Little boys typically start talking later than girls, but they catch up eventually.

By What Age Do Kids Speak With Two-Word Utterances?

by Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell

By age 2, the average toddler can link a couple of words together and say two-to three-word sentences. That's not to say you'll necessarily understand your tike's attempts to get his message across using more than one word but he's giving it a shot! Two-word utterances are a strong sign that your tot is well on her way to developing more mature language skills. With an average vocabulary of at least 50 words, a toddler has the potential to speak a number of short sentences. She may be partial to only a handful like "want Mommy," which is your favorite, of course!

1. Typical Sentences

Your toddler's second year is a biggie when it comes to language skills. The year of verbal strides typically begins with two- to three-word phrases like "drink milk" or "want that cookie" and ends with four- to six-word sentences like "baby wants her blanket" or "I want my dolly." Tots begin to use pronouns around age 2 with "mine" coming in as top choice! By the end of the second year, your toddler should be able to ask one or two word questions like "doggy gone?" or "go bye-bye?" explains MayoClinic.com. It's a flip of a coin as to whether you will make out what your 2-year-old is saying at this point, but clarity will come in time.

2. Comprehension and Responding to Requests

A 2-year-old gets the gist of most of what you say to him even before he starts talking, points out HealthyChildren.org, a website published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Following simple commands like "give Mommy the spoon" and being able to name his siblings and common objects like plate, truck or coat should be within the capabilities of a 2-year-old.

3. Recommendations

As fun and tempting as it can be to use baby talk with conversing with your little one,cutting out the cute chatter like saying ''bah bah'' instead of bottle and using the correct names for objects, places and people will help your child improve her language skills at a faster pace. When your tot listens to you speak clearly, slowly and in simple terms, it helps him learn basic grammatical skills, which will in turn, prepare him for preschool and beyond. Reading to your child every day can help expand her vocabulary and language skills, which will teach her to use longer sentences in the future.

4. Considerations

Approximately one in 10 to 15 children run into language or speech difficulties, according to the AAP. Hearing problems, low intelligence and genetic-related speech delays may contribute to the problem, but for the most part the cause of such delays are unknown. Check with your pediatrician if your child is clearly behind most of the language and verbal milestones for her age.

About the Author

Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.

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