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What Age Should A Child Start Talking

What Age Should A Child Start Talking? Request a Therapy.

What Age Should A Child Start Talking?

One of the most common questions that parents have is “when should my child start talking?” Although all children are different, there are some general guidelines to follow in regards to your child’s speech and language development.

The goal for all children is to be able to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas as well as to communicate their basic wants and needs.

 If a child continues to only repeat what other people say, they are not communicating independent thoughts or their wants and needs. Children should progress through all stages of speech and language development at or around the appropriate ages.

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Phases of Speech Development

  • Cooing: usually occurs between 1-4 months and involves producing vowel-like sounds, such as “oooo” and “ahhhh.”

  • Babbling : babbling is referred to as a prelinguistic skill, a skill that happens prior to the development of speech and language. There are three types of babbling:

  • Marginal Babbling– usually happens between 4-6 months of age and consists of putting together consonant-vowel combinations (“baaaa”) or vowel-consonant combinations (“ummmm”).

  • Canonical Babbling– usually occurs between 6-10 months of age and consists of using a variety of sounds and sound combinations. Canonical babbling usually occurs in two phases, reduplicated babbling and non-reduplicated or variegated babbling.

  • Reduplicated Babbling– repeating the same syllable over and over, such as “mamamama” or “babababa.”

  • Nonreduplicated or Variegated Babbling-combining different sounds and syllables, such as “badaga”.

Jargon Speech:

Usually, occurs between 9-12 months of age and beyond. Vocalizations will begin to resemble adult-like speech including tone and inflection patterns although “real” words may not yet be observed.

Children will begin to replace jargon speech with real words,

phrases and sentences between 1-2 years of age.

Children with Autism or other developmental delays might use jargon speech for an extended period of time. However, with typical development, most jargon speech should begin to disappear when words and phrases begin to emerge.

 Single Words – ex. ball, drink, eat.

Phrases – beginning to combine words, ex. “want drink”, “juice please.”

Sentences – using longer and more grammatically correct utterances, ex. “I want a drink.”, “I need more juice, please.

Conversational Speech – includes appropriate turn-taking and “back and forth” participation

By age two, children should have an expressive vocabulary of at least 50 words and they should be beginning to combine words into short, two-word phrases (ex. Want juice).


Between ages two and three, children should be using words for a variety of functions:

  • Getting attention

  • Requesting

  • Labeling

  • Answering simple questions

  • Producing 2-3 word phrases

  • Learning at least two new words per week

  • Should be using words more than gestures to communicate.

It is important to note that as children progress through these phases of speech development, they should be using spontaneous speech and not just imitative speech.

Learning to speak can be a complex process. It is common for young children to make mistakes when learning to speak.

These mistakes or errors are known as articulation errors.


Articulation errors my cause your child to be difficult to understand and can lead to limited speech intelligibility.

Most children will correct these mistakes and develop normal speech patterns. However, if a child continues to make mistakes beyond the age when other children have mastered the sounds, he or she may need to see a speech-language pathologist.

Individual sounds are developed by different ages. The chart below shows guidelines for sound mastery.



p, m, h, w, b, d, t, f, k, g


y, ng


  j, sh, v, ch, th, s, z, l




Your child’s development is very important. Combining speech therapy services along with home-based activities can help your child develop the speech and language skills that they need to express themselves.

If your child is using gestures more than words to communicate, he or she may have an expressive language delay

If your child is attempting to use words/phrases to communicate but is difficult to understand, he or she may have an articulation delay.

Be sure to check out the post

Does My Child Need Speech Therapy

If you think that your child may have a language or articulation delay, contact Therapy 4 Kids using the button below.


You can also call or text us at 501-514-3722

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