Words a toddler should know

WASHINGTON – A new study gives parents a new benchmark for early childhood speech, suggesting a list of words and phrases children should be able to say by the time they are two years old.

Most toddlers can say “mommy” and “daddy” by two but they need to be able to say more, according to the study conducted by Bryn Mawr Child Institute.

Here are the words the study recommends

  • baby
  • milk
  • juice
  • hello
  • bye-bye
  • nose
  • eye
  • banana
  • cookie
  • car
  • more
  • yes & no
  • all gone
  • dog
  • cat
  • ball
  • hot
  • thank you
  • bath
  • shoe
  • hat
  • book

Kids who have not mastered the list might not be late bloomers, experts say. They could be showing signs of autism, developmental delays or hearing problems, says Leslie Rescorla, director of the Child Study Institute at Bryn Mawr College.

Parents should spend more time engaging their children in conversation, Rescorla suggests, rather than sitting them down in front of the TV. Kids develop language skills faster through practice, she says.

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