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Toddler's Two-Word Sentences

Suddenly your toddler is speaking in two-word "sentences," though you probably catch only half of what she says. As babies grow, they're better able to produce the various sounds of speech, but some sounds come much later than others because they require more complex movements, says Diane Paul, Ph.D., coauthor of Talking on the Go. Keep this guide handy so you'll know what your little chatterbox is actually saying:

What she's trying to say: Eat cookie
What you'll hear: E too'
Why she can't say it yet: Toddlers have a hard time creating sounds that come from the back of the throat (like "kuh" for "c" and "k"), often subbing an earlier-developing sound, the easier "tuh."
How you can help: Use lots of words with these sounds.

What she's trying to say: More juice
What you'll hear: Mo' doo
What she can't say it yet: Your child will leave off the "r" and sub the "d" for "j" because they develop later, along with "l," "s," and "z."
How you can help: Repeat the words correctly, stretching out the sounds.

What she's trying to say: Mama drive
What you'll hear: Mama dive
What she can't say it yet: It takes a more complex combination of movements of the lips and tongue to blend two sounds, so kids will say the first one.
How you can help: Point out things that are "blue" and "brown." Take advantage of mealtimes, too: Say words with consonant blends, like "cheese," "chicken," and "bread."