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Your little baby is growing up, and by age 3 her speech should reflect that she isn’t such a baby anymore. You will likely notice that your child has made significant gains in vocabulary, basic conversation skills, ability to understand more complex language, and clarity of speech.

As always, each child develops in his or her own unique way. The following milestones are a broad overview of typical 3-year-old speech and language development.

What speech and language should your child be using by 3 years old?

By 36 months old, most children talk about nearly everything in their world, using nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, and prepositions. They will use 3-4 word sentences to describe, request, and gain another’s attention. They will also now usually use more speech sounds correctly, and their speech can be more understood at least 75 percent of the time.

What speech and language should your child understand by 3 years old?

Also by 36 months old, you should notice that your child can understand more complex language, such as opposites and prepositions. By this age, most children can answer a variety of wh- and yes/no questions, as well as follow two-step direction. Attention to books increases to longer and longer periods of time and they should be able to experience more complex stories.

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