Language development of an 18-month old baby

My granddaughter is about to turn 18 months in 3 weeks’ time. I am going to describe her language development. She has control of a number of initial consonants using them in words like mama, dada, and baba. These are m, d, t, p, b as starters. She is now experimenting which is typical of the explosion of words that occur at this time in their language development.

Instead of using single words, she is now stringing together a couple of words in 2-word sentences. When taking to children of this age, use lots of language including nouns, verbs and adjectives. She will now be able to understand not only truck but also descriptive words like big, small, red, or black.

Her language is now babbling as she experiments with various sounds. She chats away a lot, perhaps copying examples of people talking to her.  This is an important time – for parents, family and adults to talk to her, describe things in sentences and explain things to her. No longer will a dog be a ‘dog’ but she will begin to distinguish different shapes, sizes and colours of dogs.

She now understands some basic positional language like on/off (my necklace is on/ now it is off.); up/down. She demonstrated her understanding today as she sat down and then stood up when the words where used.

Her vocabulary of nouns is increasing all the time at this age. Yesterday she got excited when she repeatedly showed her mother a photo of an aeroplane – yes we had seen one in the sky and she had pointed it out.

She can identify family members now and point to them, also to parts of the body like ear, nose, hands and puku/tummy. She also recognises some Te reo Maori as was read from one of her books, bringing the book from her bedroom to the adult and not on queue ore requested.