• Home
  • Speaking Up – Your Child’s Language

Speaking Up – Your Child’s Language

This month’s article title: FROM BABBLING TO WORDS: Speech and Language Milestones

There is nothing quite so precious as hearing your child’s first words. All of the babbling, cooing, and crying are ways in which your baby is communicating with you and practicing the sounds and movements that will lead to speech and language. While all children grow and develop at different rates, it is important to recognize whether or not your child is mastering expected speech or language milestones. Here are some guidelines to help:

By 12 months, your child should:

  • Use gestures (e.g. waving)
  • Be able to follow simple directions
  • Communicate what he/she wants using actions and sounds


By 18 months, your child should:

  • Start to put words together
  • Use at least 20 different words
  • Point to pictures in a book when asked


By 2 years, your child should:

  • Combine two words together (e.g. more cookie)
  • Take turns in conversations
  • Ask simple questions


By 3 years, your child should:

  • Combine three or more words together most of the time
  • Be able to follow two-part directions (e.g. go to your room and bring back your coat)
  • Understand simple concepts (e.g. up and down, in and on)


By 4 years, your child should:

  • Produce most speech sounds correctly
  • Speak in sentences and use adult-like grammar
  • Tell short stories and tell you about his/her day



Adapted from Speech-Language and Audiology Canada, 2014, Speech, Language and Hearing Milestones (2014), www.sac-oac.ca

Andrea Jennings, M.Cl.Sc., Reg. CASLPO
Elizabeth Skirving, M.S., M.Ed., Reg. CASLPO
Speech-Language Pathologists
Fern Speech and Language Services


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

News Letter