Everyone develops at his or her own pace; however, certain behavior is rightfully expected at a specific milestone as it can otherwise be an indication of a speech-language disorder. Does your child match the stages of communication for his/her age? Find out below. If the answer is no, contact us to get your child’s development on the right path.

one year old baby smiling

Between 12 months-18 months:

  • Starts to use words (mama, dada), should start saying 10-20 words

  • Recognizes name

  • Understands no 

  • Waves bye

  • Can get objects when asked

  • Makes animal sounds (meow, moo)

two year old boy peeling a banana

By age 2:

  • They should use a minimum of 50 words or more

  • Puts two words together (ex. mommy car)

  • Can point to body parts (nose, eyes, foot, etc.) and clothing (shirt, shoes, etc.)

  • Follow simple 1 step commands (ex. get your shoes)

  • Names a variety of nouns (family members names, animals, food, etc.)

  • Makes a request using words more than gestures (saying juice instead of pointing)

  • They should turn and look when they hear their name or hear unfamiliar sounds 

  • Begin asking questions

three year old girl playing on playground equipment

By age 3:

  • Uses a large vocabulary of words

  • Caregivers/family members should understand 50-75% of your child’s speech

  • They should no longer drop the last consonant in a word (ex. Ca for cat)

  • Begins using 3-4-word phrases

  • Follow 2-3 step directions

  • Knows some basic concepts (big/little, match colored objects)

  • Enjoys parents’ attention to watch them do things (watch me)

five year old girl sliding down a slide at a playground

 By age 4 - 5:

  • Uses over 1000 words

  • Has a sentence length of 4-5 words 

  • Names some colors

  • Can tell a story

  • Understands terms like ‘yesterday’ and ‘tonight’

  • Family members and strangers should understand 75-90% of your child’s speech


Don’t see your child’s age or want more information?

Visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

If your child has a history of ear infections or failed hearing screenings, it is highly recommended that they have their speech and language skills screened or evaluated by a Speech-Language Pathologist. It is also recommended you make an appointment with an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) doctor or Audiologist to check inner ear function and hearing regularly.