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Mother and Child


Find out more about learning to talk from birth to 5 years

baby talking to an adult


0 to 6 months

It's the little moments together that matter the most when you're encouraging your baby towards their first sound, hum, giggle or word.

Every game or nursery rhyme, will help them get to know you and your voice. It might not seem it, but this is an important step in their journey to talking.


6 to 12 months

During these months your baby will start to listen more carefully. They'll love it when you take the time to chat, play and read with them.

Every little thing you do together, whether that's at bedtime or lunchtime, will help to improve their confidence and communication.

Click here to see easy ways to talk to your baby more - BBC Tiny Happy People

Toddler talking on a play phone


12-18 months

By 12 to 18 months, your baby will start to use language in a more recognisable way and you may start to hear them talking.


You might find at first that only you and a few of your baby's favourite people can make out what they're saying.

18-24 months

Repeat words, for example, "Where are your shoes?", "Are you wearing blue shoes today?" and "Let's put your shoes on".

Repetition helps your child to remember words. Use simple instructions – your child will understand some instructions at this age, such as "Get your coat" or "Shut the door".

Pre-school talking to Dad about a book


2-3 years old

They are using words like “I,” “me,” or “we.”


By 30 months, most kids can follow 2-step instructions, like "Pick up the ball and bring it to Daddy."


By age 3, a toddler's vocabulary usually is more than 200 words. Kids can string together 2- or 3-word sentences.


3-5 years old

They can speak in longer sentences and will start asking lots of 'who', 'what', 'where' and 'why' questions as they try to understand more about the world.


They enjoy playing with other kids, learning rules and taking turns

Explore more in the Chat, Play, Read Sections below:

Mother and Baby on Floor


Explore the importance of play in learning and development in the Early Years

Happy Girl with Dad


Discover the Family Hub App for tips and activities to do at home

Baby reading a picture book on a bed


More about the importance of reading and storytelling for babies and children

You might also find the following pages useful:

Young people family hubs northumberland.png


Explore the services available for young people locally



Find out more about how we are supporting our local communities



What we do to support families across Northumberland

Child Reading in the Grass


Access the Families Information Service (FIS) in Northumberland 

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