Most babies start to babble between six and nine months of age. Around one year your baby will usually speak her first word. By 18 months, a baby should have a 10- to 20-word vocabulary. Around two years, there should be about 50 words in your child’s vocabulary and she should be putting two words or more together into phrases.
If, at any time, you are concerned your child’s speech may be delayed or not advancing as expected, an evaluation by a speech therapist is recommended. Related problems include difficulty swallowing, chewing, sucking, and excessive drooling–all signs that a baby’s oral muscles may not be working properly. A hearing test will likely also be advised because poor hearing can lead to delayed speech and if the hearing problem is treated, the speech may improve.
Dr. Jennifer Shu is a board-certified pediatrician in Atlanta. Her passion is educating parents on all topics relating to children. Dr. Shu is editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Baby & Child Health: The Essential Guide from Birth to 11 Years and co-author of the award-winning book Heading Home with Your Newborn and Food Fights, both published by the AAP.
An enthusiastic and experienced writer and public speaker, Dr. Shu is a member of the Parents magazine Board of Advisors and an editorial advisor for the AAP's Healthy Children doctor's office publication. She has been featured as a guest expert on CNN, Headline News, MSNBC and Discovery Health, as well as in US News & World Report, USA Today, and numerous parenting magazines, newspapers and medical publications. www.jennifershu.com