Communication Matters

Your Child’s Speech & Language Development: Birth to 5 Years

Michelle Foye, MA CCC-SLP | Posted on May 18, 2018

Toddler Speech Development.jpgWhat to Look for at Various Ages

Birth to 6 Months

  • Responds to sounds (startles, turns head).
  • Quiets to familiar voices.
  • By 6 months, responds to name being called.
  • Vocalizes when talked to.
  • Begins to coo.

7 – 12 Months

  • Stops what he or she is doing when name is called.
  • Responds to simple commands or requests such as “come here” or “stop that.”
  • Demonstrates facial expressions and smiles.
  • Begins to babble.
  • Gestures by reaching and pointing with vocalization.
  • Waves bye-bye, gives five, seeks attention from others and plays turn-taking games such as peekaboo.
  • Imitates sounds such as: animals (woof, moo) and cars (beep).

12 – 24 Months

  • Understands at least 300 words and follows simple directions such as “get diaper,” “throw ball.”
  • Points to body parts when named.
  • First words emerge around 12 months with a minimum of 50-100 words by age 2.
  • Common first words include names (mama, dada), objects (nana – banana), verbs (go, up, eat),yes/no, and please.
  • Listeners understand 65% of what your child is saying by age 2.

2 – 3 Years

  • Follows a two-step direction such as “Put on your shoes and get your coat.”
  • Answers what and where questions.
  • Listens to 5-10 minute story.
  • Vocabulary expands to approximately 900-1,000 words between age 2 and 3.
  • Begins to combine words such as “eat cookie,” “more juice,” “my ball.”
  • Continues to expand to 3-4 words by age 3 such as “me eat cookie now.”
  • Names a few objects by function.
  • Listeners understand approximately 80% of what your child is saying by age 3.

3 – 5 Years

  • Follows three-step directions by age 5.
  • Understands concepts of quantity (more/less), quality (big/little), and spatial terms (top,bottom, above, below).
  • Asks and answers questions (what, where, who, why).
  • Vocabulary increases to approximately1,900 words by 4-1/2; 2,200 by age 5.
  • Uses 4-7 word sentences.
  • Asks meaning of words.
  • Tells long stories.
  • Listeners understand almost all of what your child is saying.
  • Child shows an interest in books and remembers information from book.
  • Recognizes sounds and letters in name.

If you have concerns about your child's speech, language or learning development, contact Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center. Our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) can assist in an evaluation and treatment plan tailored to your child's needs.

Speech-Language, Learning Services for Children

Tags: Speech, Language, Communication