Speech & Language Milestones - Hearing and Speech Agency

Speech & Language Milestones

You can stimulate your child’s speech and language by listening attentively; describing your actions; using words he or she has trouble with; waiting patiently for your child to respond, and reading longer stories to your child as he or she develops.

6 months: Makes different, playful sounds (babbles); laughs, gurgles, and coos with familiar people; reacts to voices; babbles for attention.

8 months: Produces 4 or more sounds; uses syllables such as “ba” and “da”; listens to own and others’ vocalizations; tries to imitate sounds.

10 months: May say “mama” and “dada”; shouts for attention; babbles as if speaking; repeats syllables or sequences of sound.

12 months: Says 2–3 words besides “mama” or “dada”; imitates familiar words/sounds; connects objects with sound (dog says “woof”); vocalizes for enjoyment; practices words; discriminates between sounds.

18 months: Uses 10–20 words; combines words to form concepts (“all gone”); uses words to vocalize wants (“more”); imitates words/sounds more accurately; practices words and combinations.

2 years: Has “conversations” with self or toys; sentence length is 2–3 words; uses negative phrases (“no want”); forms plurals of object by adding “s”; has around 200 words in vocabulary.

2½ years: Has a vocabulary of about 450 words; is able to give his/her first name; uses past tense and plurals; uses short sentences to announce his or her actions (“Me do it” or “Me want it”); refers to self as “me”; talks to children and adults.

3 years: Knows words “night” and “day”; uses contractions; practices new words by talking to self; uses 3–4-word sentences; has a vocabulary of about 1,000 words; repeats sounds, words, and phrases; asks “what” questions.

4 years: Identifies shapes and colors; can speak of imaginary concepts or conditions (“I hope” or “what if”); uses 4–5-word sentences; combines sentences with “and”; uses past tense.

5 years: Defines objects by purpose (“drink with glass” or “eat with fork”); understands spatial relation words such as “top,” “under,” “near,” or “far”; can say his or her address; uses most speech sounds of the alphabet correctly; can tell a story with a simple plot; asks questions to obtain information; understands common opposites (“same”/“different” or “big”/“little”).

Olga Polites, MS, CCC-SLP is the Clinical Director at The Hearing and Speech Agency

Hearing and Speech AgencyHarry and Jeanette Weinberg Building 5900 Metro Drive Baltimore, MD 21215 410.318.6780