How long do you dedicate to actually sit down and play with your small children?

Viviane - posted on 02/09/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )




I am a stay at home mom and I have 20 month old boy and girl twins. My twins were born at 34 weeks. My baby girl had to say 15 days in the NICU after she was born. Both my kids are incredibly active, but my baby girl is not talking yet. She make some sounds, understands a lot, can point to a lot of objects and specially animals in a book. When she wants and object, she points and screams. She calls a duck: "ka-kah", Santa Claus is "Ho,ho, ho" , a car is a "broom-broom", food is "yummy" (it also means that she is hungry). She can say "WOW", "Oh, cute", "Hi, Dada" and "Mama". She can also imitate some animals. When she babbles she makes mostly sounds like "bl, bl, bl, bl, bl"or "Lr, Lr, Lr, Lr". Her twin brother says more words and tries to carry conversations with us. When he babbles, he makes all kinds of sounds, syllables and consonants. I don't any help at home and I try to spend as much time I can with my kids. We look at a lot of books together and I describe what we see (they hate when we read for them because they like to flip pages really fast to look at the pictures). We watch Baby Einstein videos together and I describe and talk about what we are watching. They love watching Blue's Clues and Oswald. We sit down to play with them about an hour per day, but I talk with them all the time while we are doing any activity as changing their diapers (8 times per day each). I wonder if my babies aren't talking more because I don't spend much time with them. What do you think?


Deidre - posted on 02/09/2012




It's really easy to not give ourselves very much credit. Don't ask me why, it just is. But over the years I've been pushed into the corner so much that I had to literally examine our daily routine. It is really astronomical to see exactly what we do when it is all written down on paper. You will be shocked and amazed to see that what it is that we do really counts in so many ways. EVERY single thing in life can be utilized as a learning tool. Bath time is when they learn about colors, science, math, anatomy, and hygiene. Remember they are constantly observing you, as well. So it's not always you literally interacting with them as much as you think. When I get dishes out of the cabinet I just talk to myself so they can hear. This is a green cup. It is small. I like this one most of all. One thing I found instrumental in their Early Learning Development was when I started labeling everything in the house. It is a catalyst to reading. They learn to recognize the word along side the object. Both of my youngest started reading at about 3 because of this. I don't have twins, but from my experience it is very common to compare our children. Yes every child is different, but I feel it is helpful to be knowledgeable in the age group statistics. Or common age appropriateness of each child. I read a lot, practically anything I can get my hands on. I hope I was helpful. Always remember, you are their very first teacher. And you are with them 24/7 so realize it's not always about singing the "A B C " song and swinging our hand like the conductor. They are watching everything. I've always said that the quiet ones are the ones who will surprise us the most. They will speak when they find it is NECESSARY. :)

Kaitlin - posted on 02/09/2012




Don't freak yourself out. Some kids just develop a little later, especially premees! AND 20 months old is not an age when you should worry about that- that's still early to be speaking. My first didn't really start with a lot of words until later and then all of a sudden around his second birthday, it was sentences and paragraphs! Crazy!

That being said, we can all always spend more time with our kids and less time cleaning our houses and letting them watch tv (myself included). An hour a day seems like not that much to me, but then again, if you have a few kids, they probably interact a lot, especially twins. And it depends on the day and the activity. If you're just bored with them (let's face it, there are only so many times Itsy Bitsy Spider is considered fun and adorable), you can always google good activities for them, or take them to your local library and play with some different toys. You're a good mom, don't let anyone tell you otherwise!


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Amanda - posted on 02/14/2012




My son wasn't saying more than about 3 or 4 words clearly at that age. Once he turned 2 his speech went into overdrive.

Personally I wouldn't be too concerned at 20 months

Viktoria - posted on 02/14/2012




I have 3 children, if you are concerned, definitely contact their pediatrician, or the Parents As Teachers organization in your area. They frequently offer Denver testing for early development, free of charge.

Converse with your children, even if you aren't actually "playing" just tell them all day long what you're doing... "I'm cooking supper now!" "Let's wash dishes!" or "you sound hungry, do you want to eat?"

Viviane - posted on 02/14/2012




My daughter is very affectionate and she loves to interact with us and her brother. She is a very happy kid and she doesn't show any signs of autism. My only concern is actually her speech. We are going to have my daughter evaluated by a speech therapist in the next couple of weeks and I hope my concerns turn out to be unfounded. Thank you all for your inputs and words of support.

Stifler's - posted on 02/12/2012




My kid at 20 months didn't say anything but SEE YA, BYE and ta and chu chu (thank you)

Kelina - posted on 02/11/2012




Far more advanced than my son was at that age. He didn't relly start talking until almost 2 1/2. Unless there are other concerns I wouldn't worry about it. They'll both talk when they're ready no sooner.

[deleted account]

Sounds like you're doing great mama :D

Children develop at different paces. Are there other issues as well? As far as not making eye contact or other concerns, then you may want to seek professional advice. But from what you've said, it sounds like she's developing that area at a different pace.

[deleted account]

I will admit I don't sit down and activly play with my daughter often. Most of the time it is because I'm busy (especially now with a newborn). However I talk to her while I'm doing things. Her speech seems to be fine and on target.

So I doubt their delays are from you not playing with them enough. Each child is different. Being early I'm sure has a bit to do with it. It is hard to look at other children the same age and remember that because of being early they aren't at the same developmental stage.

Sarah - posted on 02/09/2012




Our daughter is 19 months & it sounds like she's pretty close to your daughter.

Cars are still "vroom, vroom". So when she hears a car or truck & says "vroom, vroom" I say, "That's right cars go vroom vroom". When we are "reading" I will point to a car and say, "Car. What do cars say?" Gives her a chance to be right & still learn.

If Sophia were born a few days earlier she would have been considered premee too, so there could be something to that.

With twins I'm sure you have your hands full so you might not notice that they pick up alot but often don't really use words over and over till they are pretty sure of them. Toddlers I mean.

I guess in all my ramblings I'm just trying to say, it sounds like you have a normal daughter and a son who is a little ahead of the curve. Good for you Mama!

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