Children’s speech and language development milestones

Children’s speech and language development are dependant on the status of their hearing. There is once a saying, if you cannot hear, you cannot speak. Therefore, understanding the development milestones is important to detect if your children is having any form of hearing difficulties. Below are a simple general guidelines.

9 months

Demonstrates an understanding of simple words such as "mommy," "daddy," "no," "bye-bye."

10 months

Babbling should sound "speech like," with single syllables strung together ("da-da-dada"). The first recognizable words emerge around this time.

1 year

One or more real words spoken.

18 months

Understands simple phrases, retrieves familiar objects on command (without gestures) and points to body parts. Has a spoken vocabulary of 20 to 50 words and uses short phrases ("no more," "go out," "mommy up").

24 months

Spoken vocabulary should be at least 150 words, coupled with the emergence of simple two-word sentences. Most speech should be understandable to adults who are not with the child daily. Toddlers also should be able to sit and listen to read-aloud picture books.

3 to 5 years

Spoken language should be used constantly to express wants, reflect emotions, convey information and ask questions. A preschooler should understand nearly all that is said. Spoken vocabulary grows from 1,000 to 2,000 words, which are linked in complex and meaningful sentences. All speech sounds should be clear and understandable by the end of this developmental stage.

These milestones are rough "rules of thumb" for the majority of children.
If your child is more than 2 to 3 months delayed compared to the above-mentioned age groups, it might indicate hearing loss or delayed speech and language development.