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Your Toddler's Growing Vocabulary

Month 22

By 22 months, your child has become a little chatterbox! She's learning about one new word a day. She may even put two words together, such as "Mommy, come," "Let's go," or "All done."

Her constantly expanding vocabulary of words and phrases is letting her engage in real conversations. Sometimes it seems like she never stops talking!

Though you may not understand everything your toddler says, nod and smile along to encourage her. Offer helpful suggestions when she stumbles or has trouble finding the right word. You'll help her language skills grow even more.

As you move through your day, tell her what's coming up. She understands you better than she can talk, and setting her expectations may help avoid a meltdown.

Other ways to improve your child's speech:

  • Read to her and encourage her to recite back lines from the book.
  • Use flash cards and memory games to reinforce words.
  • Watch your language. Any bad words you say can -- and will -- eventually come out of your child's mouth. And who knows who she'll say it to?
  • Be a sportscaster. Describe what your baby is doing while she's doing it to help her learn the words.

Your Toddler's Development This Month

Colors, movement, faces -- when you're a toddler, there's so much to see in the world! Now that your child's vision has gotten so much sharper, she can spot every bright, beautiful detail.

Give your toddler a variety of sights to study. Let her look at colorful picture books, paintings, flowers, and people's faces. Be very descriptive in your conversations with your little one. Talk about size, shapes, and color of objects.

Your pediatrician will check your child's vision and pay attention to any eye crossing, lazy eye, or head tilts that may signal a problem.

In the meantime, keep an eye on your toddler's eyesight. Call the doctor if you notice that your child:

  • Can't focus on or follow an object
  • Can't see people in the distance
  • Rubs her eyes a lot
  • Has red, irritated, or teary eyes
  • Makes unusual eye movements

Month 22 Tips

  • By age 2, your child should know at least 50 words and at least half of them should be understandable to a stranger. If she's having trouble forming words, call the doctor.
  • To help keep her healthy, make sure your child washes her hands often. Help her remember to do this after she sneezes, plays with animals, or, if she does, goes to the bathroom.
  • Sometimes parents need a break, but make sure you prepare your child. Find a sitter he likes who will keep him on his normal daily routine.
  • Hand-me-downs are fine for clothes, but with toys, newer is better. Older toys may not meet current safety standards, and they could break.
  • You're never too old to be silly. Make faces and goofy noises -- your child will love it!
  • Take a nature walk. Explore bugs, flowers, and trees with your child. You'll both get exercise, fresh air, and a great adventure.
  • To help avoid temper tantrums, give your child some choices. For instance, let her choose which books to read with you. And try to stick to your established routines.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed on September 12, 2013

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