Talking Timeline

MOMMY ON BOARD - Kristalle Marie Garcia-Kekert (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Here is what to expect for your child when they hit this wonderful milestone in their life, the development of the language skill, which might happen a little earlier than normal or a little later than expected.


Birth to three months old - Expect some cooing and ahhing but this ability to talk develops so fast that it changes almost every month. Crying is a very normal form of communication so don't be offended when your baby does such.

Two to three months old – You as a parent may be able to distinguish the different crying sounds from hungry to uncomfortable to tired or needs a cuddle and more.

Three to four months old – Vowels become more consistent and it can sometimes mix with consonant sounds, but still expect some cooing at times.

Five to six months old – The beginning of forming words in baby language, you will find that the tone goes up and down when your child responds to your facial expressions. He/she will laugh a lot, too!

Seven to twelve months old – Your baby will babble things such as ma-ma-ma, da-da-da or ba-ba-ba, etc to almost anything and everything. There is a lot of copying and imitating at this stage so try having a conversation with your little one. Your baby may also be able to recognise some familiar objects by pointing them out using his/her own baby language.

(If by six months old and your baby hasn't made any of the common vocal sounds and hasn't made eye contact, then something could be wrong. You might want to seek help with regards to this matter.)


Twelve months old – Your child can say at least one or more words but not very clear to understand. This is the stage where you can expect your little one to utter his/her very first word.

14 months old – There is a lot of imitating and hand gestures at this stage. Some would even talk to themselves and sing. Toddlers begin to understand more and more things everyday so do expect some screaming when they don't have it their way.

16 months old – Can nod head for yes and shake head for no. Your child may even say "mommy" or "daddy" to get your attention. Consonant sounds such as d, h, n, t and w can sound a little clearer, verbally.

18 months old – Your child's vocabulary will increase between 5 and 20 words including names he/she hears on a daily basis, adjectives and other common phrases for requests.

18 to 24 months old – Your toddler will start putting two-word phrases together as part of his/her conversation.

(If by 15months old and your toddler hasn't said any words, you might want to speak to your pediatrician.)


24 months old – Your child at this stage knows (but may not understand) 150 to 300 words by now and puts two or three word sentences with pauses in between.

2 to 3 years old – Expect a LOT of frequent "whys". Your child at this stage is curious about the world and will enjoy simple conversations with you, take advantage of that. Past tenses, in child language, are commonly used as well; such as "writed" instead of "wrote" is one of a few examples.

3 to 4 years old – Playing and talking at the same time happens at this stage with words such as "why", "what" and "who" but this is all very normal. Your child has a vocabulary of between 800 and 1,000 words.

4 to 5 years old – Can express himself/herself with short stories and can use five sentences max to explain a picture but will still have trouble with the "th", "r" and "l" sound. A child at this age can communicate easily with about 2,000 words.

6 to 7 years old – It's now easier for them to describe items or recall events without any photographic material.

8 years old - Your child has now mastered the art of verbal communication and should be capable of having a conversation with an adult. Doesn't your child just get smarter everyday?

(If your 2 or 3-year-old child repeats your question as opposed to answering it, then this could be a sign of language delay. A stuttering child can also be referred to a speech pathologist.)

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