Key Milestones (months)


Babies are becoming more interactive communication partners – maybe pointing, passing toys or holding up something to show you.


A baby may try to copy your words as well as use some of their own e.g. ‘mama’, ‘dada’….’no!’


With a vocabulary of 5-20 words or more, your toddler will enjoy using verbal means to get their message across...’ball’!


Many children will have 50+ words by now and start to link 2 words together ‘more milk!’


It is important to remember that children will develop language at different rates.  At this stage, children will typically start to talk.  Words may not start off as clear yet, however very familiar people will be able to understand those first words.  Babies first words are often the words they hear a lot, such as ‘bye-bye’, ‘no’, ‘more’, ‘doggy’.  Between 12-24 months, your child’s vocabulary may grow to around 5-20 words at 18 months and 50+ words by 24 months. Words at this stage are often single words, and towards 24 months they may start combining 2 word to form short phrases such as ‘more milk’, ‘doggy gone’ and ‘bye bye Dada’.

At this stage, your child will be able to understand simple key word instructions such as ‘where is your nose?’, and at around 24 months, their comprehension increases to understand two key word instructions e.g. ‘give the apple to teddy’

Chalk wall


There are lots of things you can do to help your child at this stage.  Take time to listen to the sounds and words your child uses to figure out what they are trying to tell you, then say the word back so they can hear the name of the item clearly.  Sing nursery rhymes with actions, label the items they point to, look at books together and use single words and short sentences to label and describe pictures.  ‘Ready, steady, go!’ games with bubbles, balls, and enjoyable physical actions such as tickles will also be really fun.  Talk to your child to describe what you are doing or what you can see when you are together e.g. “let’s change your nappy”, “that’s a furry dog”, “mummy is putting shoes on”.  Any opportunity to talk to your child about what they can see will help them connect words to the world around them.

Help & support

Your health visitor can provide a great deal of support and is a good person to sense check things with in the first instance. Children’s speech, language and communication development also benefits from interacting and playing with others their own age, so we highly recommend inducting in playgroups and activity sessions designed to enhance child development.

Child Reading
General training


Discover our range of free online language resources offering tips you can easily apply with your child at home.

Child outdoors playing


Advance your knowledge of speech, language and communication development and ways to support your children’s skills by attending one of our events.