Smiles spontaneously to human contact
Smiles when playing alone
Smiles at faces of several family members
Stops crying when spoken to
Shows different responses to different family members
Coos to caregivers


Responds to "Come here baby!"
Becomes more outgoing with familiar people
Shows anxiety when separated from favorite caregiver
Likes to be with specific people
Uses speech sounds to get attention
Listens when spoke to
Says 1-3 words
Uses nouns almost exclusively
Understands simple commands

12-18 MONTHS

Follows simple directions, especially with gestures
Practices intonation, sometimes imitating an adult
Is aware of the value of communication
Uses much, meaningful jargon with inflection and emotion
Has an expressive vocabulary of 5-20 words
Produces 2-word phrases
Most speech is unintelligible
Combines gestures and vocalizations
Requests more of desired items

18-24 MONTHS

Names common objects
Uses 2-3 or more preposition like "in" or "under"
Uses noun + verb consistently
Listener understands 2/3 of what child says
Understands 300 words or more
Uses 100-200 words reliably
Rhythm and fluency of speech is poor
Confuses "I" and "me"
Poor control of pitch and volume
Follows commands such as "show me your nose"
Adding more words
Knows 5 body parts
Enjoys listening to stories
Answers "what's that" questions

25-36 MONTHS

​Understands of 500-900 words; Knows main body parts
Says 50-250 or more words
Requests items by name
Responds to some yes and no questions
Speech is 50-70% intelligible to strangers
Uses 3-4 word sentences; Asks 1-2 word request
Begins to use plurals and past tense; Verbs begin to emeerge ls correctly
Able to explain experiences


Understands more than is able to express
Says 800-1500 or more words; speech is 80% intelligible to stran
Understands 1200-2000 words; Uses 4-5 words in sentences
Identifies animals and colors; enjoys pretend play schemes
Imitates many words, phrases, sounds
Uses pronouns (him, her, she, they); understands contrasts; uses at least four prepositions
Tells two events in chronological order
Engages in meaning and long conversation


Can repeat sentences as long as 9 words
All speech should be intelligible, but some articulation errors may be present
Knows opposites
Can follow 3-step commands without help
Understands simple time concepts
Uses adjectives and adverbs in conversations
Talks extensively during play
Able to define common words
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