Tips on How to Encourage Your Toddler to Talk

Every parent eagerly waits for their child to talk. It’s a whole new world when your toddler starts talking and you would be at cloud nine! Remember that all children are different and develop at their own pace. Here are some ways to encourage your toddler to get these words flowing. 

Keep talking about everything

Talk a lot with your toddler. Exposure to the outer world is important to improve your child’s vocabulary. Speak slowly and smoothly using small simple words and very short sentences.

Keep narrating to your little one what you are doing, where you are going and all that you are up to. In your conversations, keep enough pauses in between, to listen to your child and wait for him to respond. 

Become your child’s echo

Repeat what your child spoke by adding on one or two words at a time. This will encourage toddlers to further develop their expressive speech. They will feel motivated.

Reward words

Be generous and appreciate when your baby talks. He will be happy getting applauded for his effort and will try speaking more. Also, share some additional words related to what he/she just spoke. 

Don’t anticipate

Make your little one work hard for what he wants. Wait until he or she asks, rather than anticipating their every need and request.

Be blind to gestures

Delay your response to your toddler’s gestures and help your little one work on his/her words. If you fulfil their needs with gestures, your child might be reluctant to work on his or her speech. 

When you respond to any request, ensure that you use the word repeatedly and make him understand that you are trying to emphasize a particular word.

Limit screen time

Only active interaction can help your child talk. When they are hooked up in front of a TV, this cannot happen. Researches have proved that with an increase in screen time, language acquisition gets delayed for children below three years of age. 

It is recommended that children over two years should not be allowed to watch television for more than 2 hours. Children below 2 years of age should be completely discouraged from watching TV.


Listening is equally as important as speaking. We always seek the person who listens to us when we want to tell something. The same holds with children. So when you give your child your attention when he is talking or making sounds, help him/her to understand that they are really important and worth your time. Sustain their interest in talking by paying attention and encourage them with supporting words.

Point and repeat

Point to things in your everyday life and repeat them until your child gets attentive. The more your child hears a particular word, the more they are going to comprehend it; so keep repeating. You’ll soon hear your baby repeating it! 

Remember these sets of words or phrases must include the words of items that the child is attending to, visually at that particular time and then label it for them. Some such words include: during bath time- water, bubbles, soap, bucket; during meal time- spoon, fork, plate, eggs, apple, banana, yummy.

Be animated 

Use lots of facial expressions and variations of tones when you talk with your toddler. This will help you create interest around the act of talking and you can retain your baby’s attention for longer periods. Use changes in volume, sing, recite and be narrative all the time. All this gives your baby even more opportunities to learn.

Give your toddler plenty of opportunities to talk during your everyday routine. Keep encouraging them by engaging in fun-filled activities. The more the better; they will get familiarized with words and our little ones will start playing with words!

Development Fun Health

Developmental Advantages Connected to Early Swimming

Children who learn to swim by the age of five are found to be comparatively smarter than their counterparts. These children gain significant developmental advantages while learning to swim. An extensive study revealed that children who learned swimming early experienced more rapid physical and cognitive skill development than other kids.

Physical and visual Motor skills

Swimming gives developmental advantages in balancing the child’s body and its self-propelled movements. Children who learn swimming before the age of five are more adaptable with many other physical tasks. Early swimmers are also able to grasp objects more easily when compared to others. As they start practising earlier, their brains are also sharper than other kids of their age.

Cognitive skills

Children possessing swimming skills are always at par with others in all activities. They have more proficiency in solving arithmetic problems, identifying numbers and even counting. As they start getting trained very early, they are very good at understanding and following instructions. They have a good hold over language, both oral and in writing and identify the shapes correctly in illustrations. These children acquire good memory skills. They have an edge over others in recalling stories, reciting rhymes and whatever things they learn.

Builds muscles

Swim time helps improve a child’s muscle development at a very young age. Children need to develop muscles required to hold their heads up, move their arms and legs accordingly, and work in coordination with their entire body. Swimming is an exercise that provides benefits both internally and externally. It helps strengthen the lungs, heart, brain and blood vessels.

Improves sleeping patterns

For babies, pool time takes a lot of energy. They need to work extra hard to use their bodies in new ways for coordination. This drains the baby of all his energy and he requires more time to sleep after swimming.

Improves appetite

The extra energy given for swimming burns a lot of calories. This leaves your baby hungry and you notice that a baby’s appetite increases after swimming. This is because of the physical exertion and energy they use underwater to stay warm.

Weight management

Swimming is an effective aerobic exercise which keeps the child’s body moving all the time. This avoids childhood obesity and weight is kept under control.

Improves intelligence

Early swimming has a positive effect on the brain. The children have a higher level of Intelligence as they have been following instructions from a very early age. We also have greater cognitive development.

Stress buster

Swimming helps release stress and frustration in mind. When it comes to children, swimming offers them a perfect time for relaxation and let go of their daily pressures. This, in turn, results in a happier and healthier state of mind, free from all tensions. Being away from academics, such activities are necessary for your child to have some time on his own for his physical fitness and outfit.

Babies and toddlers who participate in swimming use more muscles than young children. Water-resistance helps them build muscle strength. They induce early stimulation of brain development. Specific instructions that need to be followed by early swimmers make them obedient at a much younger age. Completing the complex movements in water keeps the body fit and muscles strong. You must encourage your child to learn swimming as early as possible for his overall mental and physical development.

Awareness Parenting and Childcare Travel

Avoid Losing Your Child in Public Places

Every parent’s worst nightmare is losing your kid in public places. Parents love to travel with their children or take them out. Child safety should be of paramount importance. Just as we say ‘Prevention is better than cure’ if some tips are kept in mind when you travel with small kids such fearful situations can be avoided.

Dress your child in bright colours

In public places, it is easier to spot a child in bright colours. Before entering the crowded area, help your child memorize how you are dressed. This can help your child describe what you are wearing in case your child gets lost in the crowd. This can also help people in tracing his dear ones easily.

Device a plan for the day

Try to make a plan which is specific to the place you are going to. Point out a meeting spot to your child. Help the child to recognize the spot and its surroundings well. Ensure that the meeting point that you have selected can be easily located and reached by your child. Ask him to reach there and to wait if he gets separated from the group.

Train your child on what to do when he gets lost

Children should be taught what they must do if they get lost in public places. For a child’s safety, you must teach them that they must approach a responsible adult, for example, a security guard, a police or a mother with children. Children must explain the situation to adults and seek their help. Make them understand that they should never accept a ride from a stranger or never exit the premises if he/she is lost in an enclosed area like a mall or park and never accept food items or drink from strangers.

Help your child to memorise a few important details

For a child’s security, your child should be able to tell their full name and age, their home address, their parent’s full name and their mobile number.

If your child is too small to memorize, you can write them down in a piece of paper and place it in his or her pocket. You can also think of making an ID card for your child to wear in public places.

Keep a recent digital photo of your child with you

This is in case your child does get lost in a public place. Recent photographs describing features of your baby will help those involved in the search recognize the child from the crowd.

Consider using a digital tracking device

With the growth of Technology, using a digital tracking system can be of help. This can help you keep track of your child’s location using a smartphone that has access to the GPS device’s tracking signal.

Give him a mobile phone

If your child is old enough, you can consider giving him a mobile phone. Hand him at least a feature phone just for the duration of the trip. In case he gets lost can be used to get in touch with the parents.

Stay alert

Remember that you should not get too distracted or involved in a conversation with your spouse, friends, or other family members. Have an eye on where your kids are and what they are up to. Staying alert in a public place is the best precaution that can be taken for your child safety.

Losing your child in a public place can indeed be a traumatic experience. So when you start planning to take your children out to have fun; prepare them well for what they should do in case they get separated from their parents. This will help the children to be alert and act wisely even if they get lost in a crowd, and will be doing the appropriate things as their parents have taught them.

Education and Curriculum

Advantages of Getting Involved with Your Child’s School

“Parents are the first teachers and home is the first school” goes the saying. But as a child grows he steps into a world filled with fantasies. It depends on how a parent monitors and mentors that a child gets transformed. Once a child steps into school, his world starts changing. Children spend most of their time at school. They should be made to realize the importance of learning with growing. This can be brought about by the active participation of parents at school. Therefore, make it a priority to handle both work and your child’s school activities side by side.

Benefits of parental involvement

Children do better at school if they see their parents too giving importance to their school and its associated activities. Getting involved is a great way to show our kids that we take an interest in their education. This will help them succeed more academically and engage more confidently in their overall learning process.

Challenges parents and schools face

In the current scenario, both parents of school-going children are found working. This demanding work schedule leaves parents with no time to involve in their child’s school activities. They drop their kids at school in the morning and most of the time some caretaker might pick them from school. Schools officials and teachers, on the other hand, are packed with so much academic stress that they also don’t have time to share about what is happening at school to the parents. Parental participation and involvement are critical in ensuring a student’s success in this academic and social front.

Though it might be challenging, it cannot be avoided. Parents should be able to manage between work schedules, family life and all other commitments without compromising on their children’s school activities. Here are some ways in which parents can carve some moments to get more involved in your kid.

PTA Involvement

Active involvement in parent-teacher association is an excellent way to provide your help and input to the school in an organized way. You will also be able to keep up with what is going on at school.

Volunteering for special events

Schools often require parents support to help them during special events. For example, helping them make arrangements for sports meet, annual day program, etc. Certain occasions like Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti all require parent’s help in arranging cultural programs. Parents can involve in training the children accordingly as the need arises.

Educational trips

Educational and field trips have now taken prominence in academics in recent times. It gives diverse experiences to students and helps them explore more. However, without parent representatives, such excursions will never be possible. If you volunteer, you’ll probably be in charge of a group of children. Such active participation can be of great help for school. You’ll also get closer to school communities and activities that they handle.

Tips for working parents

Even though you cannot be involved at your child’s school very often, try doing it once in a while. Like attending his PTA meetings, accompanying a class on a field trip or helping them backstage for some activity, these can matter a lot for our little kids. It will make your child feel that his activities at school matter to you.

Policy-making involvement

Certain schools have parent advisory councils, site councils, etc. school boards all need candidates for these seats, as well as volunteers to serve on special committees that evaluate everything from curriculum to safety issues. If you are good at the academic management side, or if you are an academician by profession make it a point to give your best to your child’s school. This will not only help the school grow but will also make your child feel socially responsible when he sees his parents involved without expecting much in return.

Share your expertise

Do you have an interesting job? Does your area of expertise have something to do with your child’s education? If you feel it can help in any way, approach their teachers. They might arrange for a session. In this way, you can help in providing value-added training to your child’s school. This would not only help you in engaging with school but will also help the entire student community. Parental involvement with school and teachers will develop successful and well-rounded students. This partnership will help children grow with a larger range of viewpoints and many different life experiences. This open collaboration between parents, family, teachers and school management creates opportunities for teens to develop and improve on their social, economic and academic skills.

Activities Development Parenting and Childcare

Help Your Child Achieve the Crawling Milestone!

Crawling is probably the first way that your baby will start moving. This little achievement of witnessing your baby crawling for the first time is always heartwarming. Once your baby starts moving, he/she will be scooting around your home in no time.

How does your child learn this skill

Crawling is indeed a pretty complex process. Babies need to learn to coordinate their body parts for the first time. It might take a while for them to get prepared.

After having spent enough tummy time, the muscles in the baby’s arms and shoulders get strengthened. Eventually, the child starts taking mini push-ups. The baby will then spend more time lying on her tummy using her arms for the support, she will try lifting their head and chest. 

With the help of their forearms, your baby will start to move around pulling themselves along on their tummy. Slowly and steadily your little one will get up on all fours and start moving backward and forward keeping their arms straight and balancing their body parallel to the floor. Once started, the game is theirs!

When does a baby crawl

Most of the babies learn to crawl when they are around 6 and 10 months. Each baby is different and they all develop at different rates. Even if your child takes more time, there is nothing to worry about.

Parents role in supporting your baby crawl
Providing tummy time

Give your baby plenty of tummy time from the start. This will help him develop the muscles that your baby needs to crawl. Tummy time also helps prevent flat spots from developing on your baby’s head.

Incentives to grab

Place a set of toys or other desirable objects beyond the reach of your baby. You should encourage him/her to crawl and grab the objects quickly.

Ensure your child’s security

Make sure that your child has space to explore that is safe and supervised. Having crawling children at home, child-proofing is a must. Check all corners of your home and see what potential hazards might be present at your baby’s level. 

Keep your hand behind your child’s feet when he is on all fours

This will make him more confident and will give him a “push off” when he is just learning to crawl.

Things you must avoid
Compelling your baby to learn to crawl

This might give a negative impact on the child’s overall crawling process. Pushing your child to develop a skill for which she is not ready can slow down the learning process. Give him his own time to get prepared. 

Spending lots of time in the baby seat and baby carriers

Though this might be comfortable for parents when they are in public, they restrict the movement of your children. For your child to learn how to crawl and then stand straight and walk, they need plenty of time and space to move around and explore. 

Using baby Walkers

This limits the practice time which the babies should spend on floor learning to crawl. Walkers also hamper a child’s muscle development, as it aids walking easily. 

When should you be concerned about your baby’s crawling

Different babies develop their skills at their own pace. There is nothing wrong if your baby is slow to crawl. They may be figuring out other skills that are more interesting to them. Premature babies and babies that are obese take some extra time to crawl and reach other milestones.  

Some babies never crawl! From lying on their tummies, they go straight to standing and walking.

You need to be concerned only if your little one is not showing any normal signs of mobility like trolling, shuffling, scooting along the floor. Take them to a pediatrician if your baby can’t complete the above-mentioned basic movements by the time they are six or seven months old. 

Different children achieve various milestones at their own pace. Never worry much if your child is a little late. If your child is actively doing his activities and improving his movements, he/she is doing fine. Encourage your child in everything they achieve and you will see your little one growing by each day achieving his milestones one after the other!

Development Potty Training

At what Age should I start Potty Training?

Like learning to crawl, sit and walk, potty training is a skill that your child must learn. There is no perfect or specified age to start potty training. It all depends on the way you train your child to practice which becomes his habit. Let us go through some signs to make sure our little ones are prepared to be potty trained. Though having a potty trained baby is a very big achievement, it takes time, focus and plenty of patience. 

When to start potty training

Just like crawling, walking, talking and sleeping through the night, every child has got its own time. Potty training success depends on the physical, development and behavioural milestones and not age. Some babies show signs of being ready for potty training by the age of 18 or 24 months, whereas others might not be ready at all till they are three or four years old. Never rush till a child is ready.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Can your baby sit in a potty seat and get up without any help? 
  • Can he understand and follow basic instructions? 
  • Can your baby walk to and sit on the toilet?
  • Can your child communicate with you when he or she needs to go to the toilet? 
  • Can the baby stay dry up to 2 hours? 

If your answer for most of these questions is yes then your child might be ready. But if you answered mostly no, you will need to wait. If Potty training is started before the child is ready it will take even longer than needed. Toddlers can be very stubborn at times, and this will ruin the entire process.

Be patient with your child

Don’t judge your child’s intelligence or stubbornness with the potty training success or difficulty. Don’t compel your child; let your child’s motivation lead the process. Also, understand that punishment has no role in the process. You need to plan and devote time and energy consistently and continuously for a few months until the child understands. 
Ready, set, go! 

Choose your words

Decide on the words that you are going to use for your child’s potty needs. Avoid negative words like bad, dirty or stinky.

Fix a place and equipment

Fix a particular place to use potty preferably in the bathroom and encourage your child to sit on the potty frequently. Use simple and positive things to talk about the toilet like describing how to use the potty, show their purpose and teaching them to flush the toilet.

Schedule potty brakes

Scheduling a specific time would make your job easy. Pick them to the toilet right after naps would be a good start. 

Take them fast!

When you notice signs that your baby needs to use the toilet such as squatting, squirming or holding the genital area- respond quickly. Help your child become familiar with these signals, stop whatever they are doing and take them to the toilet. Appreciate and praise your child for telling you when he or she needs to go and continuously remind them.

 Explain hygiene

Educate girls to spread their legs and wipe carefully from front to back after urination. Emphasis on the importance of washing his/her hands afterwards.

Irrespective of the baby’s age, if your child is resisting using the potty chair or toilet continuously, think over. In case you feel he is not ready, take a break! Try again in a few months. 

Nighttime training

This might take a little longer to achieve. If your child’s diaper is dry or only slightly damp when a child wakes in the morning in a row, they may be ready for night time potty training.

When to seek help

If your baby seems to be ready for potty training but is having difficulties continuously, approach a pediatrician. He or she may guide you and help you with tips to overcome the situation. They will check to see if there is an underlying problem.

Potty training is a continuous process and needs patience. To keep control over their bowels and bladder may take a while for some children. You need to be patient throughout and keep them prepared to follow the schedule for their needs gradually at their pace. Believe it, potty training experience is worth the effort and your toddler will be independent once he/she succeeds.

Development Parenting and Childcare

Introducing your Child to the World of Writing

Writing is a skill. Parents are always looking for ways to help their kids learn to write. Though it takes time and patience to master the art of writing, it is never a difficult task to accomplish. Some children have it in their blood and for a few others need these skills to be incorporated in their daily routine.

There are a lot of methods starting from daily reading and writing sessions to fun-filled activities to improve a child’s writing skills. These will help a child build on his or her skills in no time. 

Create an alphabet book

This can be a fun way of getting your child’s alphabet learning started. Alphabet books can be created with one alphabet on a page along with the picture of an item starting with that letter for a child’s visual aid. Children will love drawing items and gradually become familiar with alphabets and letters.

Make children write their books

Encourage children to write their storybooks and get them compiled in the form of a book. Once completed, help them correct it and add them to your bookshelf. Finding a book written by them in the book-shelf will create in them a sense of pride.

Create writing worksheets

For small children just beginning to write, try creating a worksheet where they can trace out letters and words. You can also create a connect-the-dots game by engaging your child tracing along the dotted line and finally finding out the letter which comes up. 

Encourage reading

Regular reading helps expand a child’s vocabulary and shows them different ways of using a particular word. This would make it easier for them to use these words on their piece while writing. 

Encourage your child’s love for reading as they grow. This can be accomplished in smaller children by ensuring that you too read along with them daily. Start Reading early. Those children who devour books, grow up to become strong writers themselves.

Write to faraway friend and relatives

Writing to friends and relatives who they don’t get to see very often would increase your child’s love for writing. They will be enthusiastic to tell about what they have been up to and would love it, even more, when they get a response back.

Creativity can also be encouraged by assigning writing tasks like making pen pals or writing a letter to each other at home and hiding them around the house to find.

Encourage journaling

Creating a journal would be a great milestone in improving your child’s writing skills. This is a great way to express your thoughts and ideas on a particular topic. Encourage your child to write in as much as possible and make it a part of his or her daily routine. 

Create a writing space

Dedicate an area of your home solely for writing purposes. Space should be completely devoted to writing. This will help your child to stay away from all distractions and he can focus on practicing writing skills regularly. 

Connect your child’s interest

Think about your kid’s favorite book series or a comic character or whatever your child is fascinated about. Connect his or her area of interest to writing. If your child is interested in dinosaurs, encourage him to write a series on them, or to describe their features in an article. 

Create story prompts

Suppose your child is obsessed with Pokemon. Encourage your child to write a new short story about Pokemon or ask him to create an entire series of Pokemon. This will add on to his creative writing skills and imagination, prompting him to write more and more. 

Make apt use of Technology 

Use technology to your advantage by promoting your child to create a blog. Engaging in such online updates would help improve their writing skills by encouraging frequent writing habits and creative skills. 

Invest your time

Make yourself available to help your child in proofreading and spellings whenever your child requires it. This will make him confident in what he/she is writing to help him improve more.

Praise your child’s work

Appreciate your child when they show interest in writing any piece. This appreciation will be an inspiration for him to write more and develop their skills. 

As parents, encourage them to write at schools, participate in competitions and try bringing out the best in them by your constant guidance and support. Give these techniques a try and along with some fun, you can see your children sparkling with pens.


Right Time to Have “The Talk” with Kids About Their Private Parts

Kids are always innocent by themselves, so are their activities. We can see them flying here and there without any concerns or fear of their own. They are always in a world of fantasies. They get excited with minute things which might seem to be so unimportant for us! Children explore the world and they are curious about everything they see.

As our kids grow, they start observing and identifying everything they come across. Slowly they will realize that their parents (father and mother) don’t share the same anatomy. With curiosity in their minds, they may end up in the wrong ways in discovering these differences in their genitals, puberty changes and sex. As parents, it is important to clear our kids’ doubts and questions in a way they understand. While we may be tempted to delay as long as possible, talking to our kids early, openly is the best choice.

Importance of such a conversation

As parents, it is natural to feel awkward involving ourselves in a conversation about private body parts. Even adults hesitate to discuss these. Moreover, we would also be confused about how and what to say and how much to talk about. All these will either stop us from starting such talk or will compel us to stop the conversation as early as possible.

Kids learn much more about their private parts much before we parents expect them to. Instead of keeping them ignorant, it is always better to give them the right information at the right time otherwise our children will depend on their peer groups or the internet for accessing more information. This might mislead them in the future.

Finding the right time to talk

The earlier the better. Right from the time a child is born he/she starts learning from observation. According to experts, parents should start creating awareness to children in their age-appropriate manner about their private parts.

This should begin during their toddler years. Out of curiosity kids themselves ask questions about their body parts. Use these opportunities to teach them the names of their genitals. Satisfy their curiosity. Bath time and dressing time must be ideal to engage in such talks.

Always be real and honest

As parents, we might feel strange to teach the name of genitals at a very young age. But it is okay to teach children that these are private parts and the words like penis and vagina at a later stage. It must be ensured that they know these names and realize that there is no shame in naming or speaking of their genitals when used in an appropriate context.

As kids grow, they’ll start asking more and more. They’ll ask us how they were made, it is up to us to clarify their doubts in an age-appropriate way. We can explain that they came from mama’s tummy. Once they grasp it, they are sure to come with more doubts. Share details slowly, honestly and factually. Open the door for questions from the baby, don’t tell all at once.

Teaching the boundaries

This being the most important should be taught without fail. Emphasize that our kids’ bodies and their genitals are very private. They must understand the significance of keeping it safe. Other people do not possess any right to see or touch their private parts. As parents, we can tell our kids that only Mama, daddy and sometimes their paediatrician should see or touch their private parts in case they need them while nursing, not otherwise. As they grow, complete ownership of their body belongs to them.

As parents, it is our responsibility to make them realise that they must be very cautious with who touches them and where. Boundaries are important in terms of safety and consent. They must know how to say no to someone who cross such boundaries.

Keep Talking

Build a rapport with your kids. Ideally, we’ll have to initiate mini-conversation with kids regarding their body parts starting from the time kids begin talking. This will make them realize that this is not something to be ashamed of, that their bodies are not secret and it is their right to know and learn about this. Give them small snippets of information. Gradually educate them according to their age and understanding.

Is this important?

Yes, it is. If we lack the courage and think of explaining it all when they grow, it’s going to be difficult. The world has changed. Studies have proven that kids who are made aware of their private parts within the family are less likely to suffer sexual abuse.

This brings us to the conclusion that the more we communicate to our children as they grow, the safer they will be in the future. It is perhaps the parents who have openly shared to their kids about their genitalia and their boundaries have protected their kids from being a victim of child abuse.

Be their source of information

If we as parents share open and honest conversations right from their childhood, our kids will feel secure. This has paved the way to share many things which they need to know throughout their childhood and adolescence.

It’s easy!

If the child has never heard his parents talking about private parts of their bodies, the child may interpret it as something very shameful. They will no longer feel free to share anything related to their body parts or when someone has wrongly behaved with them or touched them with wrong intentions. To avoid this we must become someone with whom they can freely share all their stuff.

 As parents, we must be able to win the trust of our children. Only then our kids will have the confidence to open up all their issues with us. With small talks and conversations, this can be done. Let us be the source of their information and a place to get all their doubts clarified.

Believe yourself, it’s not that difficult. And not a bad thing which needs to be kept secret. Providing children with accurate, age-appropriate information is one of the most important things that should be done to ensure that our children grow up safe, healthy and secure in their bodies with confidence. The earlier the better! Happy parenting!

Development Parenting and Childcare

Speech and Language Development in Children

Speech and language development are some of the most crucial parts of a child’s overall development. It determines the capability of an infant to communicate with the outside world. It also facilitates your child’s ability to speak and express his feelings, to understand and exchange information in a meaningful way with others.

Crucial developmental period

The most intensive period in a child’s life is considered to be the first three years to develop speech and language skills. It is at this time when the brain is maturing and growing that these skills develop the most. During this period the child’s brain is best in absorbing any language. You must provide him/her with good exposure to sounds, sights and continuous interaction with others speaking.

Parent’s role

Parents play a prominent role in helping their little ones develop the skill of speaking. From the beginning, you can respond to small sounds and gestures that your baby makes. Introduce him to the world around, the creatures, sounds and all that you see and touch.

Engage your child in conversation

Whenever your baby says something, keep adding on to it. Keep talking to your baby whenever you are with him. Asking him questions would prompt the child to speak and you need to listen to the answer patiently. You need to engage him listening to your stories, poems or rhymes. Make your child get familiar with your language. Encourage him to speak and mingle with others.

Age-appropriate milestone

You can identify children with difficulties and their speaking habits at certain points of time.

For this, you must be aware of the time by which your child should start interactions in various forms depending on his/her age.

By the end of 3 months
  • Make cooing sounds
  • Recognizes your face
  • Smiles when you appear
  • Cries differently for different needs
By the end of 6 months
  • Responds to changes in tone of your voice
  • Pays attention to music
  • Makes varieties of sounds and babble
  • Moves their eyes in the direction of sounds
  • Identifies the sounds of toys
By the end of 12 months
  • Tries imitating speech sounds
  • Start saying a few words like Amma, Dada etc.
  • Understands simple instructions like come here
By the end of 18 months
  • Though non verbally, answers simple questions
  • Recognize the names and faces of familiar people and body parts
  • Tries imitating simple words
By the end of 24 months
  • Combining words like more milk, go tata, etc
  • Speak well enough to be understood by at least parents
  • Begins to use pronouns like mine
By the end of 3 years
  • Answers simple questions
  • Speech becomes more accurate but strangers might not be able to understand what they speak completely
  • Uses descriptive words like ‘big’, ‘happy’, ‘small’
  • Uses questions to ask for something such as ‘my ball?’
  • Asks a lot of questions

By 4 years he must be able to describe events as they have happened and can tell a simple story all by himself.

By the age of 2 or 3, if your child doesn’t start speaking, it should be taken seriously.

When to check with the doctor

If a child’s speech or language appears to be delayed, immediate measures have to be taken.

Approach a speech-language pathologist and share your concern about your child’s communication skills. The doctor will evaluate your child based on hearing tests and special spoken tests. Depending on the test reports, doctors will suggest activities to be performed at home to stimulate the development of a child’s speech.

Always keep in mind that your little one is always keenly listening to you and is going to speak by imitating you. Talk to your child whenever you are with them. These techniques can encourage your child’s speech and language development.

Potty Training

Is My Child Ready to Be Potty-Trained?

There is no magic age at which your child is ready to start learning how to use the potty. But most children attain the skills they need to start potty training by the time they are 18 months old. Girls tend to be prepared a few months earlier than the boys. 

Getting your children trained is helping them to move towards independence and an understanding of what it means to go to the toilet like a grown-up. 

Signs indicating your toddler’s readiness to be potty trained
Physical signs
  • You are changing a few wet diapers
  • Your baby is having regular and well-formed bowel movements at comparatively predictable times
  • You develop the feeling that a baby’s bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine. This can be understood when a child has a dry period of at least two hours or during naps.
  • Baby doesn’t poop during the night.
  • The baby urinates a fair amount at one time
  • Baby can sit down quietly in one position for 2 to 5 minutes
  • Gives physical or verbal indication when your baby is having a bowel movement such as grunting, squirming, squatting or tells you by holding his or her genital areas. 
  • Demonstrates the desire for independence
  • Your baby isn’t resistant to learning to use the toilet
Cognitive signs
  • The baby can follow simple instructions and requests such as “do you want to go to the toilet?” or “Get your toy”.
  • Your baby understands the physical signs that mean we have to go to the toilet and can tell you before he feels with or even holds until he has time to get to the potty
  • Has his own words for urine and stool
  • Realizes the importance of putting things where they originally belong.
Preparing your child for potty training

Using a potty will be completely a new process for your child, so get him/her used to it gradually. Talk about hygiene, make your little one understand what a wet nappy means. Make your child understand that a toilet is a place where you go when you have a bowel movement. 

Show the baby what a potty is and leave it at a place where a child can see it. Also, explain what it is used for. If you have an older child, your younger one can see him using it which would be of great help. 

How to start potty training

Fix a place and stick on to that. Preferably keep the potty in the bathroom. Encourage your child to sit on the potty frequently. Take the help of a toy or a book to engage your child and sit on the potty.

If a child is happily using potty continue using it regularly. What if a child is IELTS lightspeed upset with the idea, just put the nappy back on and leave it a few more weeks before trying again. 

Potty training with a disabled child

It is a bit more difficult to learn to use a potty or toilet for children with disabilities or long-term illnesses. This can be challenging for both parents and the baby, but do not avoid potty training for too long. Be more patient and help them conquer the skill of using the potty. 

Be patient and compassionate with your child

Understand that compelling your child is never going to help him/her in succeeding this skill. Rather toddlers can be very stubborn at times and this will ruin the entire complete process. You need to be patient and devote time consistently and continuously for a few days until your child understands the significance of using a potty. 

Helping your child conquer the skill of using a potty when he/she needs them is an achievement. Appreciating your baby when he/she uses the potty correctly will help your child be delighted when they succeed. Help them follow a schedule and this will be a huge milestone for your child’s independence.