Saturday, June 21, 2014

How Many Words Does My 22 Month Old Say?

     So I took Evan the doctor recently for a check up.  The doctor of course asked questions and did the autism screening questionaire with me.  One question made me think a bit.  He asked how many words does Evan say.  I thought a minute and said I wasn't sure, but seems like a lot.  He then asked is it about 20.  I thought again and said its more then 20 for sure.. maybe double that.  He said that's great.  So when I talked to a few other mom's with babies about the same age or ones that remember their babies at this age it seems like Evan says more then them.  How many words should a 22 month old say anyway?  As I looked up online I found that 20 is the average.  So I decided to list all the words I hear Evan saying consistently.  Mostly just to see where he is at and to have a record for his future.  Now this list is in total random order, either by how I remember or if he says it while I'm writing this and reminds me.  Also I have had to ask my husband and mom if they remember any others.  Just because I forget what all he is saying and since honestly it is a lot I do forget.

So here goes:

1. Hello
2. Bye Bye
3. Daddy
4. Mama
5. Nana (it is noticeably different from Mama)
7. Goggy (doggy)
8. cracker
9. pizza
10. juice
11. futball
12. Elmo
13. cookie
14. Abby
15. outside (so surprising how clear this is, used to be outs.. but one day he said it so clear and hasn't stopped)
16. shoe
17. nose
18. up
19. hug
20. yes
21. no
22. & 23. sit down
24. eat
25. more
26. you
27. ok
28. poopoo
29. hot
30. cold
31. hat
32. yuck
33. apple
34. car
35-37 Ready, set, go
38. dance
39. hand
40. eyes
41. cheese
42. bee
43. bball (basketball)
44. WeeOh (that's what he calls minons)
45. teeth
46. boon (balloon)
47. duck
48. please
49. thank you
50. that
51. hand
52. jump
53. baby
54. owie
55. Ernie
56. mimi
57. hi
58. Uh Oh (sometimes its Uh Oh Sketti Ohs)
59. bird (sometimes birdie)
60. Bert
61. Big Brd
62. Spon Boh qua pant (translation Sponge Bob Square Pants)
63. Ayan (Jayden)
64. Naama (grandma)
65. ounce (bounce)
66. Why (mostly for Super Why)
67. Erd Girl (word girl)
68. at (cat)
69. atch (catch)
70. Yeah
71. Wha Dat (what that)
72. Woo Hoo
73. YAY
74. bug
75. foot
76. ouch
77. Nemo
78. George (Curious George)
79. that
80. lion (usually followed by a roar)
81. horse & horsie
82. bruber (brother)
83. why
84, guf ball (golf)
85. foot
85. sorry
86. nanna (banana)
87. eat
88. drink
89. train (followed by a choo choo usually)
90. again
91. watch
92. wuv ou (love you)
93. gammy
94. butt (yes, he says butt and will hit me on the butt... yay)
95. moon
96. pane (airplane)
97. Weeeee  (usually when it comes to slides or see saws)
98. bed
99. Arfur (Arthur)
100. hi
101. inside
102. house
103. ok
104. bubbles
105. Ump (jump)
106. bubble upies (bubble guppies)

     I do not believe at all that my child is a genius.  Well, I am his mom so I do think very highly of him and his abilities, but I'm not calling Harvard or Yale anytime soon.  I do believe that there are some essential factors that have contributed to Evan's advanced language for his age.

     First of all we talk to him like a person and not like a baby.  Yes we call him baby, he is affectionately called Baby Evan often.  But we have tried to stop that.  Jayden will just call him baby sometimes, but my nieces insist his name is Baby Evan.  Regardless, we talk to him like a person and do not use baby talk with him.  That is not to say we don't use some "babyish" words like Mimi with him.  But most conversations are similar to the ones I have with my 6 year old.

     Next we expect him to talk.  When he wants something we don't jump and get it for him because he points to it.  We give him the words and have him repeat it.  If he wants some crackers we tell him crackers and wait for him to say it before he gets them.  He and every other toddler is very capable of using their words to express their wants and needs.  Now he is not going to give a long sentence or anything, but he can say crackers, milk, eat, etc.

  Third when he doesn't know the words we tell him the words and ask him to repeat it.  Most the words he knows he was asked to say at some point and he liked to say them.  Jayden loves to ask Evan to say words.  He will randomly say, "Evan say ___".  Evan loves to please Jayden so he will say whatever he wants.  There are many words he has repeated this way that are not on the list, because I only added words he has used on his own unprovoked.  We will point at objects and say the word while giving him time to repeat it.  Evan thinks this is a fun game.  We do it all the time and just about anywhere.  Sometimes it becomes the game we use to keep him occupied when he is bored.

     Evan is also around adults a lot.  Of course he has John and I around him all the time.  During the day while I am at work he is with Nana the baby sitter.  While he is there it is just him and her.  She also talks to him like a person and not a baby.  And her adult son lives there and when he is not working he will be there too.  Evan is exposed to more adults then children.  He watches all of us and likes to mimic us.

     And I will admit my toddler watches television.  I don't think it is horrible and honestly don't limit it too much.  I limit what is being watched, but not how much.  At his Nana's house he is either watching Signing Time DVDs or PBS Kids shows.  As you can tell from the words he says he knows some of the shows.  He LOVES Elmo and sesame street.  He also likes Super Why and Word Girl, both introduce lots of language and vocabulary.  He even loves watching these shows on my kindle.  I love the PbsKids app so he can watch any show he wants.  That is not to say he doesn't watch some not so great shows like Sponge Bob Square Pants.  Jayden likes this show and Evan will ask for it too.  But that is about the worst show he watches and really its not bad.  Just doesn't have much real educational content, just mindless stuff.  But I guess you need a little of that sometimes.

    So I guess what I am saying is my 22 month old has a pretty extensive vocabulary and I contribute it to a few things including talking to him like a person not a baby, being around adults, expecting him to talk, naming objects for him and having him repeat, and educational television shows.  Although I do think my child is exceptional... in all actuality he is a typical toddler with more exposure to language and vocabulary.  It really is the amount of language and vocabulary they are exposed to that determines where they will be.  And even if your toddler is not saying the words keep talking to him/her and before long she/he will be talking like crazy.  When they get the hang of it they usually take off if given the exposure.


  1. Sound advice! I think my 19 month old says over 50 words. Its amazing what your child can learn if you set no expectations.

  2. Sounds like he is doing awesome! It is so much easier when they can use words. I totally agree with speaking to them like a grown-up and avoiding the baby talk that makes a huge difference.

  3. That's quite the list of words! Sounds like your little one is a talker! : )

    I like the idea of keeping official track of the words; I'll have to try that.

  4. I guess I did not realize there was a "norm" My kids talked with a good vocab and never thought much about it.

    1. I don't know that its really a norm, but maybe an area. Like between this and that.

  5. I think that is about right. I would say that is what my youngest had at that age. My oldest however was putting 3 sentences together by 24 months. I was blown away.

  6. I think this is a good amount my oldest was over talkative compared to the rest of our kids but they all had a good selection of words at this age.I never knew what was the right and wrong amount to be honest.

    1. I don;t really think there is a right or wrong. But the more words (vocabulary) they have the more likely to do better in school. And if they have very little words by this age it could be a red flag for speech or autism.

  7. I like that you kept record of his words. You'll love looking back on this post in a few years.

  8. I love how he says SpongeBob Square Pants. It's always cute to hear how little kids pronounce words.

  9. I remember that same visit with our pediatrician. My son started talking early (and often.) He didn't sleep through the night for over a year, so I had to win at something, right? (Oh, and we love PBS Kids!)

    1. Yes you do. How does he do sleeping now? Jayden has always been a great sleeper, but Evan not as good.

  10. Now this is cute! I wish I would have done this with my daughter over the years. It's crazy how their vocabulary increases and the words they learn in such a short period of time.

  11. Wow, I think your 22 month old says quite a bit. I noticed boys are always a bit slower at talking verses girls. My son says about the same amount at 2.

  12. My first child new the entire alphabet front and back and side to side by age 18 months and was reading at age 2. We didn't do anything differently with my 2nd, but he is completely different. I think all kids are different and it's hard to compare them.

    1. I agree kids really do develop at their own pace. I am amazed at the differences in my boys.

  13. It looks like Evan has a pretty extensive vocabulary! I like that he knows "pizza." :)

  14. My firstborn barely talked until we brought his baby brother home and then it seemed overnight he was a chatter box. That was when he was about 2 years old. He is still a chatterbox now. :)

  15. I love that you talk to him like an adult person as opposed to baby talk. I really do believe that makes a difference in the present and future! I love that you made a list. Great memories.

  16. I love this, I have a 6 month old! She's our first and this is GREAT advice for facilitating language!

  17. You are right on to think that your child is exceptional because he is! Keep up the great parenting and enjoy all the stages...yes even the "baby" name stage. They grow so fast.

  18. The best advice I ever got was from my aunt when she said not to talk to my kids like they are babies. We always talked to them like people, and I think this helped them learn words much faster than their peers!

  19. My kids were little chatterboxes. They shot out, started talking, and haven't stopped since.
    I'm glad to hear PBS is still putting out good shows for kids. We certainly watched it plenty in the 90s!

  20. My daughter also had a big vocabulary when she was a toddler. I believe that is due to us always speaking to her even when she was too little to talk back. I also never limited the TV (although it was age appropriate, no HBO or dramas for her). Lots of Barney was fine, though.

  21. He's got a ton of words! At 16 months, my twins don't have too much.

  22. That is an impressive list!! My 17 month old doesn't even say half of that, so it's amazing how fast they learn!

  23. Good advice. What an awesome list! I love it!

  24. I love that you have written all of them down! My son is 2 1/2 and he is talking constantly now! I love listening to him talking in his sweet little boy voice!

  25. My daughter turns 2 on Thursday and she too is a Curious George and Elmo fan! :) She goes around "Where Elmo?" She is talking in sentences now and it seemed to happen all at once. I agree with the baby talk.. We don't use baby talk either.

  26. My granddaughter doesn't hear baby talk in her house either and she's well developed for her age (and doing sign language!). I try not to do the baby talk when we're together, but it's hard cuz she's so so cute, lol

  27. That was an interesting read, thank you for sharing. Very good advice for people with young kids!

  28. Great tips on how to make sure your little one masters vocabulary skills. I would like to add though that parents should not get too uptight if their child doesn't say a lot. My oldest was not much of a talker but he was very physical. I worried a bit but for no reason. He ended up being the most talkative of my children.

  29. Wow Evan knows a lot of words! I think having Jayden asking him to say words really helps out. My nephew is learning so many words, way more than my niece did at his age, and we feel that a lot of it is because his big sister will say "Bubba say 'Apple'" he will try to say it and she will correct any mistakes he makes and ask him to say it again until he gets it right. When he does get it right she claps and cheers for him and he just lights up :)

  30. Impressive list! I think being around adults does make a difference in a child's vocabulary.

  31. I didnt realize how many words little ones can say. It does help to be around adults to learn more words.

  32. My daughter loved to play the point and repeat game with objects. She wanted to do it over and over and over.

  33. How cute! It's great you made a list! I wish I had written more of my girls milestones down. They grow so quickly it's hard to keep up!

  34. That's a lot of words! My boys were all very different from each at that age, but at this point, you'd never be able to tell who was the early talker and who talked later.

  35. It sounds like your little one is doing really well. Keep doing what you are doing!

  36. Wow that sure is a lot of words. My daughter will be 18 months next week, and she only says 9 words plus sings ABC and Let It Go (Of course not the entire songs but some of it).