Speech Milestones From 0-3 Years – What Should you Look out for?

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This is a contributed post and therefore may not represent the views and opinions of this blog or its author.


Certain milestones are noticeable as your child grows. Walking, playing with toys, interacting and talking. While it can be self-evident that there are delays in walking, how they communicate with people sometimes talking can get a bit confusing. Aside from ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ what should your child be saying and when?


Let’s take it stage by stage.

0-6 months

You might assume that there isn’t much to say for this bit. However, this is where it all starts. If your baby hears a noise they will turn their face towards it, be startled with loud noises or bangs, and they will fully engage with your face when you talk. Babies even that young will make gurgles, coos, and squeals.

6-12 months

Clearly turning to face someone who is across the room talking. Your little one will look at you when you speak, and babble sounds together (bababa go go go – you know the type), obviously understand words like ‘bye-bye’, ‘no’, or ‘up’. They will also start to enjoy songs and jingles from their favourite TV shows. Reading with your child becomes more exciting for them around this time.

12-18 months

By 18 months most little ones will be able to understand and say a lot of basic words. Pointing, gesturing to items and making sounds to help indicate to it. Noisy games are also a lot of fun at this point. Copying adult words is also a big thing right now too. A common one is the little ones pretending to be on the phone – just like their parents.

18- 24 months

At two years old, children will be able to use 50 or more simple words, most of which will be in context. They’ll be able to respond to questions and in conversations. Copy both simple and slightly more complicated words. Sentences are a thing now to ‘mama can I’ or ‘more dada lease’. They will understand up to 500 words too. Amazing, isn’t it?

2-3 years

A considerable leap happens here. They’ll have a vocabulary of around 300 or more words, and they’ll be adding the occasional ‘s’ on for plurals. Although you might begin to worry because around this time there might be a lot of stuttering or stammering – however that is most likely your child arranging their thoughts into words, give them plenty of time to get it out. This will also be where they ramp up the number of questions they ask too. Listening more intently when they are interested in something. They will also really enjoy telling you about what they have done when out with other people or at a nursery.

If you notice anything at any point, like no words, or your little one not interacting, then it might be time to think about speech therapy. Not all children develop at the same rate, some little ones are very eager and start copying very early on, and others take their time before stringing sentences together. Spending time reading with your child, singing, talking and interacting will help them with their speech too.