Article and Advice

What are some words infants and toddlers typically say?

Dear RIF: Is there a comprehensive list of words that infants and toddlers typically say? I would like hang it on my refrigerator so I can check off words when my daughter says them. 


During the first months and years of life, children are veritable sponges when it comes to picking up new words and language. They coo, babble and make sounds that imitate what they hear from their families and home cultures. These sounds turn into real words, phrases and full sentences.

While every child has his/her unique timetable for developing language skills, and every child’s home, community and educational experiences are different, there are some common categories of words that young children tend to learn first.

 Names of important people: momma, dada, poppa and mami

 Common objects, food and animal names: ball and dog

 Greetings: hi and bye-bye

 Commands: no and more

There is no comprehensive list of words that infants and toddlers typically say. However, if you’re interested in keeping track of your child’s vocabulary, start your own list! Write down the words she already knows, and keep adding new words when you hear them.

And remember, young children often understand more words than they know how to say! You can help your child learn new words by reading books to her, describing what she or others are doing, singing songs and nursery rhymes, and giving her plenty of opportunities to participate in conversations with you.


Advice for New Parents


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