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9 Words Your Kid Should Be Saying Before 3 Years Old

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A child's first words are magical. Whether it's "mama," "dada," or something else entirely, you feel a mixture or love, pride, and amazement at how quickly your baby is growing. Unfortunately, the process of learning to talk can also be a source of stress for parents who worry their child is falling behind developmentally. Although a baby or toddler's vocabulary is relatively small, it should be expanding rapidly by age 3. In fact, there are some words your kids should be saying before 3 years old that you'll want to listen for to make sure they're on track.

By the time they're around 3, Kids Health noted that your child's vocabulary will likely include 200 or more words. They're also beginning to speak in short, simple sentences of three or four words. And, because they're beginning to speak more clearly, you should be able to understand most of it.

Here are nine words, phrases, and concepts your 3 year old should be using.

1Names

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By 3 years old, a child should be able to say both their own name and their parents' names, according to Parents. This is especially important for children who may be starting preschool around this time, because they'll need to communicate that information to others.

2Their Age

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Parents also noted that a 3 year old should know their age. It's a question adults love to ask little kids, and they should be able to answer accurately (even if the number of fingers they hold up doesn't match what they say).

3Yes And No

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By age 3, your child should be well established at saying "yes" or "no," according to a study detailed in the Daily Mail. If you've got a "threenager" on your hands, you may be much more used to hearing "no."

4Thank You

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The previously mentioned study also noted that a 3 year old should also understand and use the words "thank you." If you can get a kid this young to be polite and use their manners, hopefully it'll stick throughout their life.

5Animals

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A 3 year old should be able to identify a range of animals, according to Parents. They should be able to point out a cat or dog with ease, and may even use this vocabulary to pester you for a pet.

6Objects

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By age 3, your child should be able to name the majority of objects around him or her, according to Parents. That includes things like their toys, books, and balls.

7Pronouns

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A 3 year old should be using pronouns correctly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means they're beginning sentences with "I" or "we."

8Numbers

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Your child may have learned to recite numbers when they were younger, but they may be more of a memory trick. At age 3, they should actually be counting according to PBS Parents.

9Questions

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This probably won't come as a shock to parents of inquisitive little ones: a 3 year old should be asking lots of questions, according to Baby Center. Expect to hear things like "what?", "why?, and "who?" on a regular basis.