Awareness on the Brilliance of 2 Year Olds Talking Gibberish

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret

Sometimes, Kids can talk gibberish even at two years of age. So, if you are worried about it, you should know that it is normal. However, it is an indication that you need to take some extra steps for your child’s learning. In this topic, we will talk about the science of gibberish, how can kids learn faster, and when you should start worrying. With science, let’s find out everything about your 2-year-old talking gibberish. 

Is It Normal for a Two-Year-Old to Talk Gibberish?

Yes, it is normal for a two-year-old to babble. As the child is still in the learning phase, he may use nonsensical words. Kids learn the language daily and babble when they can’t find the right words to communicate. 

Your child can also be in a “two-word phase,” where kids don’t complete whole sentences or speak half words. These incomplete words can also sound like gibberish, but these are just the right words they can’t speak yet, or can’t pronounce. 

Why Do 2-Year-Olds Talk Gibberish?

Gibberish language is necessary for babies for the following reasons:

Language experimentation and practice

Kids take time to learn the language. If the kid is two years old, he is a little late, but it is fine. Even at this age, kids often talk gibberish as means of practice. Experimenting with new words brings confidence and helps them understand their vocal capacity.

Cognitive and motor skill development

Speaking gibberish enhances the thinking skills of a baby. When he wants to say a word, his brain processes it, and he learns how to say it with his mouth. Secondly, the movement of his tongue, lips, and other mouth muscles enhance his speaking ability. 

Social interaction and attention-seeking

Babies are social from the very beginning. They love to catch the attention of the people around them. So, they feel like a necessary thing to talk gibberish so they can seek the attention of others. Babies stay happy around people.

Imitation of adult speech

Kids carefully hear their caregiver’s voices and try to make the same sounds. So, speaking gibberish is essential because they learn to pronounce the words correctly. Moreover, vocal practice helps them to remember words more than just listening.

What to do when your two-year-old is talking gibberish to you? 

You should respond to him as efficiently as possible. Even if you don’t understand, you should answer him. Try to understand using the context of the conversation or his expressions, and then respond accordingly. 

Understanding Language Development in 2-Year-Olds

A child goes through different stages when learning a language, and these can go on for as long as two years. Let’s have a quick look at all those stages.

Prelinguistic stage

It is the first stage in which children begin to explore their speaking ability. They mostly do it by crying. When they do it, you know the kid wants something. They mostly do it when they are hungry or need cleaning.

Babbling and Cooing

Babies make cooing sounds like “ba” or “da,” which then extends to babbling such as “pa-pa” or “ba-ba” You also begin to learn which word they use when they want something.

Gestures and Non-verbal Communication

They also start to focus on different objects and can direct with their hands to talk about the object. They also learn to respond to others’ expressions. It is how they smile when you say some funny words to them.

Vocabulary Expansion

Kids begin to say some of the first-ever words. These words can still be unclear but you can understand them. It is similar to when you hear your child saying some adorable words and love hearing them.

First Word

In this stage, the babies begin saying their first words. These words are clear, and you can understand them as it is. This stage appears after when the baby is a year old. They use the right words when referring to an object or person. 

Word comprehension

It means babies start to relate to words and understand their meanings. If you say the word “ Ball,” they understand that you are referring to playing with it. 

Grammar and Syntax

This is the third stage of a baby’s language development. In this stage, the baby starts to make proper sentences. They create the correct structure of the language and can communicate efficiently. 

Telegraphic speech

They understand the grammar by the time they reach this stage. Although they make the right sentences, the sentences can be short. For example, if the kid wants an apple. He would say, “ Want an apple” instead of “ I want an apple.” 

Basic sentence structures

You can hear some correct sentences from your kid. However, it may be difficult to create long or complex sentences, but they can communicate by breaking them down.

What Are the Characteristics of Gibberish in 2-Year-Olds?

Let’s find out what are the main characteristics of the gibberish language your 2-year-old speaks.

Repetitive sounds and syllables

As discussed earlier, kids repeat the same sounds or words. These sounds help them to explore their ability to speak and help them to learn even faster.

Lack of recognizable words or phrases

The gibberish language of toddlers includes words that you cannot recognize. These are just random sounds they make as experiments. It can even extend to long phrases. You may feel the kid is saying something, but you cannot understand it. 

Inconsistent patterns and rhythms

You will not find any pattern or rhythm in their gibberish language. The toddler may speak the right words but talks in gibberish suddenly. Also, the direction of the communication may end up with no meaning at all. 

The exploratory and playful nature of gibberish

Babies love to see others’ reactions. They also talk about gibberish as a source of fun. They do it more often when they want to play. If you are playing with the baby, he will make more babbling sounds. 

How To Support Toddler’s Language Development?

Language learning is natural for every child, and it takes time to learn it properly. But, there are ways to speed up their learning process. Let’s look at these methods:

Talking and Interacting with the Child

Developing conversations with your child is essential. As you engage them with talks, they focus more on your words which helps them learn faster. So, make eye contact with them and talk with them. Ask them questions and encourage them to answer. Ask them to share their emotions or curiosities. 

Reading and Storytelling

Reading to your children is important for their language development. Tell them stories and engage them with different fairytales and their characters. Tell them everything in a storytelling way, even if it is normal talk. Tell them stories by pointing at pictures or to the images of colorful books. Listening to stories helps kids learn grammar and many words faster. 

Singing and Nursery Rhymes

Kids learn words faster when told in rhythms. You should sing in front of your kid and communicate with them in this way. Also, ask them to sing songs. These songs and rhymes should be very easy with clear words. It helps them pronounce the words more clearly.

Playing and Engaging in Language-Based Activities

Your child must respond back for faster learning. Encourage them to answer your questions. Create scenarios and ask them puzzle questions and make them answer them wrong or right. Point to random objects and get their feedback on those. 

What Are the Roles of Parents and Caregivers?

All the supporting methods we discussed above are essential. However, you have some additional responsibilities as a parent. You need to know and implement these for your child’s development.

Encouraging language development through engagement

The Parents spend most of their time with their children, especially the mothers. So, they must keep the children engaged throughout the day with different verbal or non-verbal activities. If you take them outside, give them special attention by communicating with them according to the surrounding. 

Responding to gibberish with attentiveness and encouragement

You may not understand the gibberish language of your child. But, you must answer their questions anyway. Try to learn what they are saying from the context of the conversation and their expressions. Once you understand, respond with clear and easy language. Avoid ignoring them because you do not understand the gibberish.

Creating a Language-Rich Environment

You may not realize it, but children listen to almost everything in their environment. So, create a language-rich surrounding for them. Read books loudly every day. Make more conversations with your older children or your husband. Play songs in the house at least once in a day. Moreover, give them a chance to speak more. Play with them and try to make them smile. 

Seeking professional advice if concerned about language development

If your child is getting older and still talk gibberish, then you should seek professional advice. Although, kids can talk gibberish when they are 2, 3 years, or even older. But you can take a step further for faster language learning.

Two-Year-Old Speech Checklist

Kids need special attention, and you may need to develop a checklist to keep yourself on the track. Here is a list of easy milestones for your toddler’s learning.

  • Keep in check that your child is expanding his vocabulary. For example, if he used to say the word “cat” and now he says “black cat.”
  • A two-year-old may begin to make small sentences. He can communicate for his basic needs, such as asking for milk. 
  • He should be able to understand your sentences. Ask him to do easy tasks to find out. 
  • A child should be able to point at a specific object when asked.
  • A two-year-old kid may also use other ways of communication. He can ask for something using facial expressions.

Warning Signs of a Toddler’s Language Delay

Sometimes toddlers can be late in learning the language. However, it is common most times but should be an indication for parents. If your child is late, then he may need some special attention. But, how do you know if he is late? Look out for the following signs:

  • Limited Words: if your toddler is already two years old but still speaks only a few words, it can mean he is late.
  • Difficulty in Combining Words: He needs help to combine two sentences. It means he is late if he can say dog but cannot say white dog. 
  • Difficulty to understand: If your toddler cannot understand even simple sentences, then he could be late. If he is two years old and needs help with simple instructions, then you should take professional help.
  • Trouble in Engaging: Some children with language delays might need help interacting with others. They might not respond when their name is called or have difficulty showing interest in communicating with people.
  • Hard-to-Understand Speech: If your child’s speech is hard to understand, even for people who know them well, it could indicate a delay. They might have trouble pronouncing certain sounds or putting words together in a way.

FAQs

What if your two-year-old is not talking but understands you?

Do not worry if your two-year-old toddler is not talking. If he understands you, he is still in his language-learning phase. He is a little late, but it is normal. 

When should I be concerned about my two-year-old’s speech?

There are certain factors you need to keep in mind. These factors are as follows:

  1. Limited vocabulary.
  2. He can’t combine two words.
  3. He cannot understand what you say.
  4. It is difficult for him to engage with others.
  5. He barely uses non-verbal communication.
  6. You find it difficult to understand him with no improvement.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, a 2-year-old toddler talking in gibberish is normal. Some kids learn a little late than others. So, you should understand their learning phases and implement methods to speed up their learning. Also, if your child is too late, then feel free to take professional guidance. Sometimes, kids can have certain medical issues, but the chances are as low as 7 percent after he is late. So, communicate with your kid and help him learn faster. 

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "mamallove.com" and "cashsavvytips.com", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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