Communication Milestones: 19 to 24 Months

These communication milestones cover hearing, speech, and language development in children.

Each child develops uniquely, even within the same family, and may meet certain milestones earlier or later than others. If your child does not meet many of the milestones within their age range, visit ASHA ProFind to find an ASHA-certified audiologist or speech-language pathologist (SLP) for an assessment.

What should my child be able to do?

  • Uses and understands at least 50 different words for food, toys, animals, and body parts. Speech may not always be clear—like du for “shoe” or dah for “dog.”33, 42, 43, 23, 12, 16, 15, 26, 20
  • Puts two or more words together—like more water or go outside.42, 43, 26, 20
  • Follows two-step directions—like “Get the spoon, and put it on the table.”43, 17
  • Uses words like me, mine, and you.43, 26, 20
  • Uses words to ask for help.26, 20
  • Uses possessives, like Daddy’s sock.38

What can I do to help?

  • Talk about sounds around your house. Listen to the clock tick, and say “t-t-t.” Make car or plane sounds, like “v-v-v-v.”
  • Play with sounds at bath time. Blow bubbles, and make the sound “b-b-b-b.” Pop bubbles, and make a “p-p-p-p” sound.
  • Talk to your child as you do things and go places. For example, when taking a walk, point to and name what you see. Say things like, “I see a dog. The dog says ‘woof.’ This is a big dog. This dog is brown.”
  • Give your child two-step directions, like “Get the ball and put it in the box.”
  • Use short words and sentences that your child can repeat. Add to words your child says. For example, if they say car, you can say, “You're right! That is a big red car.”
  • Tell stories or read to your child every day. Try to find books with large pictures and a few words on each page. Talk about the pictures on each page or things you see around you.
  • Have your child point to pictures, body parts, or objects that you name.
  • Ask your child to name pictures. They may not answer at first. Just name the pictures for them. One day, they will surprise you by telling you the name.
  • Talk to your child in the languages you are most comfortable using. If your family is multilingual, give your child many chances to hear and practice your languages daily. Learning multiple languages will not cause speech or language problems.

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