Teaching My Baby To Read

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Language Development at 15 months

On the very last day of 2011 I accomplished (rather belatedly) my 2011 New Year’s resolution, which was to complete Jenna(2.5)’s baby album.  As her mother, I take my role as fiduciary of her baby memories quite seriously, although that would be difficult to tell if you had seen my scrapbooking supplies piled on top of my armoire for an entire year! 

While going through all of the little bits of memories and notes that I had written to myself to help with this task, I came across the following list of words and signs that Jenna knew at 15 months.  I decided to share this list for several reasons.  As a parent, there is always the temptation to compare your child’s development to other kids you know.  Socially, it’s really bad manners to start asking probing questions about what other kids can accomplish, but that certainly doesn’t squelch curiosity.  So here’s a reference point for you in case you too are curious about these matters.  

The other interesting thing about this list is that it shows how many words parents of young children “count” that really aren’t fully formed words at all. I guess I was really relying on context cues to know what “ba” meant! 

You can also see the clear relationship between teaching Jenna Baby Signs, and having those signs directly lead into spoken words.  My husband and I both think that Baby Signs was one of the best things we did to help promote early language with our children.  We didn’t pay for a class or anything, we just read the book.  You can probably check it out from the library. 

Now at 2 and a half, Jenna is highly verbal, is an eager participant in conversation, and regularly says more-words-than-I-can-count sentences.   This is what she was like at 15 months:


  1. Ma-ma:  Mom
  2. Da-da: Dad
  3. Bra: Bruce
  4. bo: boat
  5. bo: bow
  6. da: duck
  7. da: doggie
  8. Ba-Ba: Roomba
  9. ba-ba: pacifier
  10. yeah: yes
  11. ba: book
  12. ba: ball
  13. bir: bird
  14. bra: bread
  15. Poh-Poh: Papa
  16. uh: up
  17. water
  18. more
  19. that

Baby Signs:

  1. bath
  2. eat
  3. drink
  4. milk
  5. backpack
  6. pacifier
  7. book
  8. dog
  9. duck
  10. cat
  11. pig
  12. bunny
  13. horse
  14. mouse
  15. Roomba
  16. ball
  17. baby
  18. toothbrush
  19. apple
  20. bird
  21. Grandma
  22. hug
  23. up
  24. kisses
  25. music
  26. potty
  27. ice-cream
  28. telephone
  29. frog

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