The Nest's Noticings for the Week...

Favorite Product: We talked about lots of carriers today!!! We emphasized that the best carrier is the one that feels the best on your body because all of our bodies are different. The carriers that I see recommended most often by babywearing experts and pediatric OTs are: Ergo 360 (We also talked today about the new Omni 360 - Riley's mom Lauren looked it up and you CAN face baby both directions and don't need an insert! You can also cross the straps. Thanks for researching for us, Lauren!), Contours Love Carrier - no infant insert needed, can face both ways, Beco Gemini, Lille baby, Maya Ring Sling, Boba Wrap
Parenting Resource or Tip: Check out this article from What to Expect on ways that you can help your baby learn their body parts! 
Baby Signs to Use: Sleep, Bath
Baby Songs to Sing: Where is Thumbkin?, “This is the way we touch our nose, touch our nose, touch our nose. This is the way we touch our nose so early in the morning.” Practice with different body parts!
Developmental Tip: Babywearing is great for your baby for a number of reasons! One is that it helps to develop their vestibular system - the system in our body that helps us balance and move around well. :)



I hope everyone enjoyed hearing from Sharon. She is the owner of SHARE speech and language in Torrance. You can contact her at Sharon@Sharespeech.org if you have any more questions about your little one or if you need anything at all! You can also find more information about what they do at www.sharespeech.org

You can also find them on
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharespeech/
or instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sharespeech/

Here are the handouts Sharon brought today:
1. Speech and Language Strategies
2. Speech Milestones
3. Toddler Language

Here are the notes that I took for you today!

There are two main types of speech: Expressive (what they speak) and Receptive (what they understand).

Expressive speech:
- 12 months: Your child should be saying 1-5 words intentionally and consistently. ("ba" for bottle would count as a word! So would animal sounds or signs!)
- 18 months: Your child should be saying about 50 words, intentionally and consistently.
- 24 months: Your child should be saying around 100 words. You will see them begin to use 2 word sentences.

Receptive speech:
- 12 months: Your child should understand 1-step directions
- 18-24 months: Your child understands 2-step directions (like: "pick up that piece of paper and throw it in the trash"), they can answer simple yes/no questions and WH- questions.

Social interaction: Kids this age don't need to play "together". They play next to each other and that's normal! We want to see that kids are interested in one another though. :)

Strategies for encouraging speech development:
1. Give 2 choices as much as possible: "Do you want milk or juice?"
2. Wait. When you ask kids a question, give them a direction, etc., wait 5-10 seconds before you say anything to give them time to process your words and respond!
3. Try using the 3:1 ratio to make sure you aren't asking too many questions in a row and overwhelming your child! This means that you say 3 comments, then ask them a question.
4. Talk about what they're doing as often as possible.
5. Use simple and clear sentences, 2-3 word sentences, and consistent words.

Red Flags to watch for: If your child is 6 or more months behind according to developmental milestone charts, or if you just have a "feeling" that their speech may need intervention, talk to your pediatrician or contact your local regional center. With speech, early intervention is so important!

Foundations of language— Sharon quickly discussed language development and the different skills children need before they can actually talk and use words. Before children can use ANY words, they need a good foundation of receptive language (understanding) and speech production (making different sounds, vowels + consonants). If children do not understand what words are, they won’t be able to apply those words themselves. Similarly, if children cannot make a variety of different sounds, they won’t be able to combine those sounds into meaningful words and phrases.

It is important that mommies focus on receptive language and speech production, before working on talking and saying words. There are a few ways to do this:

a. Keep it simple + short —when speech therapists work with children they use the "+1 rule", which means that  they can usually only understand 1-2 words more than their expressing. For example, if a child speaks only in 1-word sentences, they really can only process and understand 2-3 word sentences. Some children will, of course, understand longer sentences by contextual cues and routines, but in order to teach them the true meaning of words, it is best to keep it simple and short. Parents should keep their sentences to their toddlers at a 2-4 word maximum, again depending on how many words the child is able to say. Also, remember to keep it consistent as well—for example, when leaving the house, instead of saying “let’s go to the park,” “Max get your shoes on” “Go to the door, we’re leaving,” parents can always “let’s go” or “shoes on” etc. This will make it easier for the little ones to copy the parents as well because they can really process and understand the words, resulting in increased expressive language.

b. Sounds are just as important as words—As Sharon said in the class, children are only expected to make a handful of sounds until they are about 3 years of age /b, m, n, h, w, d, p/ but they should be producing these sounds in a variety of ways with vowels like: consonant-vowel (ma, ba), vowel-consonant (up, eat), consonant-vowel-consonant (mom, pop). To make this possible, parents should make sounds during play and throughout the day. Sounds are more fun and engaging to children and easier to copy!

c. Bottles, binkys, etc.—lastly, Sharon reiterated that the prolonged use of bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups can have a negative impact on the development of oral muscles related to speech production. Children are able to start to use open mouth cups as early as 12 months, so the earlier you can introduce your child to open mouth cups, the better. Bottles with soft silicone nipples are perfectly fine to use, but we strongly suggest starting to fade the bottle for most of the child’s liquid intake at around 18 months. Similarly, pacifies with soft silicone and a flatter base are perfectly fine, but same with the bottles, we would recommend fading the use of a pacifier at 18 months—try to avoid any kind of additional weight on pacifiers like dolls or other manipulatives. Finally, we would avoid the use of sippy cups with hard spouts completely. The pacifier she loves is this Mam pacifier.

Learning two languages: Keep the two languages completely separate. Speak the languages at different times of the day - don’t mix them or have different people speaking different languages. Split it by time, activity, or place instead of by people.

When reading, use simple language. You don’t have to read the books word for word. Count, use silly sounds, etc.

For toys, Sharon recommends simple toys without a lot of lights/sounds/etc.: Battat toys, bubbles, books, Melissa and Doug sound puzzles

Remember: all kids aren’t going to develop exactly at the same rate, so your child may be a few months behind the milestone and still be considered within the normal range