Children's Health

When do toddlers start talking?

Q&A with Dr. Manny: My 2-year-old doesn't have many words and is hard to understand. Should I be concerned?

 

Parents are often very eager to hear their children speak. For many, those first words are like music to their ears.

We recently got this question from a curious mother:

Hey Dr. Manny,
My 2-year-old doesn't have many words and is hard to understand. Should I be concerned?
Thanks,
Paula, Michigan

It’s important to remember that each child grows and learns at his or her own pace. Speech delay can be an early sign of developmental issues, but toddler speech development tends to follow a fairly predictable pattern.

Experts say by age 2, your child should:

  • Speak 50-100 words;
  • Link two words together;
  • Speak clearly enough for parents to understand about half of their words;
  • Understand simple commands and questions;
  • Sing simple tunes.

But talk to your doctor if you still have concerns. He or she may refer your child for an evaluation with a speech therapist.

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