What Should a 20-Month-Old Be Saying?
As a parent, it is natural to wonder about your child’s development and milestones, particularly when it comes to language and communication skills. At around 20 months old, children typically experience significant growth in their vocabulary and ability to communicate. In this article, we will discuss what you can expect from your 20-month-old’s speech development and address some frequently asked questions that parents often have.
Speech Development at 20 Months:
At 20 months old, most children can understand a wide range of words and simple instructions. They might not yet be able to form complete sentences, but they can communicate their needs and desires using a combination of words, gestures, and body language. Here are some key aspects of speech development you can expect to see in your 20-month-old:
1. Vocabulary Expansion: By this age, children typically have a vocabulary of around 50 words or more. They can understand and use common words like “mama,” “dada,” “ball,” “dog,” and “e-e.” Their vocabulary will continue to grow rapidly in the coming months.
2. Simple Phrases: While your child may not be forming full sentences yet, they may begin combining two words to form simple phrases. For example, they might say “more juice,” “big dog,” or “go outside.”
3. Gestures and Nonverbal Communication: Children at this age often use gestures and nonverbal cues to express themselves. They may point at objects, wave goode, or shake their head to indicate “no.” This is an essential part of their communication repertoire.
4. Following Instructions: A 20-month-old should be able to understand and follow simple instructions, such as “bring me the toy” or “put your shoes on.” They may not always comply, but they understand the meaning behind the instructions.
5. Recognizing Familiar People and Objects: Your child should be able to recognize and name familiar people, such as family members, as well as objects they encounter frequently, like their favorite toy or book.
FAQs about a 20-Month-Old’s Speech Development:
1. What if my 20-month-old is not saying many words?
It is not uncommon for children to have a wide range of speech development at this age. Some children may have a larger vocabulary, while others may be more focused on physical development. However, if you are concerned about your child’s speech development, consult with your pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist to rule out any underlying issues.
2. Should I be worried if my child is not forming sentences yet?
By 20 months, children are still in the early stages of sentence formation. It is normal for them to use single words or simple phrases instead. However, if your child consistently struggles to form any words or phrases, it may be worth discussing with a professional.
3. What can I do to support my child’s speech development?
Engage in frequent conversations with your child, exposing them to a rich language environment. Read books together, sing songs, and encourage them to imitate new words and sounds. If you have concerns, consult a speech-language pathologist who can provide specific strategies and exercises to support your child’s speech development.
4. Is it okay if my child’s speech sounds unclear?
At 20 months, some speech sounds may still be unclear or substituted. For example, they might say “wabbit” instead of “rabbit.” As long as they are showing progress and their speech is improving over time, you need not worry. However, if you notice significant difficulties or regression in their speech clarity, seeking professional advice is advisable.
Remember, every child develops at their own pace. If you have concerns about your 20-month-old’s speech development, consult with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance and support. With nurturing and encouragement, most children catch up and continue to thrive in their speech and language skills.