visiting Red Tricycle and voting for us!


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