Our first child had no problems speaking quite clearly. However, our second child who is 2 years old has trouble pronouncing sounds like "vee" and "fee". For example, "vessel" becomes "bessel" and "Sophia" becomes "So-bee-ia". Will this problem naturally correct itself as she grows older?

We know a friend who had a 4-year old who needed speech therapy, though I do not know why he needed it and whether it was helpful. How do we know if speech therapy is helpful or necessary?

  • 2
    How old is your child?
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 5:56
  • @Stephie A little over two years old. I added this detail in the question. Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 7:26
  • 1
    Sounds quite normal based on my experience of my own and other people's kids, but I'm not an expert - if you're concerned then can you get them assessed by a speech therapist?
    – A E
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


This behavior is a normal part of development for a two-year-old.

At 24 months a child should have about 70% accuracy of consonants, and by 36 months about 87% accuracy. Producing "b" instead of "f" is one example of a very common mistake a child of this age might make. Of course, if it seems like the accuracy is worse than 70%, or if the child does not seem to be improving in a few months, you may want to ask your pediatrician if speech therapy would be helpful.

Technical Details:

In technical terms, this kind of mistake is called producing a stop instead of a fricative.

In the source paper, this is the top listed error for a 24 month old:

Target fricatives/affricates are produced as stops



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