Understanding Your Child’s Talking Timeline
This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.
All children start talking at different times. Too often, however, parents worry because they’re comparing their toddlers to others their age and they don’t see the same progress. Parents shouldn’t worry, though, because various factors could be at play. Sometimes, girls develop faster than boys. Toddlers who have more social interaction through things like day care may also learn to talk sooner.
Although the talking timeline is different for each child, there’s a certain process that most will follow. If your child isn’t hitting language development milestones, it’s important to seek advice to make sure that they can get on the right track. Here are the milestones your toddler should be hitting and when.
Says a Few Words at Age 1
At age 1, your child should move beyond just crying to communicate. Although they will still have a limited vocabulary, they should at least have a few words that they can say. For example, a 1-year-old may be able to point at their mother and say “mama” and at their father and say “dada.”
Children this small should also begin imitating your voice when you say the words associated with different things. It’s OK if you can’t fully understand your child at first. As long as they’re making an effort to repeat, they’re on track.
Uses Roughly 50 Words Regularly at Age 2
Between the ages of 1 and 2, language really starts to blossom. Children are learning that different objects have different names. By the time your child is 2, they should be using roughly 50 words. These are simple words that identify things like a book, a cat, a car, or grandma.
Your child should also be repeating you with more frequency. A 2-year-old should also be able to make very simple two-word sentences like “my toy” or “bus go.” Your curious kids may also begin understanding what you’re asking even if they can’t quite articulate it yet.
Speaks in Simple Sentences at Age 3
By the time your child is 3, their language should really start to develop. They should be able to speak in simple sentences that tell you what they want. Most of what they say should be coherent. Now is the time when they really start learning what words go together.
As your child ages, their sentences will become more complex. It will then be up to you to continue monitoring them to make sure they’re on the right track.