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Do You Speak Toddler?

Updated on September 25, 2014
My son at 18 months
My son at 18 months

Have you ever sat and listened to a toddler babble on and on and wonder what's really going through their head? Are they really trying to say something, or are they babbling just to hear the sound of their own voice?

Now that my daughter is is a full fledged member of the toddler society, I've been tuning into her babbling and gesturing to see if I can pick out a word here and there, remembering how my son babbled incessantly at her age as well, and how I marveled as I witnessed his babbling slowly turn into recognizable speech over time.

It can be difficult to decipher toddler speech, while their little minds and mouths are trying to form words and use gestures that we can recognize. Here are some of the 'words' my daughter is using lately. She has trouble pronouncing the 'r' sound, just like her brother and I did at their age so that words like 'fork' sound like a dirty words.

  • zooz = juice
  • cow = car
  • soo = shoe
  • cuppy = cup
  • bwubba = brother
  • cockow = cracker
  • Leega = her brother
  • dooda = soda
  • eew = ear

It seems as though they learn a new word every day, and before you know it they are forming phrases and sentences, telling you exactly what they want and when and how they want it. It's fun to remember this short phase of their lives, when hilarious things slip out of their mouths without them knowing what they are really saying. These are the days that must be catalogued, photographed, videotaped and remembered.

How well can you translate toddler? Did you have trouble understanding what they were trying to say, or were you tuned into their babble and body language enough to get by? There are still a few 'words' that my daughter says that I can't recognize, like, "ducka, ducka, ducka." but for the most part I understand what she's trying to tell me.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I say tickle tickle tickle to her when I am tickling her belly, and that when she says ducka, ducka, ducka, for me too.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think the ducka ducka ducka is her way of saying tickle tickle tickle. She does that when I tell her I'm going to tickle her.

      Sorry, Grandparents get a say in this too.

    • jwhitman profile image


      7 years ago from Albany, New York

      This brought me back to when my girls were toddlers. My youngest daughter's name is Skyler and she couldn't say it correctly so whenever anyone asked her name she would reply, "Taco". It's her family nickname still = )


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