If your child points to five different objects and makes the same sound for all of them it is not because they think that those five objects are all the same thing. It is because they can only make one type of sound!
Learning and comprehension far outstrip speech development in the first couple of years so don’t fool yourself into thinking that your small child is too little to understand just because they can’t speak.
Kiddies understand and absorb everything long before they can communicate with speech. In actual fact the general reason for this lack of early speech is physiological, due to the position of their vocal cords in relation to their wind pipes, not any lack of comprehension or intelligence.
The human body is designed in this way so that little babies don’t choke when they are feeding. As their little throats grow the wind pipe opening gradually moves into the position it is in adults and the vocal cords are engaged thus enabling them to form sounds and eventually intelligible words.
There are also 60 muscles controlling the vocal cords only, not to mention the amount for the tongue and mouth so it is no wonder it takes a while to be able use them all in the correct sequence to actually form words.
On top of that they also have a whole world full of new words to learn so it is no wonder it takes a little while for them to get the hang of it.
Not so with listening and understanding. If your child hears well then they will probably understand the simplest instructions very early on. They will certainly know what almost all of the things around your home are well before they can actually say them.
I don’t think we should treat them like they are stupid just because they can’t talk yet. If we take the time to listen, watch and pay attention when they are trying to communicate or speak rather than writing it off as “baby talk” you might get a big surprise as to the amount they actually know.
We tried communicating with non-verbal cues or even sign language to aid the situation. Our bub gets quite excited when we understand something she is trying to say. She even says “Ah haaah” when we get it right.
It’s also mistake to confuse lack of understanding with wilfulness. If your child is not following your instructions it could be because they don’t want to, not because they don’t understand.