First 1000 Days: Speech and Language Development in Kids

The first three years is the most crucial period as this is the time when the brain develops and matures rapidly.  Speech and language skills develop during the first three years of their life and form an essential foundation to help them develop skills like reading, writing and become a person who can socially interact with everyone in future.

Activities to boost your baby’s speech and language development

  • Hold your baby in your lap, create eye contact and talk in an interesting voice. This will make him feel loved and special.
  • Speak to your toddler at all times using a variety of words and describe what you or your baby are doing in full sentences.
  • Sit in front of your baby and play a touch-and-name game. Touch your nose and say “Nose. Mommy’s nose.” Then ask your baby to touch your nose. Encourage him to say “nose” as he points. Then ask him to touch his nose. Encourage him to name his body parts and praise him when he does so. Along with praise, clap your hands and do other actions. Encourage him to copy your movements and ‘talk’ to you about what he is doing.

Here are some important milestones to watch out for in the first three years:


0-1 Year 

  • An infant learns that crying will bring food, comfort and love. It is their way to communicate their needs.
  • The infant begins to recognize the voice of his mother.
  • By 2 months of age, an infant is able to make sounds like cooing
  • By six months of age, most babies can recognize the basic sounds of the most frequently spoken language at home.
  • During this period, an infant can babble or produce sounds like ‘ba, ba, ba’ or ‘da, da, da’.
  • By the end of their first year, most children start saying a few simple words.

1-2 Years

  • Language and speech development of the child grows rapidly after her first birthday. They learn the meaning of few words and start pointing to things that they want or use sounds to refer to objects
  • They start naming their parents by using words like mama, da etc.
  • By eighteen months of age, most children start saying approximately 50 words and even recognize the names of objects, pictures etc.
  • During this period they start understanding simple requests and gestures.
  • By age two, they can start putting words together in short phrases like ‘want banana’  or ‘more milk’. The majority of two-year-olds talk a lot. They should be able to name some body parts and everyday objects.
  • In addition to understanding simple requests, they can also follow instructions like ‘Go get your shoes in your room.’

2-3 Years

  • During this period, most children can follow two-to-three step instructions like ‘wash your face and comb your hair’ and they like to listen to stories for longer periods of time. They can use approximately 300 different words at this stage and are able to answer simple questions like ‘Where is ball etc
  • They start requesting items by name like give me rice etc
  • Three-year-old toddlers can use short sentences containing three to five words like ‘I want more juice’.

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