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Understanding Your Baby's Language Development

Over the course of your baby's first year his language skills will grow by leaps and bounds.
baby First Words

It's one of the biggest questions of your baby's first year: Will she say "Mama" or "Dada"? You'll probably hear that special first word by the time she turns 1 -- and then there's no stopping your little chatterbox. Around the age of 15 months, she'll start using simple consonant sounds to form words such as "up," "more," and "baby." At 18 months, her vocabulary explodes and she should begin picking up several new words a day.

Although you can't rush your child's natural development, you can help boost her language skills. "The best thing you can do is talk to your 1-yearold continuously throughout the day," says Michelle Macias, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston. "You may feel silly saying, 'Now I'm putting the potatoes into the pot,' but this constant exposure to language will help her learn." Check out these simple ways to get the most out of your toddler talks.