Speech Therapy
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June 19, 2023

How many words should my child have?

As parents, we all want to see our children grow and develop at a healthy rate, and one of the most important aspects of a child's development is their language skills.

author
Jen Wirt

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As parents, we all want to see our children grow and develop at a healthy rate, and one of the most important aspects of a child's development is their language skills. Many parents often wonder, "How many words should my child have at this age?" The answer to this question varies depending on your child's age, but here's what you need to know:

  • From birth to 6 months, your baby will not have any specific words in their vocabulary. At this stage, their language development is focused on listening and recognizing sounds.
  • Between 6-12 months, your baby's language development starts to take shape. They'll start to associate sounds with objects and people in their environment. Their vocabulary will consist of simple sounds like "mama" and "dada," along with a few basic words like "ball" or "bye-bye."
  • By 1 year, your child should have a few words in their vocabulary, and they'll continue to add new ones every day. They may say words like "cup," "dog," or "cat." At this stage, your child's vocabulary will mainly consist of nouns, and they may not be able to use verbs or adjectives yet.
  • Between 18-24 months, your toddler's language development will rapidly increase. They'll start to use two-word phrases like "more juice," "daddy car," and "bye-bye grandma." Your child's vocabulary will expand, and they'll start to use pronouns like "I," "you," and "me."
  • By the age of 2, your child should have a vocabulary of around 50 words, and they'll start to use short sentences. They'll also be able to follow simple instructions, like "Please put your shoes on." Their speech may still be difficult to understand, but they'll keep improving.
  • By age 3, your child's language development will be well underway. They'll have a vocabulary of around 1,000 words, and they'll be able to use complex sentences. They'll start to understand the concepts of past, present, and future tense, and they'll be able to ask and answer questions.

It's important to remember that every child develops at their own pace, and some children may hit these milestones earlier or later than others. However, if you are concerned about your child's language development, it may be a good idea to consult with a speech-language pathologist (SLP). An SLP can evaluate your child's language skills and provide guidance on how to support their development. Early intervention is key, and speech-language therapy can help your child overcome any delays or difficulties they may be experiencing.

Your child's language development is a critical aspect of their overall growth and development. From birth to age 3, your child's vocabulary will continue to expand, and they'll start to use more complex sentences. However, if you have any concerns about your child's language development, it's always a good idea to consult with a speech-language pathologist. With the right support and intervention, your child can develop the language skills they need to succeed.

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