Speech and language are a key development area that affects a child’s social interactions, behaviour and academic skills. Many parents get anxious when their children are not communicating as well as peers of the same age.

Whislt children develop at their own individual pace, there are essential speech and language milestones that parents may refer to as a guide.

Important speech and language milestones for different age groups:

Age Milestones
Before 12 months Coos and babbles, responds to name, calls “mama” or “dada”
12 to 15 months Recognises names of objects, wider range of speech sounds in their babbles, imitates sounds of words they hear, points to objects, waves, claps, follows simple one-step instructions
18 months Uses at least 20 words, starting to combine 2 words
2 to 3 years Forms sentences with 2 words or more, identify common objects in person and in pictures, point to their body parts when asked, follows two-step commands
4 years Speaks in sentences with 4-5 words, uses past tense, identifies colours, shapes, asks questions like ‘why’, ‘who’