Speech and Language Milestones

Birth to 3 Months
- Makes pleasure sounds (cooing)
- Quiets or smiles when spoken to
- Seems to recognize your voice and quiet if crying
- Increases or decreases sucking behavior in response to 
- Cries differently for different needs
- Smiles when sees you

4 to 6 Months
- Moves eyes in direction of sounds
- Responds to changes in tone of your voice
- Notices toys that make sounds
- Pays attention to music
- Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different
  sounds, including p, b, and m
- Laughs
- Vocalizes excitement and displeasure

7 Months to 1 Year
- Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
- Turns and looks in the direction of sounds
- Listens when spoken to
- Recognizes words for common items like "cup" or "shoe"
- Begins to respond to requests ("Come here")
- Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such 
  "tata upup bibibibi"
- Uses speech and non-crying sounds to get and keep 
- Uses gestures to communicate (waving)
- Imitates different speech sounds
- Has 1 or 2 words (hi, dog, dada, mama) around first 
  birthday, although all sounds might not be clear

1 to 2 Years
- Points to a few body parts when asked
- Follows single directions and understands simple 
  questions ("Roll the ball," "Kiss the baby")
- Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes
- Points to pictures in a book when named
- Says more words every month
- Uses some 1-2 word questions ("where kitty?" "go bye-  
- Puts 2 words together ("more cookie,", "no juice")
- Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning  
  of words

2 to 3 Years
- Understands differences in meaning ("go-stop," "in-on")
- Follows two requests ("Get the book and put it on the 
- Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of  
- Has a word for almost everything
- Uses 2-3 words to talk about and ask for things
- Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds
- Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time
- Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming 

3 to 4 Years
- Answers simple "who?", "what?", "where" and "why" 
- Identifies colors
- Understands function of objects
- Talks about activities at school or at friends' homes
- People outside family usually understand child's speech
- Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words
- Usually talks easily without repeating syllables

4 to 5 Years
- Pays attention to short stories and answers simple 
  questions about them
- Understands words that involve sequencing (first, next, 
  last) and time (yesterday, today, tomorrow)
- Uses sentences that give lots of details ("The biggest peach
  is mine.")
- Tells stories that stick to a topic
- Communicates easily with other children and adults
- Says most sounds correctly except a few like l, s, r, v, j, ch, 
  sh, th
- Says rhyming words
- Says some letters and numbers
- Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family

*Adapted from Talking on th Go by D. Dougherty, MA, CCC-SLP and D. Paul, Ph.D, CCC-SLP