- Says first words (10–18 months)
- Words aren’t always complete or said properly, but they have meaning (10–20 months)
- Can carry out simple requests (“Please get your shoes”) (12–19 months)
- Repeats single words spoken by someone else (16–19 months)
- Adds 10–20 new words per day—including language they hear from others (18–24 months)
- Can correctly identify a picture with its name (14–24 months)
- Says names of familiar people, objects, and body parts (14–24)
- Has a vocabulary of around 200 words (16–24 months)
- Begins to put words together (20–24)
- Begins to ask questions (especially “Why?”) (22+)
What You Can Do
- Expand on what your child says (Child: “Red cup.” Parent: “Yes, that is the red cup you drink your water from”).
- Allow your child to talk about stories you are reading
- Encourage your child to describe things in detail
- Use music, songs, and routines to help organize your actions
- Speak clearly and not too fast
- Be excited and enthusiastic when you talk, read, or tell stories
- Talk about what you are seeing and doing, even if you think your child won’t understand all of it.
- Use new words to build their vocabulary
- Ask questions that require more than a yes-or-no answer
- Be patient when waiting for answers (try not to answer for your child)
- Don’t worry about grammar. Your child will learn it over time and through their experiences in the world around them
- Lots of kids are hard to understand early on in their language development. Give them lots of time and practice and this will improve
- Try not to use a pacifier outside of the crib
- Try to use straw cups or real cups whenever possible. Sippy cups can hold back language development
- Support your child’s attempts to talk and try not to correct or criticize him or her
- Talking to your child is the best way to learn language—try not to use videos as a substitute!
- Some children speak earlier and say more words than others—that is okay.
Try not to compare yourself to other parents, or your child to other children. Every family is different!