Few moments are as eagerly anticipated by parents as the exciting milestone when their child begins to utter their first words. The heart fills with tremulous tenderness upon hearing that cherished and awaited “mother” or “father” spoken for the first time. However, the journey of a child’s speech development can sometimes stir apprehension and challenges in adults.

Often, amidst conversations with friends, observations at playgrounds, or anecdotes from other adults, young parents may notice that their child is not speaking as much as others or may seem to be slower in developing speech. Questions arise: At what age should a child start talking?

What signs should parents look out for if their child isn’t speaking yet? And why do some children begin speaking later than others? These are the topics we will explore in this article.

Around the age of one, children begin to employ gestures to communicate, nodding in agreement, shaking their heads to indicate disagreement, and waving to greet or bid farewell. These non-verbal cues form an integral part of speech development.

By the age of two, a significant expansion in the child’s vocabulary takes place. Parents may notice their child uttering an increasing number of words and sounds each day, even if some of these are only intelligible to the child themselves. Oftentimes, children at this age may only say parts of words or replace certain sounds. Despite this, they are capable of responding to simple requests from adults, either through gestures or what parents affectionately refer to as “their own language.”