This year-long period is when language development truly takes off. Your child’s understanding of the world around them, especially for language and sounds, is much more developed than before. Most kids typically say their first words around their first birthday, but a toddler who is actively learning to walk will commonly postpone their speech development. By two years old, most toddlers will say 50-100 words or moreand be able to put together two-word phrases.
Listed below are some typical milestones, enhancement activities, and red flags for your baby’s hearing and speech development at this age. Note that every child is different, and some reach these milestones sooner or later than others. If your child is not developing in accordance with these guidelines, consider contacting your pediatrician or family health physician.
- Uses several words with a variety of speech sounds, slowly developing into 20-50 words
- Enjoys simple songs and rhymes
- Understands two step directions (ex: “Get your shoes and come here”)
- Can make simple needs known through speech
- Asks simple questions
- Knows and points to body parts
- Praise and encourage efforts in all areas: moving, playing, talking, singing
- Avoid over-correcting your child’s efforts to speak
- Always fully listen when your child speaks to you
- Ask your child questions that stimulate thought and check understanding
- Uses only vowel sounds to speak
- Cannot follow simple commands
- Does not respond to sounds or responds only to loud sounds
- Points or grunts to make needs known
Your little one is listening to everything you say and storing it away at an incredible rate. Instead of using “baby” words, start using the correct names for people, places, and things. Speak slowly and clearly, and keep it simple. Your child’s vocabulary will grow quickly, but pronunciation isn’t likely to keep pace. By 2 years of age, most kids are understandable only about half the time, so emphasize the correct pronunciations in your responses.
Gestures are an important part of language development. Make the connection between the gestures your child makes and language by using a running commentary such as, “Do you want a drink?” (when your child points to the refrigerator), then wait for a response. Then say, “What do you want? Milk? OK, let’s get some milk.” Such behavior encourages kids to respond and participate in conversations
Children’s of Alabama Hearing and Speech Center: https://www.childrensal.org/hearing-and-speech