15 Speech and Language Milestones for 18-and-24-Month Old Toddlers

March 30, 2017

It's important for children to hit certain milestones in their development.If you have concerns with your baby's development, make a Peds appointment.

At 18 months of age your toddler is exploring his/her world and learning so many new things. Here are some of the typical speech and language milestones that indicate your child is progressing in language development.

Your child….

  1. Uses 10-15 different words
  2. Uses words to have needs met (“more, up, eat”)
  3. Understands and uses the names of five different familiar objects
  4. Imitates sounds and words spontaneously
  5. Starts to combine two words (“all done, up mama”)
  6. Uses real words intermixed with babbling
  7. Hums along with familiar children’s songs
  8. Imitates words and word combinations with a model
  9. Recognizes pictures of family members and familiar objects
  10. Points or uses gestures to get your attention or make requests for objects/actions
  11. Retrieves a known object from another room upon request (“go get your blanket”)
  12. Follows simple commands
  13. Points to body parts when asked
  14. Develops a play routine (baby doll, kitchen play, car play)
  15. Enjoys looking at books and will turn pages a few at a time

At 24 months old your toddler…

  1. Has an expressive vocabulary of approximately 200 words (words she/he says)
  2. Asks for foods, drinks, and toys
  3. Identifies many body parts
  4. Verbally names pictures in books
  5. Verbally names actions pictured in books
  6. Refers to self by name
  7. Asks, “What’s this? What’s that?”
  8. Has a “conversation” with self and in play
  9. Understands simple questions and commands
  10. Uses sentences that are two to three words in length
  11. Uses two-word negative phrases (“no bed, not go”)
  12. Can identify objects by size (big ball vs little ball)
  13. Listens to stories
  14. May use pluralization (babies, balls)
  15. Will maintain attention to an activity for six to seven minutes

A language-rich environment is important for your child’s speech development. Here are some easy activities for you to do with your child that will provide that environment:

  1. Read to your child every day, and label pictures for your child
  2. Talk about what you or your child is doing when cooking, washing dishes, playing with cars or dolls, taking walks, and coloring
  3. Imitate and identify sounds with your child such as birds chirping, dogs barking, doorbells, water running, and sirens
  4. Model correct speech and language for your child. Don’t use baby talk if your child says “wawa” for water, model it back to him/her as “water”
  5. Respond meaningfully to your child’s communication attempts. If your child says, “Where dog?” you could say, “Where is the dog? Let’s find her. In the kitchen? Outside?”
  6. Emphasize color and size of everyday objects (daddy’s big black shoes, baby’s little blue shoes)
  7. Give your child opportunities to use words by finishing your sentences (“Let’s go play_____”{outside}. “I am hungry let’s _______”{eat})
  8. Do finger plays with your child (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, Patty Cake)
  9. Limit TV and other screen time. Children learn best through play with models
  10. Have a daily routine that allows predictability for your child (breakfast, dressing, play, lunch, book, nap)