12 months - 2.5 years

12 Months

A mother and child looking at a bookAt 12 months your baby will be starting to...

  • Try to join in songs by ‘singing’ along
  • Babble strings of sounds to people and toys e.g., badamada
  • Look at you when you call their name
  • Use gestures like pointing and waving
  • Understand words like ‘up’ and ‘bye-bye’
  • Use the odd single word
  • Make noises to get your attention

Find our how you can support children from 12 months [pdf] 3MB


18 months

A toddlerAt 18 months your child is likely to be starting to...

  • Understand simple questions and instructions e.g. Where’s granny?
  • Point to body parts and using simple gestures like waving
  • Use 10 or more words (these won’t always be clear)
  • Get your attention by pointing or making noises
  • Pretend to use real life things when playing, e.g., making tea
  • Copying new sounds and words they hear

Here you can read how you can support children from 18 months [pdf] 2MB


2 years

At 2 years your child will be starting to...

  • Understand around 100 words and simple instructions e.g., ‘get your shoes’
  • Use about 50 words. These won’t sound like real words because your child will mainly be using sounds like ‘p’, ‘b’, ‘m’ and ‘n’
  • Echo words they hear
  • Put words together to make little sentences e.g., ‘more drink’
  • Use up to two sequences in their play e.g., wash dolly then brush hair

Find out how you can support children from 2 years old [pdf] 3MB


2.5 years

A child playing with a truckAt 2 and a half your child will be starting to

  • Learn new words everyday so that they have around 200-500 words they can use
  • Understand longer instructions of up to 2 key words e.g., ‘get a biscuit and your cup’
  • Watch other children playing and occasionally join in
  • Recognise the names and pictures of most common objects
  • Use two word and even three word sentences e.g., ‘eat mummy cake’

Read our tips for supporting 2.5 year olds [pdf] 3MB

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