What should my child's language look like at 18 months?

By 18 months old, your child is acquiring new words regularly and using them to interact with their environment.
The following skills should have emerged by this point:

Receptive language milestones:

  • choosing familiar objects upon request (e.g. go get the book/ball/car)
  • finding a familiar object not in sight 
  • maintaining attention to pictures and beginning to point to them when named (e.g. where's the dog?)
  • completing two requests with one object (e.g. kick the ball, throw the ball)

Expressive language milestones:

  • using at least 15 meaningful words 
  • talking rather than using gestures to communicate
  • naming 5-7 objects upon request
  • beginning to use single words frequently 
*When researching developmental milestones for your child's language development, it's important to keep in mind that ages of expected development are for children who are typically developing. Many children with speech or language delay or disabilities show atypical development and don't always follow the same sequence. Visual, hearing, and/or motor impairments all play a role in language development.