Language Milestones

Language milestones mark various stages of language development. They are small constant successes.  In addition to being able to make sounds and words, your baby also needs to be able to hear and understand.

Most children speak their first work between 10 to 14 months of age. They may say “ma ma” or “da da” or try a name for their toy or pet. If they are not doing this at 12 months , you should not be worried, as long as they are producing lots of sounds.

Children are very proud off what they are learning during this time and enjoy saying new words. Talking and reading to your child starting at 6 months really helps in their language  development.

Here are some significant milestones:

  • Cooing – 6 to 8 weeks
  • Laughing – 16 weeeks
  • Babbling and baby jargon – 6 – 9 months
  • The word “No” -6 – 11 months (your baby should learn to understand the word no
  • First word – 10 – 15 months and gestures for you to understand what your child wants
  • Following Instructions – 12 months  Your child should be able to follow your simple instructions
  • 12 – 17 months – answers simple questions nonverbally Vocabulary of 4 – 6 words
  • 18 – 23 months – Vocabulary of 50 words ( pronunciation is often unclear. Makes animal sounds, starts to combine words such as “more milk”. Uses pronouns such as “mine”
  • 2-3 years – Knows some spatial concepts , such as “in” or “on” “you” “me” “her”

Uses 3 word sentences. Answers simple questions.

  • 3 – 4 years – groups objects , such as foods or clothes. Identifies colors. Strangers are able to understand what your child says.
  • 4 – 5 years- Understand spatial concepts such as “behind” or “next to”. Understands complex questions. Describes how to do things , such as painting pictures. Lists items that belong to a category, such as animals or vehicles. Answers “why” questions.
  • 5 years-Understands time sequences (for example, what happened first, second, or third)

Carries out a series of 3 directions. Understands rhyming. Engages in conversation. Sentences can be 8 more words in length. Uses imagination to create stories


Causes for concern:


*Loud sounds – You should be concerned if your baby does not react to loud sounds by the age

   Of 5 months   

*Making sounds- Babies should make both happy and unhappy sound by 5 months old.

*Looking for source of sounds – By 6 months your baby should be turning their head or eyes      

  Toward the source of the sound.

*Communication- between 6 – 11 months your baby should be imitating sounds, babbling

   and using gestures

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