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Toddler Language Development


Toddler Language Development

Dr. Heidi Johnson, Boys Town Pediatrics

By two years old, most children should have about 50 words. They should be starting to put two words into sentences, sometimes three, but as long as they're getting two words together they are on track.

They should be able to be understood by a stranger about 50% of the time.

Every kid is a different. That's a general idea of where they should be. Some kids are a little ahead of that and they get their two–word sentences at 18 months and in other kids it takes a little longer.

If they're not getting those two-word sentences by age 2 then it's something we just keep an eye on and watch a little bit closer for the next few months.

The best thing you can do to help your child is to read to them. Get out the book and read to them.

Talking to them, using your vocabulary, is teaching them to use vocabulary and you're really working on those language skills by reading through books.

As they get older, start pointing out the words to them, and they'll start to get the whole concept of words on a page and each word has a sound.

Any time that you're worried they 're not hearing you or you feel like they're not interacting the same way as the other kids at daycare or who they are around, I'd bring it up to your pediatrician.

They can do some more screening tests with them to see if they really are behind and how much they are behind.

If they're just a little but behind it may not be something to worry about, but if they're several months behind then it maybe something that they need to go into early intervention for.

​As your toddler continues to grow, their language and speech will continue to expand. Dr. Heidi Johnson, pediatrician with Boys Town Pediatrics, explains the timetable for toddler language development and how parents can continue to help expand the communication skills of their child.