Five Tips to Help Improve Your Toddler’s Speech & Communication

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Five Tips to Help Improve Your

We often get lots of compliments on how well our 2 yr. old communicates and how his speech and communication has changed so much since when he first came.

While we don’t necessarily believe we can and should take all the credit we do recognize some things that we have been doing that may have/had a huge impact.

Disclaimer: I am in no way a professional and am in no way trying to say that this is the way, I am simply sharing what I have observed in our home and what seems to be working for us…right now.

1. Prayer!

As weird as it may sound, I do this for us. When the boys came, we had {and still have} no idea on how to communicate with them, what 2 year olds understand and don’t understand, what is “normal” or what we should except. So I had to pray for understanding and wisdom, on a new of communicating with little people.

2. Slow Down

Being a new “mom” now, I often watch other moms, not in a judgmental way but honestly mainly out of curiosity on how they do it, especially when they have multiple children. I look at other moms as confidence boosters. But I also notice that more often than not parents or guardians can be very short with their little ones, wanting to get it done rather than give understanding. This also includes our speech. I can be a fast talker and try to be very careful with that with our little ones. I once overheard a conversation at Target where a mother was giving her little girl a direction. The little girl looked like she was about 3. But as the mother gave her the direction to follow, the little girl was just looking her. I couldn’t help but to think that she was speaking way to fast for the little girl. In her frustration, she repeated her direction in a stern slower voice as she took away her toy for not following directions. I felt so bad for the little girl only because I just don’t think she understood what was being said at that moment. (Please don’t take this as being judgmental, I’m just using this example not labeling the mom as a failure, we all have those moments)

3. Encourage Communication

Being as though my husband and I didn’t have a chance to “baby talk” going from no children to two {one being a 2yr old}, it was really hard for me to tolerate whining and pointing. I always knew for the most part I would be a kinda strict mom because my tolerance level is low {but God is working on me} but with that being said we encourage our 2 yr old often to communicate with words. To “use his words”. We for the most part do not allow pointing with no sound..lol. Or whining. If we know he don’t know what it is he’s pointing to then we tell him what it is, then he has to ask for it without pointing using his new word.

We also encourage him to use sentences. We often get “he cant say all of that” but we’re not expecting him to… now. The idea is for him to get the concept of what he is suppose to say and how he’s suppose to say it. I often hear “he should be able to put together two words” but hearing him say “cuppie please” or ‘”more please” irritates me. I’d rather hear him attempt a full sentence and I only understand “more please” then for him to give me just 2 worded sentences. Sooner than later he’s saying more and more of the sentence.

We constantly converse with our little ones. In the morning, during pamper changes. I had to teach him to say “good morning” because his first words in the morning to me when I first came in was “cuppie mommy”, I hated it! It made me feel like a servant. So I told no, first you say “good morning” and “how you doing”. So every morning he says “good morning mommy”, “good morning daddy”, and we sometimes hear him on the monitor “good morning wobbles{his lil brother}”. We talk during meals, no TV, its family time. We ask him questions like “how did you sleep?”, “do your food taste good?”, “did you have fun ___?”, or “are you ready for your bath after dinner?”. I speak just about everything we’re doing {with him} to help give him understanding. In return, he’ll say things like “I ate my food mommy”, “I brush my teeth”, “I took a bath”, “I tired, ready go to sleep”. And gives us a good understanding of what he knows and understands.

We also encourage him to communicate with his little brother. To ask him for things instead of just taking them. To talk to him. But we also explain to him that he’s still learning how to talk back because sometimes he wants him to say “please” or “thank you” or “excuse me” lol. We also talk to the little one the same. After eating, I’ll show him his bowl and say “all gone”. (2 words are acceptable for him but he understands a lot of words that a lot of people are surprised about) and give him words to say like “more please” which he’s attempting to say these days. But we take his babble over his cry. If he wants his bottle and starts crying, we normally say “no crying, what do you want? your bottle? {showing the bottle} bottle? yes?” and he’ll say “baba” then he has to say his version of “thank you” lol.

4. Get on Their Level (Eye to Eye)

Well, I think this says it all. When possible get down to their levels face to face, EYES TO EYES. I know for our little one, he has a habit of looking to the side, so we have to remind him to look at our eyes when we’re talking to him. If we’re telling him to do something and he do not follow through, we sometimes do a face to face talk as his final warning before his consequences.

5. Be Patient

Yes I know. This can be a challenge in itself because sometimes you just want to get through it, {whatever it is}. Sometimes waiting for him to say an answer you know he already knows, can be torturing. Or if someone’s talking to him and he’s just stuck at “uuuuuhhhhhhh” or “uuummmmmm”. But instead of giving him the answer try repeating the question or encouraging him to respond in another way. Such as if someone ask how old he is sometimes mine will just look but if I say well “how old is your brother” than he’ll tell us, than I rap back around to the first question then he responds. (Not all the time but a lot of times. Some cases are just lost causes..lol).

So I hope these tips help. And again in no way am I trying to be an expert, this is just what we do that have been working.

What tips do you have that you found also helped your toddler communicate better?

India