How Many Words Should a 15 Month Old Say?

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Knowing how many words should a 15 month old say can assist you in helping your child’s speech thrive.

Although every child’s speech development differs, reduced vocabulary at specific milestones could signify a speech delay.

In this guide, we’ll explore what is expected of children at 15 months of age regarding speech and language.

How Many Words Should a 15 Month Old Say

At this point in your child’s life, their vocabulary isn’t going to be extensive.

You’re more likely to notice a significant improvement in their speech near the two-year mark of their life.

However, at 15 months of age, children will have at least five words in their repertoire, three that should be new.

Most children at this age (approximately 75%) will know how to say “Dada” and “Mama” in regards to their parents.

It is also expected that they have at least three other words in their vocabulary.

You’ll often find that these words will include nouns and likely be things they experience daily.

For example, if you have pets, they might begin to say “Dog” or “Cat.”

It’s also highly likely they will begin referring to specific toys or specific types of food, such as “Cookie.”

Another hugely popular one amongst toddlers is “No,” especially as they reach their more defiant years.

Every child is different; some may have a smaller or more extensive collection of vocabulary words at this stage.

If you’re concerned about the delayed speech development in your child, it’s best to consult their doctor.

15 Month Old Speech: Signs of Speech Delay

It can be challenging to determine whether a child is a late talker or is dealing with significant speech delay.

It’s incredibly tricky without seasoned professionals’ help, which is why you should consult their pediatrician.

There are several different signs of a speech delay to look out for delays in 15 month old speech.

Minimal Babbling and Sounds

If you’ve begun to notice your child hasn’t made significant strides in their vocal abilities, it could be a speech delay.

This issue often presents itself in the form of very minimal babbling and the inability to connect verbally.

Children are very likely to be just as quiet as they were when they were a toddler.

Limited Consonant Sounds

Like the previous point, 15-month-olds with speech delays will have a limited number of consonant sounds.

They won’t be able to use letters such as m, b, p, d, y, n, k, and several others.

Inability to Mimic Speech

As you raise your child, you must use adult language rather than baby talk. This is because your child will learn how to imitate certain words and sounds that you say.

Children who cannot mimic or imitate speech at 15 months could be dealing with a speech delay.

Lacking Social Skills

The average child loves to play and interact with their peers. Lacking social skills is a significant sign of an outside issue, primarily if your child cannot communicate.

They might not interact with children their age or show a significant disinterest in playing.

Few Nouns and Verbs

Another easy way to determine if your child has a speech delay is to focus on the nouns and verbs they use.

As mentioned, children should have at least three nouns at their disposal by 15 months.

If not, it could be a sign that you need to seek professional assistance, such as from a speech-language pathologist.

Family History

As with any other medical disorder, family history is an important thing to consider.

If you have family members who have had a speech delay or academic difficulties, your children’s risk is high.

Your family doctor will often ask you about communication delay history to help refer you to a specialist.

What Words Should a 15 Month Old Say?

You can guarantee that you shouldn’t expect your child to form coherent sentences at this age.

Likely, you’ll be the only person that can understand them; strangers will find it challenging.

However, they will begin to use prevalent words, especially in regards to items they use daily.

So, what words should a 15 month old say?

There are thousands of things your child might say at 15 months, but most of them will be single-syllable nouns or verbs.

Several examples include:

  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Car
  • Bike
  • Ball

If your child has faster development, you might begin to notice they’ll start using more challenging pieces of language.

It could be possible for children to begin using social words, adjectives, and prepositions at 15 months.

These terms could include:

  • Prepositions: Up and down
  • Adjectives: Sleepy, hot, cold
  • Social Words: Hi and bye

If he finds it challenging to communicate his wants and needs at this age, you might want to ask how can I encourage my 15 month old to talk.

how many words should a 15 month old say

Other Significant Milestones

This point in your child’s life can be a fascinating one as they begin diversifying their speech.

You’ll also find you’ll begin asking how many words should my 15 month old say more often.

Parents will begin to see a significant change in how their children interact with others and how their communication blossoms.

There are plenty of significant milestones your family is bound to experience, including:

Object Identification

Your child will begin to notice things in their environment and be able to point them out regularly.

With that said, they likely won’t be able to identify unknown objects, but everyday ones will be a breeze.

For example, they will determine that a broom is used for sweeping or that a fork is used for eating.

Another hugely common part of object identification is knowing their body parts.

Likely, your child will be able to point out everyday items, such as their nose, ears, or mouth, when asked.

Interestingly enough, your child might also use object identification to their advantage when they want something.

For example, they might bring you a book before bedtime to ask you to read it to them.

By now, you’ll begin to see a significant change in your child’s behavior, finally being able to see more of their personality.

Knowing Wants

At this stage, your children will be able to let you know if they want or need something by using gestures.

It should be relatively simple to tell if they want to do something specific or need something.

Even though they won’t communicate that they need a specific item through words, they will often point and grunt.

Strong Likes and Dislikes

Everyone has things that they do and don’t like, especially at 15 months old.

Your child will begin to show a significant preference for certain activities, such as playing with specific toys.

They will also start to show a little more defiance regarding the things they don’t like.

During this stage, your children will start to resist you more when it comes to napping. You might also begin to see the things they are afraid of, such as loud noises.

When your child is happy, they will begin to show their emotions with physical gestures, as well. They might start to give kisses and hugs to their caregivers to show affection.


At 15 months, children will also begin to show a little independence compared to their previous months.

Although they will still require you for most of their needs, they will begin to show self-comforting.

You might begin to notice they have a specific blanket or toy that helps to ease their nerves. They might also have certain items that they bring with them everywhere, even to bed.

Parents often find that during this stage, their child might establish their baby blanket.

Following Commands

Understanding is a significant part of language development. At this stage, your children should begin following commands, as long as they are simple.

For example, you might tell them to eat their dinner, and they should follow through unless they’re defiant.

If your toddler is defiant, you must begin to understand why.

Do they sincerely not understand the command you’re giving, or are they merely ignoring you because they’re moody?

If it’s the latter, it could be a sign of a medical concern, which should be discussed with your doctor.

How Can I Encourage My 15 Month Old to Talk?

Encouraging your child to talk at 15 months will be quite an experience.

It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure they’re working towards expanding their child’s vocabulary.

Also, you’ll want to reinforce words and phrases using adult language and avoid baby talk.

If you wish to know how many words should my 15 month old say, encourage him to talk by doing the following tips:

Ask Questions

To get your child’s brain working, it will help to ask questions throughout the day.

You can ask them how their day went, if they liked playing with their friends, or to describe their favorite things.

When reading, it can also be great to engage your child by asking them questions about the book’s pictures.

Find Interesting Topics

One of the best ways to encourage your child to talk is to talk about things that they want to talk about.

If they have a favorite TV show, you can discuss the characters in the cartoon.

By now, your child should have a clear understanding of what they do and don’t like, making conversation more comfortable.

Reinforcing Words

As mentioned, the more you reinforce your child’s speech, the easier it will be for them to grasp grammar.

You’ll want to pay close attention to the things they say throughout the day and help them sound better.

For example, if they say “ball,” you can reinforce their words by saying, “Yes, your small yellow ball.”

With this process, they’ll begin learning how to connect adjectives with nouns to describe specific items.

When to Seek Professional Help

Speech delays can be challenging for parents to diagnose, but luckily, your pediatrician can help.

If you have begun to notice your child isn’t reaching the milestones mentioned above, it could be time for a specialist.

By reinforcing speech and communication, you can quickly answer how many words should a 15 month old say.

Related: How Many Words Should A 20-Month-Old Say?