Navigating Early Speech & Language Milestones: What to expect between birth and 1 year

Parents often wonder if their child’s skills are developing typically. Between gross motor skills, fine motor skills, speech-language skills, social-emotional functioning, and overall growth, there’s a lot to keep track of! In fact, it mother and infantmight feel overwhelming. It’s important for parents to remember that every child develops at their own rate, with some skills emerging faster, and other skills taking more time. When considering your child’s development, referring to developmental milestones can be an excellent guide. If you begin to feel concerned regarding your child’s development, seek help from a licensed professional right away. A trained therapist will give you accurate information, ease your worries, and if needed, give your child any help they might need.

Speech & Language Skills Emerging Between Birth and 1 Year

0 – 3 Months

Your child might:

  • react to the presences of familiar people or objects
  • smile or coo in response to their caregiver’s voice or facial expressions
  • calm or feel soothed when they are held
  • begin to move their eyes toward sounds
  • produce different vowel sounds (example: “ahh”)
  • cry differently based on their need (i.e. hunger or pain)

3 – 6 Months

Your child might:

  • begin to babble (example: “bababa” or “dadada”)
  • be feeling happy or unhappy based on their laughter or use of facial expressions
  • be babbling or making sounds to themselves or others
  • become excited in anticipation of feeding
  • smile when they see a familiar face
  • turn their head toward a sound
  • fix their gaze on others’ faces
  • be playing when supported in a designated play area

6 – 9 Months

Your child might:

  • make a sound of babbling with a sing-song pattern
  • use inflection while they vocalize
  • be using a variety of consonants when babbling (example: m, b, p, n, t, d, z)
  • try imitate your gestures (example: bye-bye)
  • begin to comprehend words such as “no”
  • initiate interactions with others by vocalizing

9 – 12 Months

Your child might:

  • show more interest in Imitating sounds and actions
  • be vocalizing during play
  • begin to imitate various animal sounds (example: roar, ruff-ruff, bah-hah)
  • begin to understand and follow simple directions
  • look for toys out of sight
  • gesture or vocalize to let you know what they want or need
  • shake their head to tell you “no”
  • begin to wave “bye-bye”
  • begin to say their first true words

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