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Age-by-Age Guide to Your Child's Language Skills

Find out what you should expect during your child's language development.

Babies are born programmed to learn language, and are actually quite adept at it. Their built-in language ability follows a universal timetable, one that transcends ethnicity and socioeconomic class. Here's an overview of what to listen for and when in your child's language development:

Birth to 24 Months

2 months: Cooing; making long vowel sounds like "oo," "aa," and "ee"

6 months: Babbling using consonants

7 1/2 months: Recognizing familiar words or names

10 months: Pointing, grunting, and gazing to get her demands met; using her own invented words

12 months: Saying his first real words, such as Mama and Dada, a sibling's name, body parts, animal names, or noises like "woof, woof"

14 months: Identifying objects; following simple one-step commands like "Get the ball."

18 months: Saying 50 words; using verbs; asking "What's that?" to get name recognition

24 months: Speaking in two-word sentences, such as "Drink milk" or "Play ball"; using the words "no" and "mine" frequently