Speech development in a bilingual child supported by the Doman method: more words (Maja is 14,5 months old)


I am proud to present the third blog entry summarizing speech development in my little Maja. She has begun saying more new words. You can read about her first words here: 

Speech development in a bilingual baby supported by the Doman method – part 1.

and here: 

Speech development in a bilingual baby supported by the Doman method – part 2.

Mysterious words, baby’s favourite words

It often happens that all of a sudden a particular word becomes Maja’s favourite and she keeps repeating it over and over again. It all began with a mysterious: “apsi.” Although it sounded like a Polish for “atishoo” it had nothing to do with it. I can only guess that it may have been a combination of an English word “up” and a Polish one “świeci” (on/light/shine) as she often pointed to the lamp when saying it.  

Nevertheless, this mysterious “apsi” disappeared completely from her vocabulary. The possible reason may have been that nobody knew what it really meant. 

The following words have been in constant use for quite a long time so I have solid grounds to assume she will use them in the future as well:

The Polish language: 

tam (there) – she uses it meaning “there” and “this.” This word appears when she wants me to give her something and when she just wants to ask:  “What’s this?”

pa pa (bye, bye) – Very consciously used.

piłka, babka (ball, grandmother) – She repeated  it after my sister only once.

świeci (on/light/shine)- It is pronounced in a funny way like there was only the first and the last sound of this word (ść).

bam- Maja has created this word for the situation when she falls over; everybody including me has started using it as well. 

kra kra (caw,caw) – This is a  crow’s sound.

She likes repeating numbers “one, two, three” after my mum. Of course, she does it in her own way.

The English language:

cheetah- Because of the fact I have been into Italian for a while now, when I first heard this word I didn’t associate it with “cheetah” at all. For me it sounded a little bit like a “gita” (“a trip” in Italian) or a “citta” (“a city” in Italian). However, soon after I realized that it is quite impossible that she has heard these words from me as I am quite advanced in Italian. Then, I remembered that we had a “cheetah” on our flashcards some time ago. On the other hand, my husband claimed it is a version of a Polish verb “czyta” (reads) but I doubt she has heard it from somebody. 

cocoa-  Maja says it like “caw, caw” but I am sure she means “cocoa” because she clearly points to my cup because she wants to have a sip.Moreover, she has heard this word since she was 8 months old. She loves the cocoa drink with milk and we have been drinking it every morning since then although it is against some recommendations advising not to give any cocoa to baby’s under the age of 12 months.

titty – It doesn’t sound exactly like this. It may be as well its Polish equivalent – “cycy.” Maja’s pronunciation is a bit confusing. The word she says sounds like something between the two but I think it is closer to the English version because she rarely hears the Polish word.  

tap, tap- We sometimes stamp on maths cards.🙂

day, there- She repeated it only once after me

ball- She says it every time I present her a flashcard with a ball on it.

One word = many meanings

When Maja says “mama” she means both me and herself. She says “mama” when she sees herself in the mirror or in the pictures which I used in our first personalized book. There is no way she will repeat “Maja.” Every time she tries she says “mama.” 

We have a similar situation with “tata” (daddy). This is the name she uses for almost everything and everybody. She calls me like that, too. It depends on the day. 


We have completed all the word and sentence flashcards but this is not the end. We have two new words: “cheetah” and “cocoa,” one of which you can see in the picture (the flashcard with “cheetah” could have been made in a better way but….never mind). 

Doman advises parents to use the words that children use. If we hear our kid saying something on his or her initiative we have to create a flashcard with this word. As we didn’t have a “cheetah” in the ready-made set of cards I prepared a new one. As I have already mentioned it took a while before I was sure she was saying “cheetah” and not something else. After a few days the word “cocoa” appeared. 

I present every new word in the old style: 3 times daily for 5 consecutive days. I am really curious to know what will be the next words. I feel that the baby’s speech develops rapidly if he or she starts speaking. Moreover, I have a premonition that the Doman method will speed up this process.


Our baby understands when we ask her about something. I am sure about it because of her reactions:

– on most occassions she answers: “nie” (“no” in Polish),

– she sometimes nods her head if she means “yes”

-once daddy asked her a series of questions, she replied “nie” to all of them; then, I asked her a question in English: “Do you want to eat something?” and she replied: “Yum, yum.”

– on another occassion I was having my nails painted and I couldn’t take Maja into my arms; I told her to wait for daddy who would come in a minute and give her something to eat. She said “Yum, yum.” It was a real pleasure to show off like this in presence of my friend.

– and another one: one morning I said in English that I had to put her back on her mat and that mummy had to make breakfast. She commented with “yum,yum” again.

– there was a moment when Maja was a little grumpy and on the brink of crying. I asked: “What do you want?” Her reply was: “Mama.”

She understands even more than just simple questions:

  • once she didn’t want to raise her hand for “high-five” with my sister. I said in English that her aunt is sad and asked her to do it and….she did exactly what I wanted from her.
  • if I say anything about sleeping she says  „aaaaaaa.” We get the same reaction for Polish.

She understands books, too. I have to admit I have already started reading Doman’s books to her. I know it is the next step in our reading programme (that’s why I will share the details later on) but I simply couldn’t wait. I started immediately after I received them. They are similar to personalized books I have created for Maja: the text and the picture are separate. In fact, we need to turn over the page to see the picture. The following are Maja’s reactions to some fragments:

  • „That is my dog sleeping next to me.” – When Maja hears and sees this sentence she starts panting like a dog even before she sees a picture.
  • „I liked jumping on the bed.”- Maja says “hop” before she sees a picture. 
  • „And I certainly knew „up” from „down”. – Another fragment from this book which makes Maja react to it: she raises her hands when she hears “up.” 

All the sentences quoted above are taken from one of the books recommended by Doman as a follow-up to his whole-word reading programme. What books does he recommend? I will write a separate post about it. 

Apart from this, once I showed Maja her bellybutton in the mirror and she since then she has been aware of having it. When I ask: „Where is your bellybutton?” she starts looking  for it and if her clothes allow her to do this, she finds it. Unfortunately, it is sometimes hidden too deeply underneath her clothes.


Have you found my experience useful? If yes, share with others. What can your baby say at 14 months? Do you do Doman, too? I would be delighted if you leave a comment and share your experience. 

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I have created a Facebook group for parents doing Doman as I haven’t found any. This is just the beginning but I hope there will be more and more of us soon and that we will share our experience with one another.

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