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Milestones in Speech Development: 0 - 18 Months

As a parent, you may be wondering when your child will start speaking and what milestones to look out for. The good news is that every child develops at their own pace, so there is no need to worry if your child seems to be taking a bit longer to reach a particular milestone. However, it is helpful to be aware of the typical speech development milestones, so you can encourage and support your child's language development at home.

Girl playing with toys at a table

Between 0-18 months old, your child will make significant strides in their language development. At this age, your child will likely start answering simple questions through non-verbal communication, such as shaking their head for "no" or waving goodbye. They may also start combining 2 to 3 words to label a person or object, although their pronunciation may not be entirely clear. It's also common for them to try to imitate simple words and should have a minimum vocabulary of 20 words.


If your child is not meeting these milestones, it does not necessarily mean that there is a problem with their speech development (there is a wide range of what is considered "typical" at this age). However, if you are concerned, it's a good idea to speak with a speech therapist. A speech therapist can evaluate your child's language skills and provide guidance on how to support their speech development further. Early intervention is key in addressing any issues with speech development, so don't hesitate to seek out professional help if you have concerns.

To summarize: For children between 0-18 months old, look out for simple nonverbal responses to questions, a few words to label objects, attempts at imitating words, and a small vocabulary of around 20 words. Keep talking and reading to your child, repeat and expand on the words they say, and seek out professional help if you have any concerns about their speech development.


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