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Toddlers' Language Development from 18-24 Months

January 30, 2018 by HealthyFamilies BC

toddler smiling playing with blocks on floor


At 18 to 24 months, your toddler's language skills are flourishing.  

Your conversations are starting to become even more interesting.  

Here's what else you can expect.

Language Milestones

At this age, most toddlers recognize about 200 words and may use them to make two- or three-word sentences like, “More milk, please” and “No, mine!” Other typical language milestones include:

  • Asking for help using words or actions.
  • At 18 months, say about 20 words (they do not have to be clear).
  • Talking in a run-on flow of words while chatting with stuffed animals or to herself. The words may not make sense.
  • Naming some pictures in a book.
  • Copying new words and phrases you say: “Go bye bye.” “Grandpa’s car.”

Play and Activity

Continue reading to your toddler as often as possible - reading is an excellent tool for nurturing language development.

Here are some other ways to support your toddler's language skills:

  • Ask simple questions starting with "what" or "where." 
  • Build on what your toddler says. For instance, if your toddler says, "cat," respond with "Yes! That’s a black cat." 
  • Listen carefully to your toddler and try to find the meaning in what he says by asking questions. 
  • Point out the names of things around your home and outside. 
  • Take your toddler to the library to get books and stories on tapes or CDs.
  • Read to her as often as you can.

Other Language Milestones

Between 18 and 24 months your toddler may also:

  • Sing simple songs with words and actions. 
  • Begin to be understood by others outside the family. 
  • Start to use plurals. 
  • Use the past tense. 
  • Copy or request new words.

Resources & Links

HealthLink BC: Speech and Language Milestones, Ages 1 to 3 Years


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  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
    1. Pregnancy & Birth
    2. Babies (0-12 months)
    3. Toddlers (12-36 months)
    4. Preschool (3-5 years)
    5. Children (6-11 years)
    6. Teens (12-18 years)
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