Communication Milestones: Birth to 1 Year

These communication milestones cover hearing, speech, and language development in children.

Each child develops uniquely, even within the same family, and may meet certain milestones earlier or later than others. If your child does not meet many of the milestones within their age range, visit ASHA ProFind to find an ASHA-certified audiologist or speech-language pathologist (SLP) for an assessment.

Birth to 3 Months

  • Alerts to sound.42, 26, 20
  • Quiets or smiles when you talk.42, 43
  • Makes sounds back and forth with you.43
  • Makes sounds that differ depending on whether they are happy or upset.26, 20
  • Coos, makes sounds like ooooo, aahh, and mmmmm.42, 43
  • Recognizes loved ones and some common objects.43
  • Turns or looks toward voices or people talking.42, 43, 26, 20

4 to 6 Months

  • Giggles and laughs.43, 20
  • Responds to facial expressions.43
  • Looks at objects of interest and follows objects with their eyes.43
  • Reacts to toys that make sounds, like those with bells or music.43
  • Vocalizes during play or with objects in mouth.22, 14
  • Vocalizes different vowel sounds—sometimes combined with a consonant—like uuuuuummm, aaaaaaagoo, or daaaaaaaaaa.22/a>, 42
  • Blows “raspberries.”22, 42, 43

7 to 9 Months

  • Looks at you when you call their name.26, 20
  • Stops for a moment when you say, “No.”43
  • Babbles long strings of sounds, like mamamama, upup, or babababa.43, 29, 31, 21, 36
  • Looks for loved ones when upset.26, 20
  • Raises arms to be picked up.38, 26, 20
  • Recognizes the names of some people and objects.38, 19/sup>
  • Pushes away unwanted objects.6

10 to 12 Months

  • By age 10 months, reaches for objects.6
  • Points, waves, and shows or gives objects.6, 28, 19
  • Imitates and initiates gestures for engaging in social interactions and playing games, like blowing kisses or playing peek-a-boo.43, 6, 20
  • Tries to copy sounds that you make.22, 20/sup>
  • Enjoys dancing.6
  • Responds to simple words and phrases like “Go bye-bye” and “Look at Mommy.”43, 23, 17
  • Says one or two words—like mama, dada, hi, and bye.42, 43, 24, 26, 20



What can I do to help?

  • Pay attention to your child’s hearing. See if they turn to noise or look at you when you talk. Look for signs like crying while they are pulling on their ears, which could mean ear problems or infections. If you are concerned, see your doctor.
  • Respond to your child. Look at them when they make noises. Talk to them. Imitate the sounds they make.
  • Make silly faces with them. Laugh when they do.
  • Teach your baby to copy actions, like peek-a-boo, clapping, blowing kisses, and waving bye-bye. This teaches them how to take turns and use gestures.
  • Talk about what you do during the day. Say things like “Mommy is washing your hair”; “You are eating peas”; and “Oh, these peas are good!”
  • Talk about where you go, what you do there, and who and what you see. Say things like, “We are going to Grandma’s house. Grandma has a dog. You can pet the dog.”
  • Teach animal sounds, like “A cow says ‘moo.’”
  • Sing, tell stories, or read to your child every day.
  • Talk to your child in the languages you are most comfortable using. Early exposure helps your child learn language best.

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