20 Months 1 Week – How to Encourage Multi-Syllable Words

Roman playing with Mr. PotatoeheadYou may have noticed that your child is starting to say more words these past couple weeks!  And some of them may even be more than 2-syllable words such as “baby”.  You may be hearing more difficult words such as 3-syllable “blueberry” or 4-syllable “caterpillar”.  Even if they may not be saying each sound correctly it is totally fine!  In fact, at this age a phonological process called weak syllable deletion is actually very common.  For instance, “banana” may become “nana” because they child is naturally deleting the weak syllable to make it easier to produce.  Actually a very clever trick that toddlers use!

Some general tips to encourage multi-syllable words include tapping out the syllables on the table or on your leg or their arm.  Make sure to break it up such as “straw-ber-ry”.  Another trick is to make sure to emphasize the weak syllable as in “ele-PHANT”.  Singing songs is also a great time to target multi-syllable words (eg – Old McDonald).  Soon your child will be saying “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”!


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