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Speech and Language Milestones

Pregnant mom with toddlers

In the first three years of life, children have an intensive period of absorbing sights and sounds, including language. Yet speech and language develop more quickly for some children and more slowly for others. As a parent, how do you know if your child is on track?

If you suspect that your child has a speech delay or difficulty understanding or communicating, there are resources available that can help.

Below is a development checklist for the first three years from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Birth to 3 Months

4 to 6 Months

7 Months to 1 Year

1 to 2 Years

2 to 3 Years

Reacts to loud sounds

Follows sounds with his or her eyes

Enjoys playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake

Knows a few parts of the body and can point to them

Has a word for almost everything

Calms down or smiles when spoken to

Responds to changes in the tone of your voice

Turns and looks in the direction of sounds

Follows simple commands and understands simple questions

Uses two- or three-word phrases to talk about and ask for things

Recognizes your voice and calms if crying

Notices toys that make sounds

Listens when spoken to

Enjoys simple stories, songs and rhymes

Uses k, g, f, t, d and n sounds

Starts or stops sucking in response to sound when feeding

Pays attention to music

Understands words for common items such as “cup,” “shoe,” “juice”

Points to pictures, when named, in books

Speaks in a way that is understood by family members and friends

Coos and makes pleasure sounds

Babbles and uses many different sounds, such as with p, b and m

Responds to requests (“come here”)

Acquires new words on a regular basis

Names objects to ask for them or to direct attention to them

Has a special way of crying for different needs

Laughs

Babbles using long and short groups of sounds

Uses some one- or two-word questions

 

Smiles when he or she sees you

Babbles when excited or unhappy

Babbles to get and keep attention

Puts two words together

 

 

Makes gurgling sounds when alone or playing with you

Communicates with gestures such as waving or holding up arms

Uses many different consonant sounds at beginning of words

 

 

 

Imitates different speech sounds

 

 

 

 

Has one or two words by 1st birthday (hi, dog, mama, dada)

 

 

 



https://medlineplus.gov/speechandlanguageproblemsinchildren.html

https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/speech-and-language

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