Speech development in toddlers

Four children sitting on bunk bed

Speech development in toddlers

Waiting for your child to start speaking can seem like an endless journey. Often a child’s first words will come early on, but it can still be some time before he or she converses in full sentences. It is important to understand how and when your children might start talking and in what ways you can aid their development.

The development process

Children will usually start talking at some point after their first birthday. However, you shouldn’t be too concerned if your child is still making basic sounds at this time. Even when they do start talking, they’ll likely still only have fewer than 50 words in their vocabulary over the next six months.

At around 18 months, there will typically be an upsurge in their development. By this time, they will be learning around six new words every day. A child will need about 100 words before he or she can start putting sentences together. The earliest sentences usually consist of just two or three words. Between the ages of two and three, your child should have moved on to sentences of around ten words.

Helping your child

It is common for children to confuse words or pronounce sounds incorrectly. You shouldn’t correct every small mistake that they make because this could discourage them from speaking. Instead, it is beneficial to repeat the sentence back to them correctly so that they can start to hear the difference. As your child progresses, introduce preschool games that will enhance language skills and encourage speaking.


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