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.