What communicating is all about

Developmental Milestones


Birth to 3 months:

Your baby should startle to loud sounds and quiet or smile when spoken to.

Your baby should make pleasure sounds (cooing, gooing) and cry differently for different needs.

Your baby should recognize your voice and smile when she sees you.


4 to 6 months:

Your baby should move his or her eyes in the direction of sounds and respond to changes in the tone of your voice.

Your baby should notice toys that make sounds and pay attention to music.

Your baby’s babbling should sound more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b, and m.

Your baby should vocalize excitement and displeasure and make gurgling sounds when playing.


7 to 12 months:

Your baby should enjoy games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.

Your baby should recognize words for common items like “cup”, “shoe”, “juice.”

Your baby should begin to respond to requests (“Come here,” “Want more?”).

Your baby should babble with both long and short groups of sounds such as “tata upup bibibibi.”

Your baby should imitate different speech sounds and have one or two words (bye-bye, dada, mama) although they may not be clear.


1 to 2 years:

Your child points to a few body parts when asked.

Your child follows simple commands and understands simple questions.

Your child listens to simple stories, songs and rhymes.

Your child says more words every month.

Your child uses some 1-2 word questions (“Where kitty?” “Go bye-bye?” “What’s that?”).

Your child puts two words together (“more cookie,” “no juice,” “mommy book”).


2 to 3 years:

Your child understands differences in meaning (“go-stop,” “big-little,” up-down”).

Your child has a word for most objects and actions in their environment.

Your child uses 2-3 word “sentences” to talk about and ask for things.

Your child’s speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time.

Your child often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them.


3 to 4 years:

Your child understands simple “who?,” “what?,” “where?,” “why?” questions.

Your child talks about activities at school or with friends.

People outside of the family usually understand your child’s speech.

Your child uses a lot of sentences that have four or more words.

Your child usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.


4 to 5 years:

Your child pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about it.

Your child hears and understands most of what is said at home and at school.

Your child’s voice sounds clear like other children.

Your child tells stories that stick to a topic.

Your child communicates easily with other children and most adults.

Your child says most sounds correctly, except a few like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th.

Your child uses the same grammar as the rest of the family.