Speech Milestones

Join Speech-Language Pathologist Barbara Schacter and Pediatrician Jay Gordon as they review some important speech milestones in your baby’s life
Speech Milestones | Kids in the House
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Speech Milestones


- You should be concerned if your child is not speaking in single words by 18 months or using two to three word sentences by two to three years of age or if they're not answering a simple request by age one or a two-step demand by age two. That's a good time to call somebody for some help.

- A lot of developmental milestones involving sounds and language in kids during the first two or three years of life. A baby of two or three months of age should be babbling, cooing, making sounds. A baby of four, five months of age should be babbling more, should be answering you. A six or seven month old baby should be developing consonants. Could be a "mama" or "dada," just as likely a "gaga" "baba". Through the second half of the year, nine, ten, eleven months of age, baby should be understanding words. They should understand words that come next to their name. Most kids under a year of age don't actually have words. A lot of them say "mama" or "dada" or "dog". In the second year of life there are much bigger milestones to observe. There should be a progression. A 12 to 14 month old, again should be understanding a lot of what you're saying, can't talk much at all. They should be understanding simple requests. "Where's the doggy? Where's daddy?" In the second half, in the middle of that second year, 15, 16, 18 months of age, you got a real critical time where kids should be adding words to their vocabulary. Sometimes it's very slowly, especially in boys, but there should be more words month by month. You can read very rigid guidelines that a child of 18 to 24 months of age should be forming two word sentences, a child of 27 months of age should have three word sentences. This isn't invariable. It's not so much the point of time, as the continuum. Kids should have more and more words from 18 to 24 months of age and if you have any doubts, evaluation of language, speech therapy, are really good interventions that should be done earlier rather than later.

Join Speech-Language Pathologist Barbara Schacter and Pediatrician Jay Gordon as they review some important speech milestones in your baby’s life


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Barbara Schacter, LCSW

Speech-Language Pathologist

Barbara was raised in New England, then attended The George Washington University for both undergraduate and graduate school.  She began as a dance major, but soon realized that she might have had a colorful, but short career and she was looking for a profession that would inspire and challenge her for many years.  As luck would have it, G.W.U. had an excellent speech pathology and audiology department. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, the university offered her a fellowship for graduate school with an internship associated with not only their speech and hearing clinic, but with the George Washington University Hospital, as well. 

After graduate school, she secured a position in a private school for children with language and learning disabilities.  She followed that with a 10-year stint at a residential children's psychiatric center.  Longing to work with a more varied population, she then worked in a public school in New Jersey.  There, she developed and taught a language enrichment program for all kindergartners in the district and provided speech and language therapy for the two special education classes, as well as serving those students from kindergarten to sixth grade having articulation, fluency, voice, cleft palate, hearing impairment and language delays.  In 1992, she moved to Los Angeles and was hired by Saint John's Health Center to participate as a member on their cleft palate team as well as providing pediatric and geriatric out-patient speech and language services.  Several years later, she opened a private practice in Pacific Palisades, CA, which continues to this day.  She is delighted to say that she still gets a thrill out of the work she does...and that is such a gift!

More Parenting Videos from Barbara Schacter, LCSW >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter