Parents are often excited and curious about their baby’s developmental milestones, and one of the most anticipated ones is speech. At 18 months, babies typically have a vocabulary of at least 10-20 words, and they are learning to put two words together to make simple sentences. It’s incredible to see our little ones grow and learn, and it’s important to support and encourage their language development every step of the way.
What to Expect?
At 18 months, your baby’s speech is still developing, so don’t worry if they aren’t speaking in full sentences just yet. Instead, focus on encouraging their language skills by talking to them, reading to them, and singing with them. Here are some things you can expect at this stage:
Your baby can understand simple instructions and questions.
Your baby can identify and point to objects when you name them.
Your baby can say at least a few words, such as “mama,” “dada,” “ball,” and “dog.”
Your baby is starting to put two words together, such as “more milk” or “bye-bye dog.”
There are many simple and effective ways to encourage your baby’s speech development. Here are some ideas:
Talk to your baby throughout the day about what you’re doing, what they’re doing, and what they can see around them.
Read books together every day, pointing out pictures and naming objects.
Sing songs and nursery rhymes together, using gestures and actions to make it fun and interactive.
Encourage your baby to imitate sounds and words, such as animal noises or simple words like “hello” and “goodbye.”
Play simple games with your baby, such as peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek, to engage their attention and encourage communication.
When to Seek Help
While every child develops at their own pace, there may be times when you want to seek advice from a professional if you’re concerned about your baby’s speech development. Here are some signs to look out for:
Your baby isn’t using words or gestures to communicate.
Your baby seems frustrated or upset when trying to communicate.
Your baby doesn’t respond to sounds or voices.
Your baby has difficulty swallowing or drools excessively.
If you notice any of these signs, talk to your pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist for guidance and support.
Watching your baby grow and learn is an amazing experience, and supporting their speech development is an important part of that journey. By talking, reading, singing, and playing with your baby, you can help them develop language skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. Remember to seek help if you have concerns, and enjoy this exciting stage of your baby’s development!
Q: What is the typical vocabulary of an 18-month-old?
A: At 18 months, most babies have a vocabulary of at least 10-20 words, although this can vary widely.
Q: Should I be concerned if my 18-month-old isn’t speaking in full sentences yet?
A: No, it’s normal for babies to be putting two words together at this stage. Keep encouraging their language development through talking, reading, and playing together.
Q: When should I seek help if I’m concerned about my baby’s speech development?
A: If your baby isn’t using words or gestures to communicate, seems frustrated or upset when trying to communicate, doesn’t respond to sounds or voices, or has difficulty swallowing or drools excessively, talk to your pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist for guidance and support.
Q: How can I encourage my baby to imitate sounds and words?
A: You can encourage your baby to imitate sounds and words by making animal noises, saying simple words like “hello” and “goodbye,” and playing imitation games like “copycat.”
Q: What are some simple games I can play with my 18-month-old to encourage speech development?
A: You can play simple games like peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, and “I Spy” to engage your baby’s attention and encourage communication. Use gestures and actions to make it fun and interactive!
I am a child development specialist with a strong passion for helping parents navigate the exciting and sometimes challenging journey of raising a child. Through my website, I aim to provide parents with practical advice and reliable information on topics such as infant sleep, feeding, cognitive and physical development, and much more. As a mother of two young children myself, I understand the joys and struggles of parenting and am committed to supporting other parents on their journey.