By the end of 18 months
By the end of 18 months, your child might:
- Recognize names of familiar people, objects and body parts
- Follow simple directions accompanied by gestures
- Say as many as eight to 10 words
By the end of 24 months
By the end of 24 months, your child might:
- Use simple phrases, such as "more milk"
- Ask one- to two-word questions, such as "Go bye-bye?"
- Follow simple commands and understand simple questions
- Speak at least 50 words
When to check with your child's doctor
Talk to your child's doctor if your child hasn't mastered most of the speech and language development milestones for his or her age or you're concerned about any aspect of your child's development. Speech delays occur for many reasons, including hearing loss and developmental disorders. Depending on the circumstances, your child's doctor might refer your child to a hearing specialist (audiologist) or a speech-language pathologist.
In the meantime, talk to your child about what you're doing and where you're going. Sing songs and read together. Teach your child to imitate actions, such as clapping, and to say animal sounds. Practice counting. Show your child that you're pleased when he or she speaks. Listen to your child's sounds and repeat them back to him or her. These steps can encourage your child's speech and language development.
Feb. 11, 2016
See more In-depth
- Speech and language developmental milestones. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/speechandlanguage.aspx. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Birth to one year: What should my child be able to do? American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/01.htm. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- One to two years: What should my child be able to do? American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/12.htm. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Child speech and language. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/ChildSandL.htm. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Kliegman RM, et al. The second year. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- McInerny TK, et al. Language and speech assessment. In: American Academy of Pediatrics Textbook of Pediatric Care. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2009.
- Berkowitz CD. Speech and language development: Normal patterns and common disorders. In: Berkowitz's Pediatrics: A Primary Care Approach. 5th ed. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2014.