Talking Timeline: Infant To Toddler

From the first word to full sentences - what can you expect?


One of the most exciting milestones is when your baby says their first word. However, sometimes the talking plateaus at ‘mama’ and ‘baba’, leaving you worried about when your baby will start picking up more words.

Here’s a general outline of what to expect, when it comes to talking milestones:

  • 2-4 months: coos, gurgles, expressive pitch (surprised, happy)
  • 4-6 months: may use one syllable repeatedly (ma-ma-ma, ga-ga-ga), may use high and low pitch to intonate syllables
  • 6-12 months: recognizes their own name. May be able to understand what you are trying to say. Will begin to communicate with gestures. Babies try to form sentences using one syllable repeatedly. Will most likely speak their first word between 9-12 months (hi, bye, ball)
  • 12-15 months: Will use gestures with speech. “Buss? (more?); Kham? (finished?)”
  • 16-18 months: Can make a variety of sounds (muh, buh, guh, ta, ka, ha); understands the concept of a conversation so will be more likely to direct any words to someone rather than randomly babbling. By 18 months, there will be between 10 and 20 words in their constantly expanding vocabulary.
  • 18-24 months: Your child will keep adding words to their vocabulary and may start connecting two words to form simple sentences (give car, want milk, baba here, no this)

Remember that each child is different and develops at their own pace. If your child is over-due to meet milestones, don’t worry – some children are late talkers. Do bring it up to your child’s pediatrician at your next visit.

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