Ask Grandma Maggie

Parenting & Childcare Advice
Peggy Moss (1933-2014), also known as Grandma Maggie, penned a parenting column on this site for many years. Back by popular demand, we are republishing the column, sharing with you the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice.
Unfortunately Grandma Maggie is no longer able to take questions.

My daughter still uses baby talk — is there something wrong with her?

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Dear Grandma,

I have a two-year-old daughter who doesn’t talk like she should. Most kids her age who I know are talking well and she still uses baby talk. She is very smart and catches on to stuff quickly. She knows how to turn the TV off, put a dvd in the dvd player, and play with a boxed set of knects. She can say some words. I’m just worried. Should I put her in speech therapy? Then again I want to put her in day care so she can be around other kids and probably start talking. I just don’t know what to do. She is my first child.

Dear Teshia,

The fact that she isn’t very verbal at the age of two doesn’t mean there is something wrong with her. Children all walk and talk at different ages. We all worry about our children, especially when we start comparing them to other kids their age. If your child needs speech therapy she would also have the time to be in day care. The first thing to do is ask your baby’s physician if there is a specialist he (or she) thinks they could recommend to have the baby’s hearing tested. Another idea is to talk more to the baby and give her a play-by-play of her day. As an example when you are dressing her tell her what you are doing: “Now Mama is putting on your red sunsuit. Let’s get some red socks from your drawer to match. Now we are putting the socks on and then your shoes.” Kids who are talked to learn to speak earlier than others. Speak slowly and distinctly.

First see the baby’s doctor for advice. Next remind yourself to speak to her and read to her slowly and distinctly as I described previously.

Grandma Maggie