My son, Nathan, who's almost 15 months old, has recently been adding more words to his vocabulary. His first word was Dada, followed by Mama (my favorite!). Recently he's added ball, walk and just yesterday Laura (my sister's name and his favorite aunt.)
New research is suggesting that baby's really do begin learning language well before they ever say those first words.
According to a story published Thursday by the Associated Press, once babies have mastered easy words like mama or ball, they move on to harder words (like serendipity), resulting in a "word spurt" around 18 months.
The article also points out that rather than buying technologically advanced teaching toys for your toddler, just read and talk to them.
I'll admit, it seems easier sometimes to sit Nathan in front of a toy, especially when I'm trying to cook or clean. But reading to him every night before bed is our time to snuggle. It's replaced his bedtime bottle, and I'm glad. It's a ritual we can share together from now until he at least hits puberty, I reckon.
Need some ideas on teaching your toddler language? Visit the National Institute for Literacy at http://www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/publications/html/parent_guides/birth_to_pre.html