Oh, 18 months. What a month!
We came into that month with about 50 words spoken, 50 signs, whining, grunting, and frustration. She would not even try to imitate sounds.
We left that month with a vocabulary that was becoming boundless. She was speaking on average in 3 word sentences. She would repeat back to us even longer sentences. It was like something clicked, and her receptive vocabulary, which was huge, became her expressive vocabulary. As she put more and more words together, her grammar was always near perfect.
I think that maybe the most unique aspect of DD's language development might be that within her first 50 words spoken were all parts of speech, including plurals, pronouns, prepositions, adverbs, and interrogatives.
My DD's story supports that idea that all children develop at different rates. She was perfectly average before 18 months, and now at 23 months, has cleared every verbal milestone for a 36-month-old, and most of the 48 and 60-month ones too.
She came up to me yesterday: "Mama, for my birthday I want a new baby just like <cousin's> baby with a bald head and paci. Oh, and a motorcycle and a ba-yoon."
I find personal anecdotes always more fun than charts, but FWIW I'll add:
|13 to 18 months
Now your child is using one or more words, and he knows what they mean. He'll even practice inflection, raising his tone when asking a question, saying "Up-py?" when he wants to be carried, for example. He's realizing the importance of language as he taps into the power of communicating his needs.
19 to 24 months
Though he probably says about 50 to 70 words now, your child may understand as many as 200 words, many of which are nouns. Between 18 and 20 months, he'll learn words at the rate of 10 or more a day (so watch your language!). He'll even string two words together, making basic sentences such as "Carry me."
By the time he's 2, your child will use three-word sentences and sing simple tunes. His sense of self will mature, and he'll start talking about what he likes and doesn't like, what he thinks and feels. Pronouns may confuse him, which is why he might say "Baby throw" instead of "I throw."
This is my favorite verbal milestone chart.Language development chart
Typical Language development at 18 months:
|Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words
Vocabulary made up chiefly of nouns
Some echolalia (repeating a word or phrase over and over)
Much jargon with emotional content
Is able to follow simple commands
And 24 months:
|Can name a number of objects common to his surroundings
Is able to use at least two prepositions, usually chosen from the following: in, on, under
Combines words into a short sentence-largely noun-verb combinations (mean) length of sentences is given as 1.2 words
Approximately 2/3 of what child says should be intelligible
Vocabulary of approximately 150-300 words
Rhythm and fluency often poor
Volume and pitch of voice not yet well-controlled
Can use two pronouns correctly: I, me, you, although me and I are often confused
My and mine are beginning to emerge
Responds to such commands as "show me your eyes (nose, mouth, hair)
And, I'll also add a nephew (22 months) 100 words, 2 words phrases, a niece (17 months) maybe a word, and another niece now older who did not say a word till almost 3, and is doing great.