Speech Milestones For Ages 3 Months to 1 Year of Age

By AASLDecember 9, 2020

Childhood development is complex. Between speech and language development, and the variability between children, it’s not always easy to tell if your child’s development is considered “typical.” If you’re worried that your child’s speech development may be atypical, here is a tool for you to use. These are the developmental milestones in speech that average children meet by certain ages.

1. Between Birth and 3 months, typical development includes:

Hearing and Understanding

  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Turn head toward voice/sound source
  • Quiets when spoken to

Talking

  • Begins cooing and using different sounds
  • Produces mostly vowels
  • Cries for assistance; has different cries for different needs
  • Smiles when spoken to, more reflexively

You may want to see a speech-pathologist or get your child’s hearing checked if they are not turning their heads to localize sounds/responding to sounds or your voice and cooing and beginning to use different sounds.

2. Between 4 and 6 months, typical development includes:

Hearing and Understanding

  • Notices toys make sounds
  • Moves eyes to the source of sound
  • Listens to music
  • Responds to name (~5 months)
  • Moves/looks toward family member when named (i.e. “Where’s Daddy?”)
  • By 6 months responds by raising arms when caregiver says “come here” and reaches toward child

Talking

  • Recognizes voice tone changes and engages in vocal play through growling, squealing, yelling, making raspberries
  • Laughs and giggles as a way to vocalize emotions
  • Babbles and uses repeated speech-like sounds (baba)
  • Will put lips together to form /m/, /p/, /b/
  • Varies pitch and makes sounds when happy or upset

You may want to see a speech-pathologist if you have concerns about your child meeting any of the above milestones and if they are not engaging more with their environment and family members, responding to their name, and babbling more using early speech sounds.

3. Between 7 months and 9 months, typical development includes:

Hearing and Understanding

  • Listens when spoken to
  • Recognizes common words like “ball” when object names are spoken
  • Comprehends “no”
  • Responds to simple requests

Talking

  • Uses speech to get attention through a variety of sound combinations
  • Uses gestures to “speak” (i.e. shakes head no, waves, blows kisses, claps)
  • Speaks 1-2 words such as mama/dada
  • ~9 months uses variegated babbling (mabamaba)
  • ~9 months imitates intonation and speech sounds of others

You may want to see a speech-pathologist if you have concerns about your child meeting any of the above milestones and they are not understanding words or requests you make, are not using gestures, and are not using more variegated patterns of babbling and imitating sounds.

4. Between 10 months and 12 months, typical development includes:

Hearing and Understanding

  • Understands up to 10 words (i.e. no, bye-bye, hi, eat, hot, sit down, clap, wave etc.)
  • Gives toys to others upon requestLooks for hidden toys (i.e. “Where’s ____?”) and will proceed to find it
  • Turns head toward own name
  • Understands Object Permanence (i.e. objects or people that aren’t in front of them still exist and will look to find them from their correct place)

Talking

  • Begins to relate symbols to objects which allows for intentional first words (sees ball, says ball)
  • Gestures and vocalizes wants and needs (i.e. will sign eat and and say “yum”)
  • Uses consonants and vowels in vocal play
  • Using “jargon” (i.e. a wide variety of sounds and intonations and varies pitch when vocalizing) to communicate

You may want to see a speech-pathologist if you have concerns about your child meeting any of the above milestones and is not understanding more words, looking for objects that aren’t present, using first words intentionally, using a wide variety of consonants and vowels and engaging in jargon-like sentences to communicate

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DISCLAIMER: Information published about one particular disorder does not necessarily apply to every individual who has the disorder discussed in this article. Treatments, therapies and suggestions are highly individual and must be customized to the needs of each person to be effective. Do not make changes to your/your child’s treatment plan as a result of what you read in this article (or any content published by AASL) without consulting your/your child’s physicians and therapists. This content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of All About Speech and Language or its therapists. To understand the opinions and recommendations of your/your child’s AASL therapist, schedule an appointment with your therapist to discuss your concerns.

References:
American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Identify the Signs: Communicating With Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age 5; https://identifythesigns.org/communicating-with-baby-toolkit/.

An Advanced Review of Speech-Language Pathology: Preparation for PRAXIS and Comprehensive Examination; 3rd Edition (Roseberry-McKibbin, Hedge). Da Capo Press: Cambridge, MA. 2007.

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