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What's the normal vocabulary for a 2-year-old?

How many words should my 2-year-old be able to say?
Submitted by Parents Team

Around their second birthday, many children begin to acquire words at breakneck speed, a phenomenon experts call the naming explosion. Most 2-year-olds can say about 100 words. By the time your toddler is 2 1/2, she'll probably know close to 300. But not all children follow this pattern, so don't panic if your child isn't talking nonstop by 2 1/2. However, if by the time your toddler is almost 3, she says fewer than 25 words and can't combine them in a simple two-word phrase, talk to your pediatrician. -- Natalie Walker Whitlock

Copyright 2004. Reprinted with permission from the June 2000 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I think your expert is a bit conservative. I'd be worrying long before age 3 with less than 25 words. My 26 month old says just under 20 words and signs 30 (with a little overlap), rarely puts words together other than to say 'no .' She is considered to have a mild speech delay, but nothing to panic about. If she doesn't have a sudden burst of progress in the next 2 months she will go to a communication skills group for 6 weeks.
Submitted by klbuckle
Psssh, my daughter, Cerebellum, was beginning her postdoc at Harvard when she turned two. I know, I know, a little slow but she took a year off to circumnavigate the globe. I mean, I am a sekund grade techur, so she kind of has to be advanceded. I will never forget the day she walked out of my womb, calculus book in hand, politely asking "Could you point me in the direction of the nearest commode?" In all honesty, every kid develops differently, which is why the range of words is so wide.
Submitted by bethgoller
To the fourth grade teacher: my goodness. Your son's name is "Brain?" I can only hope you meant "Brian." I also hope your kids aren't learning their vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar from you, as they would be in trouble (and I find it hard to believe you're a qualified teacher). Ultimately, I feel sorry for your children being pushed to develop long before they were meant to. Walking at 6 months? Please. You call it "treatment". Sounds like abuse.
Submitted by JillC222
My son infrequently spoke 10 words at age 2 & his speech was not understood by others. This continued until age 4, when he suddenly began speaking in long sentences with an extraordinary vocabulary, but his speech remained difficult to understand. At 8, after 6 years of therapy, his speech is incredible. No one knows why he learned speech this way; HE achieved enormous success with this unique learning method. We adapted to him and it worked. Acceptance of this unique process is our success.
Submitted by amyschoch605
I read the average 2 year old knows about 50 words. My kid knows 1000 and he will turn 2 in 2 days. He can ride a bike with no training wheels. He can also do 2 pull ups. He knows all the basic colros and count to 100 in English, to 20 in Spanish, and to 100 in Asian. He can sing over 10 songs by heart. He can also take apart a DVD player and put it back together....blindfolded. LOL.
Submitted by stacey2012
First thing I want to say to all these moms that are taking this concerned mothers question as an opportunity to brag about how many words your child knows and how brilliant they are doesn't help. Mothers like that get on my nerves! Have some compassion. Second thing I want to say is no you shouldn't be concerned yet. My daughter wasn't speaking that much at all at 18 months and now she is right on track! Don't worry so much, kids seem to talk all of a sudden!
Submitted by Ashmash8833
First thing I want to say to all these moms that are taking this concerned mothers question as an opportunity to brag about how many words your child knows and how brilliant they are doesn't help. Mothers like that get on my nerves! Have some compassion. Second thing I want to say is no you shouldn't be concerned yet. My daughter wasn't speaking that much at all at 18 months and now she is right on track! Don't worry so much, kids seem to talk all of a sudden!
Submitted by Ashmash8833
My daughter will be 2 in 5 days and she can count to 20 and knows her abc's. She doesn't know any colours yet, but we read "Colours" everyday and paint, draw, and use chalk on a regular basis. She knows sign language as well. She can cut, with children's scissors, and paste. She loves dancing, jumping (really high for her tiny stature), singing running, and making wishes on dandelions. She eats very well with a fork and spoon and she can even cut her own meat. The joy of my life. :)
Submitted by caustin92
My daughter will be 2 in 5 days and she can count to 20 and knows her abc's. She doesn't know any colours yet, but we read "Colours" everyday and paint, draw, and use chalk on a regular basis. She knows sign language as well. She can cut, with children's scissors, and paste. She loves dancing, jumping (really high for her tiny stature), singing running, and making wishes on dandelions. She eats very well with a fork and spoon and she can even cut her own meat. The joy of my life. :)
Submitted by caustin92
my daughter will be 2 in a few weeeks, and i can have conversations with her. she speaks in clear sentences like " i dont want to eat that banana" and "i have to tee tee on the potty". she repeats anything we say. she knows her ABC's and the sounds they make, and can count to 15. I wasnt sure what the average was because i have a nephew only a couple months younger who can only put 2 words together at a time, and youre lucky to be able to understand him.
Submitted by laurens322
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my son is 20 months he can say many words but every day he learns a new one he repeats ealmost everything we say and learns so easely. man he knows his numbers until 5 for the moment but he knows some animals just by showing the picture or asking him where that animal is in a book. he is polite by saying hi to everyone he sees and shake their hands and when they live he sais bye and some times shakes their hand. That is awesome he also sais please when he wants something such as milk, or water.
Submitted by jessi22car
My son is almost two. He chatters away plenty but I don't understand more than a dozen or so words. He wants to know the names of everything so that's good. And we read a lot. I know he is learning for sure. Many people have told me that boys can sometimes speak late. He doesn't have any other kids around him to help him out. If we have a second child, I suspect they will have an easier time of it with my son to help them.
Submitted by mimizoo
My son Brayden is only two years old and he is saying 600-800 words. Im a fourth grade teacher with 3 kids Brayden(2) Brittany&Brain(twins)4 they were walking at 6 m. and crawling at 5m.i bought things that will help them devolp faster at 3m. and i my hubby got walking toys i teach them there # an letters at 10m. if your little ones will be ccalm and sit down for maybe 10-20 mins then your finr i have a little girl on the way her name is brianna i will be doing the same treat ment for her 2
Submitted by misshaylei1
My son is almost 2 and is just now really starting to take off on his vocabulary. I was worried for a while because my daughter was speaking sentences and having conversations by 2. I've been told its a boy thing, but I don't know if I belive that. I've come to realize that each child is different and moves at their own pace. I don't think my son has hit the 100 word mark like this article suggests is average, but he is well on his way!
Submitted by sebby0926
The most important conversations to have with your doctor are concerns about your child’s development. You know your child best and studies have shown that parents are the first to detect 70-80% of all disabilities in children. Delay in reaching developmental milestones is usually the first symptom of CP. If you have concerns about your child developing normally, it is urgent that you share them with your child’s doctor. For more info on how to speak to your doctor, visit: http://bit.ly/jjUDU1
Submitted by CPFamilyNetwork
My daughter is two years and a month old. She qualified for oral motor therapy and special education. She still cannot say more than 10 words. I took her for a hearing test. She had a tremendous amount of fluid in her middle ear and needed ear tubes. The ENT believes we will have a very different little girl on our hands...always go with your instincts.
Submitted by Mommy2Veronica
My son is 2 years old and can only say maybe 10 words. I was told that he needs to see a speech theapist. But i don'y know what to do. I have people all the time telling me that he will eventually start talking and that i better watch it that when he startes talking that he would shut-up.
Submitted by heatherharris26
my baby girl is 18 months old and she is bilingual already. She knows about 200 words in spanish and 200 in english as well. She says thank you, please, your welcome, bless you, etc. She can count till 10 and I she can say sentences with 3-4 words. She is also watching your baby can read program and I really think it has a lot to do with her super fast learning skills.
Submitted by tabirela
i have a 2 year old son who speaks good he repeats everything you say or do he is like a sponge.he can say his abc's,counts up to 10 knows sign language also knows his colors,but every kid is different and is smart in there own way :)
Submitted by risa_jdm