On Monday, my son started what is called “halte garderie”, which is a place where kids can go for up to 4 half days between the age of 15 months (or when they know how to walk well) and when they start Ecole Maternelle (which is like nursery school/kindergarten, but very much like school). This week was an adaptation week. Every day he went for a little bit longer, half an hour with me the 1st day and then 1 hour alone, 2 hours alone, with lunch and finally with lunch and the nap (ok no nap for the little man). I should add that we opted for 2 full days so that I can work a bit more during the week.

Over the past few days, we have been observing an astounding change. Our 18 month old is vocalizing so much more than ever before. Within 5 days the “mamamamama, blablabla, bebebebe” as well as other sounds have been constant background noise.

With an older sister around and parents that are now used to reading signs, there is no real pressure to talk. Everything can be communicated through pointing and saying “mehmehmeh”. It seems as though being around other kids, with whom it is a bit more difficult to communicate, adds some pressure to speech development.

2 thoughts on “Vocalizing

  1. Other kids can be a great example. I love to tell the story from when my son was 2 1/2. I had planned to run an errand before I dropped him to preschool for his morning class, so we started getting ready earlier than normal. I spent all that extra time arguing with him to put on clothes. He refused, fighting me physically not to put on any clothes. Finally we were in danger of being late for class, so I popped him in the car in his diaper and boots (February), and shoved clothes in the diaper bag. Off we go. Several mothers had comments in the parking lot. No effect. We get into the classroom, I sign him in, I am explaining to the teacher why he’s effectively naked in February, when I hear this high pitched little voice (belonging to a very pretty little blond girl) saying “Name, where are your clothes?” Without missing a beat my kid turns around and says “Mom, do I have clothes?” I handed them over and he dressed himself like the previous 90 minutes hadn’t even happened. Laughing (now, crying then)


  2. Hi Solveig – it is amazing what kids can learn from other children. I don’t know if it is because they just understand how to explain it – or it is because the child is completely immersed in other children talking, it always seems like the younger children pick up language skills from their older siblings. But in the case of my children, they developed their own language, and so it was on us (the parents) to decipher their different words for things.


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