How many words your toddler should speak and know at ages one, two and three

Child development milestones are a game-changer.

Walking, potty training , sleeping in their own room – all of these help give your little one an increasing sense of independence.

Talking is another big one.

Suddenly this little person is able to communicate with you.

Sure, it takes a little time from their first word, but there’s no denying it makes life easier in certain ways.

It can also be an area fraught with worry too for parents, as there’s the issue of whether your child’s speaking ability is developing adequately.

While each child develops at their own rate, and there are factors like gender and languages spoken at home to consider, Speech Pathologist and Director of Sydney’s North Shore Speech Therapy Lauren Reinhardt is clear on the matter.

The size of your child’s vocabulary DOES matter.

"Studies have shown that children who enter school with more words simply do better," the paediatric speech pathologist told North Shore Mums .

This includes them being able to better deal with social, emotional and behavioural issues and express themselves when they need help.

In terms of getting an idea of your child’s progress, Lauren says parents can predict this from an early age.

As for factors which may influence a child’s speech, she explains research has found boys are two to three times more likely to have delayed language than girls.

As a rule of thumb though, Lauren also provided some guidelines on how many words your toddler should be saying depending on their age.

One year old.

According to Lauren, a child should be using their first word – and maybe a few more – by their first birthday.

18 months old.

The closer to two they get, the more your child’s vocab should be growing.

"At the 18 month mark, I would expect to see a child using twenty words," Lauren advises.

"They don’t need to be clearly or succinctly pronounced, but they do have to be consistent."

But don’t worry if there’s certain words or letter combinations which they mispronounce. Consistency is the most important thing.

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Two years old.

"By this age, your child should be putting two words together, such as big and ball, mummy and go or yellow and sun," Lauren said.

In order to do this, their bank of words should be good enough to enable them to do this, and include a minimum of 50 words.

However some speech therapists will say this should be closer to 100.

Three years old.

Between two and three there should be a big leap in terms of how many words your child can use.

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"The day a child turns three, they could potentially have one thousand words in their vocabulary," Lauren says.

Of course, it’s hard for a mum or dad to keep count. So, another way of looking at it is by the time children are three they should be using sentences of at least five to seven words.

A toddler’s speech should also be comprehensible to people from outside the family.

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