Birth to One Year
How Does Your Child Hear and Talk? | One to Two Years | Two to Three Years |
Three to Four Years | Four to Five Years | Learning Two Languages |
What should I do if I think my child has a problem?
What should my child be able to do?
|Hearing and Understanding
- 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
- 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
- Chuckles and laughs
- Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
- Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you
7 Months–1 Year
- Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
- Turns and looks in direction of sounds
- Listens when spoken to
- Recognizes words for common items like "cup", "shoe", "book", or "juice"
- Begins to respond to requests (e.g. "Come here" or "Want more?")
7 Months–1 Year
- Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as "tata upup bibibibi"
- Uses speech or noncrying sounds to get and keep attention
- Uses gestures to communicate (waving, holding arms to be picked up)
- Imitates different speech sounds
- Has one or two words (hi, dog, dada, mama) around first birthday, although sounds may not be clear
What can I do to help?
- Check your child's ability to hear, and pay attention to ear problems and infections, especially when they keep occurring.
- Reinforce your baby's communication attempts by looking at him or her, speaking, and imitating his or her vocalizations.
- Repeat his or her laughter and facial expressions.
- Teach your baby to imitate actions, such as peekaboo, clapping, blowing kisses, pat-a-cake, itsy bitsy spider, and waving bye-bye. These games teach turn taking that is needed for conversation.
- Talk while you are doing things, such as dressing, bathing, and feeding (e.g., "Mommy is washing Sam's hair"; "Sam is eating carrots"; "Oh, these carrots are good!").
- Talk about where you are going, what you will do once you get there, and who and what you'll see (e.g., "Sam is going to Grandma's house. Grandma has a dog. Sam will pet the dog.").
- Teach animal sounds (e.g., "A cow says 'moo'").
- Communicate with your child in the language you are most comfortable using.