A child’s brain goes through rapid development in the first three years. This is the time when he/she acquires speech and language skills. Every child has his/her own pace of growth, there are certain milestones decided by experts to measure healthy development.
First signs of communication occur in the form of cries for food and comfort. This is when the babies know that crying can grab the mother or the caregiver’s attention. This is followed by the child recognising sounds like the mother’s voice.
- Squealing, Cooing and Babbling
By their sixth month, babies start to squeal, usually when happy. By the first birthday, they start babbling and stringing sounds together. They also try to say words like “Muma” and “Papa”.
- Repeat Words
Between 12 months to 15 months of age, toddlers try to repeat some words or sounds they hear other people say. They also start understanding and following simple one-step directions like please give me the toy.
- React to Familiar Sounds
Between 12 to 24 months, babies start to recognise family members’ names and words for common items such as spoon, ball etc.
- Basic Questions
Some toddlers might also start asking one or two-word questions such as “why?” or “what’s that?” by the age of 2 years. They are often very inquisitive and curious about their surrounding at this age.
- Sentences of 5-6 Words
By the age of 3, toddlers start speaking sentences of five to six words, even if it is a little broken at times. He/she might also start answering simple questions.
- Use of Conjunctions
At 4 your toddler may start using connecting words such as ‘when’, ‘but’, ‘so’ etc. Toddlers also start using words that explain when and where such as ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘above’, ‘below’ and ‘top’.
- Recounts Day’s Activities
By the age of 5, toddlers start retelling the events of the day at school or with friends. They can also answer questions about the activities at school/preschool.
- Perfect Talkers
Now, at the age of 6, your toddler’s speech is understandable by strangers 90%-100% of the times. On the other hand, he/she can understand metaphors and non-literal language such as “Make up your mind”.
You might think that your kid is growing and learning new things every day, but you need to keep a close eye on these developmental milestones to ensure that their child is developing normally. One of the most important facts that every parent must understand is that this is the most important time for brain development, so much so that 90%^ of the brain develops by the age of 5.