Speech and language are part of the critical milestones for a growing child – it is vital to communication. So, as a parent, in terms of speech and language delay, you should know when to worry and when you should not.
Here is a list of speech milestones that every parent should know:
- First 3 months
Responding to your child’s needs during his or her first three months is sometimes based on instincts. During this period, your child’s way of communication is crying – crying for everything. The baby will cry when he or she is hungry, needs a diaper change, feels uncomfortable, irritable, and more. However, aside from crying, your child will also develop a charming and fascinating repertoire of coos, sighs, and even gurgles.
During this stage, the child will try to understand the language of his or her surroundings by recognizing the sounds and its patterns.
- The next 3 months (4 to 6 months old)
This stage is the most interesting stage for speech and language development. It is the period when your child starts babbling words, mostly a combination of consonants and vowels (such as yaya and baba). At this stage, you will hear his or her first “mama” or “papa/dada”; this is when most parents get emotional, especially for first-time parents. Also, at this stage, the child will respond to her name.
If you find your child unable to babble during these months, it is probable that there is a delay in speech or language development; however, before the child is diagnosed with delay in speech and language development at this age, for most cases, physicians or speech and language medical experts will have to run some tests and wait.
- The next 6 months (7 to 12 months old)
During this stage, the child will babble words with tones and sound patterns that are similar to the ones the people around him or her are using. At this stage, you should practice your child’s speech and language by reading books to him or her or do some conversation as if you understand him or her.
- 1 year and 6 months old (13 to 18 months old)
Now, at this stage, your child will use one or two of the words that he or she knows what they mean. During these months, your child’s vocabulary will increase as he or she taps on how important communication is for her needs.
- The next 6 months going 2 years old (19 to 24 months old)
At this stage, your child should show improvement with his or her speech and language skills. During his or her 20th month, your child will start to speak some complex words other than up, down, yes, no, mama, papa, and bye-bye. Your child will learn how to speak words such as cookies, banana, dog, cat, and more. If you read this article, you will find out how a 20-month old grows his or her communication skills.
And at 2 years old (24 months old) your child will start to pick up 2 to 4 words to make simple sentences such as “I love you”, “love cookies”, “do not want”, and more.
However, if your child does not show any improvement in his or her speech and language skills at 7 months to later stages, the child can be diagnosed with speech and language development disorder. It could be because of various reasons. Fortunately, there are therapies that a child can undergo; what he or she needs is your support.