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There has been a decent amount of talk about word and speech expectations in our discussion group on Facebook. Many of the little ones are around 1 year or older now, so it is on all of our minds as mamas! Caroline had a quick trip to the doctor today for a high fever that she’s been sporting all weekend. I took the opportunity to ask about word expectations for her age (15 months).

The doctor informed me that the expectation for 15 months of age is to have 3 sounds, and that she recognizes that speech has meaning and is different from whining, grunting, moaning, etc.

I was expecting her to say words, not sounds– so I clarified. “Any consistent sound, not necessarily words that make sense to us?”. The doctor confirmed and said that was correct. Her examples were:
“If Caroline were to say ‘gaga’ ever time she saw the dog and not use it for anything else, that counts as a word for her, and one of the 3 sounds we have as a goal”.
“If she were to make a panting noise every time she sees a dog, or bark, that also counts”.

So, this got me pretty excited. Here I was thinking Caroline was slightly behind in speech. When, according to this expectation, she is on point if not ahead!

Caroline currently says “mama” and “dada” appropriately and consistently. Two real words!
She also makes a barking noise when we ask her what a dog says or when she sees one.
She says “mmmm” when we ask her what a cow says.
She says “da” for down when she wants down.
She also says “uhh” for up when she wants up.
She says “xxx” for excuse me when she needs to get by something or someone.

She also understands the concept of speaking. When we ask her to speak, ask, talk, tell, say, etc. she reverts from whining to actually speaking. The words don’t make sense to us, but she understands that speech is different and means something.

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