0 – 3 Months
  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Quiets or smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to recognize your voice and quiets if crying
  • Increases or decreases sucking behavior in response to sound
  • Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, gooing)
  • Cries differently for different needs
  • Smiles when sees you
4 – 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/
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you
7 – 12 Months
  • Enjoys games like peek-o-boo and pat-a-cake
  • Turns and looks in direction of sounds
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Recognizes words for common items like “cup”, “shoe,” “juice.”
  • Begins to respond to requests (“Come here,” “Want more?”)
  • Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as “tata upup bibibibi.”
  • Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Has 1 or 2 words (bye-bye, dada, mama) although they may not be clear
1 – 2 Years
  • Points to a few body parts when asked
  • Follows simple commands and understands simple questions (“Roll the ball,” “Kiss the baby,” “Where’s your shoe?”)
  • 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-bye?” “What’s that?”)
  • Puts 2 words together (“more cookie,” “no juice,” “mommy book”)
  • Uses many different consonant sounds of the beginning of words
2 – 3 Years
  • Understands differences in meaning (“go-stop,” “in-on,” “big-little,” “up-down”)
  • Follows two requests (“Get the book and put it on the table.”)
  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses 2-3-word “sentences” to talk about and ask for things
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time
  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them
3 – 4 Years
  • Hears you when call from another room
  • Hears television or radio at the same loudness level as other family members
  • Understands simple, “who?,” “what?,” “where?,” “why?” questions
  • 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 or words
4 – 5 Years
  • Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about it
  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school
  • Voice sounds clear like other children’s
  • Uses sentences that give lots of details (e.g. “I like to read my books”)
  • Communicates easily with other children and adults
  • Says most sounds correctly except a few like /l/, /s/, /r/, /v/, /z/, /ch/, /sh/, /th/
  • Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family