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  • Genna Nichol

Speech and Language Milestones 18–24 Months

Between 18 and 24 months, your toddler will express new words, complex emotions, and more independence. They love to pretend and play, so join the fun! This article provides a list of the typical speech and language milestones most children will achieve at this age.

Developmental milestones happy toddler playing with tea set
Toddler playing with pretend tea set

Play milestones:

  • Begin to watch other children playing but may not play with them

  • Engage in imaginative play

  • Play themes that reflect daily routines (e.g., playing house, pretend cooking)

  • Look for hidden objects in play

Social milestones:

  • Maintain topic for a limited time

  • Participate in taking turns when vocalizing for a small number of turns

  • Communicate to command others, indicate possession, express a problem, gain attention

  • Exhibit some regulation of emotion and behaviour

  • Interrupt speech at appropriate times (i.e., in response to cues such as tone of voice representing a question)

Speech milestones

  • Use p, b, m, h, and w in words

  • May start to use /t, /d, /n sounds

Expressive language milestones:

  • Begin to use many new words

  • Begin to put two words together (e.g., more juice)

  • Begin to use pronouns such as I, me, my, mine, you

  • Ask simple questions (e.g., what's that, who's that)

  • Start to name pictures in books

Receptive language milestones:

  • Can point to several different body parts when asked

  • Respond to simple questions (e.g., where's your hat)

  • Can point to pictures in a book when asked

  • Follow simple, one-part directions such as (e.g., give me the ball)

  • Listen to simple stories and songs

It is important to remember these are milestones for most children at this age, but each child develops at their own rate. However, if your child has not met a significant number of these milestones or if you are concerned with your child's development, please see your family doctor who can do a thorough assessment and suggest next steps.

We offer speech and language assessments and therapy for children of all ages.

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