62 – All about speech and language development, what’s normal and what’s not with speech pathologist Emily Meagher

It is so adorable when our little ones say words incorrectly (and you never want it to change!), but it can also be so frustrating for them when they can’t communicate effectively. And like so many topics when it comes to parenting, you might find yourself asking “is this normal?” – today’s guest has the answers.

Emily is a certified practicing speech pathologist working and living in the South West of WA. She has worked across hospital, community, disability and private sectors for the past 12 years and recently shifted gears to support parents in their communication and feeding journeys through her online space at Chomp n Chat. She is passionate about giving all children a voice and putting the joy back into the early years of raising healthy and happy little chompers and chatters. She is also a mum of her little girl, with twins on the way too!

In this podcast we chat to Emily about:

  • What is a speech pathologist and when you might seek help
    The difference between speech and language, as well as non-verbal communication
    Normal speech errors that kids might make, and when you might want to seek help
  • Lisps and tongue ties 
  • and so much more!

You can connect with Emily on Instagram or her website

Here is some additional information that we mention in the episode or that may help with your little one’s speech:

The first number is the milestone; the second reflects the average for that age group.
  • 12 months – 1 – 5 words 
  • 18 months – 10 to 50 words
  • 24 months – 50 to 300 words 
  • 36 months – 250 to 1000 words 
  • 2 to 3 YEARS – p, b, d, t, m, n, h, w, y, ng
  • 3.5 YEARS – k, g
  • 4 to 4.5 YEARS – f, l, s, ch, sh, j, z
  • 5 YEARS – r, zh, v
  • 7 YEARS – th (voiced and voiceless) 
The first number is amount understood by caregivers, the second is amount understood by unfamiliar persons.
  • 18 months – 25% and 0-25%
  • 24 months – 50-75% and 25-50%
  • 3 years – 75-100% and 50-75%
  • 4-5 years – 75-100% and 75-90%
  • 5 years – 100%
  • reacts to noises in the environment
  • responds to people when they’re spoken to
  • begins to take turns
  • increased attention span
  • improved joint attention 
  • plays appropriately with a variety of toys 
  • understands early words
  • begins to follow simple instructions 
  • vocalises with intention 
  • emerging imitation (of actions, gestures, sounds and words)
  • initiates interaction to get needs met
  • Dear Zoo (you can model the animal sounds or look up their signs to encourage gesture)
  • Baby Ways (a very simple book that little ones tend to LOVE!)
  • Where is the Green Sheep
  • “That’s not my” series 
  • The Hungry Caterpillar 
Remember – the best book is the one that your child is interested in! Tune in to their likes and preferences and you can tailor their book choices to this – libraries are your best friend! 

Today’s episode was brought to you by Ancestral Nutrition. It may not surprise you that we at Boob to Food are a big fan of organ meats – but if you’re anything like Kate, you might love their nutrient density and theoretically want to eat them, but struggle to prepare or consume them in their natural form. Ancestral Nutrition have a range of grass fed beef organs which have been freeze dried to preserve their nutrients, while making it easy to add to just about any meal (or take as a capsule if you prefer!). We particularly love their beef spleen products, which are SO high in iron (11.5mg per serve) – making it perfect for pregnancy, postpartum, starting solids and more.

You can use the code BOOBTOFOOD for 15% off and free shipping. Visit ancestralnutrition.com.au to check out their full range.

Follow us on instagram @boobtofood to stay up to date with all the podcast news, recipes and other content that we bring to help make meal times and family life easier.

+ show comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Posts

No more confusion

Starting Solids Equipment Guide


Explore More BTF Resources


Our podcast is like having an expert in your back pocket, with weekly episodes tackling all things motherhood, parenting, and living the good life.

Boob to Food Subscription Group

Gain access to a database of hundreds of exclusive recipes (with 3 new ones published every week!) It’s also a safe space to seek nutrition, weaning, and parenting guidance support.the BTF community!


In-depth educational masterclasses developed and reviewed by health professionals to help you confidently navigate the critical first years of your baby's life and beyond.

dive in

Starting Solids Equipment Guide 

Nurturing online community offering understandable education, and inspiration in family and baby nutrition.