Language Development in Toddlers at 12 Months Old
By 1 year old, most toddlers are able to say at least one word (usually mama or dada). It’s also not unusual for the first few words to be word fragments and not the true pronunciation of the whole word. Ex: “ba” for “ball”, etc.
Toddlers this age are also able to use voice inflection (or changing their tone of voice) when they speak. Babbling is still pretty common too, and your toddler will also be able to communicate using simple gestures, like shaking his/her head “yes” or “no”.
Language Development in Toddlers at 18 Months Old
By 18 months, most toddlers can say between 5-20 words. These words are often nouns. It’s also not uncommon for this age group to say a word or phrase repeatedly.
Toddlers this age will often continue to babble. Pointing to objects is another way this age group communicates.
Language Development in Toddlers at 2 Years Old
By age 2, most toddlers have a growing vocabulary and can name common objects, and familiar people and body parts. This is also the age when toddlers begin putting together their first sentences. These sentences are usually very simple and often only 2-4 words in length (ex: “Go bye-bye”, “See doggy”, etc).
This is the age when toddlers begin to learn pronouns like “I”, “me”, and “you”. The terms “my” and “mine” will usually emerge this year as well. Toddlers will continue to point, being able to point to objects in books or in his/her surroundings when asked. At this age toddlers can follow simple commands too, meaning they understand what is being asked!
Language Development in Toddlers at 3 Years Old
By age three the pronouns are used often and not just “I”, “me” and “you”, but also “we”. Three year olds can also use some plurals (like cars, dolls, etc). Other information known by a 3 year old includes how to say his/her name, age, and gender. S/he can also carry on a conversation using two to three sentences when speaking.
Pronunciation has greatly improved too, and most of what is said by a 3 yr old can be understood by strangers. Children this age are also able to answer many questions verbally and can sometimes speak using the past tense.
Language development in young children really is remarkable when you stop to think of where their skill level begins and what they learn in just a few short years.
Of course every child is an individual and will develop at his/her own rate. If you suspect your toddler has a language developmental delay, talk with your child’s doctor.The Center for Disease Control website has many wonderful pages on development too.There are also many things you can do on a daily basis to help your toddler speak.