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Speech and Language Milestones – Birth to 12 months

Speech and Language Milestones Birth to 12 Months

What are speech and language developmental milestones?

As parents we hear the term “developmental milestones” frequently. What does it mean if your child is not meeting their speech and language milestones? It can make a new parent quite anxious when a friend’s baby is doing something before your own baby. Searching the web, scanning social media, or reading emails can lead to a lot of wondering. 

Remember that there is always a range when it comes to meeting milestones! Some babies will babble early on while others will take a little more time. If you have concerns, go with your instinct and reach out to a professional! Click here to schedule a free phone consultation with an experienced TherapyWorks speech therapist. Our team can give you tips for home practice and will let you know if your child might benefit from an evaluation. 

What Speech and Language Milestones should I be watching for in my child's first year?

Vocal Play: These are the first sounds that your baby will make! When your baby is content, he/she will make cooing and/or gurgling sounds. These may sound like “oh” or “ah” and usually emerge in the first three months. Babies will also blow raspberries, which might surprise them!  

Social Smiles: Babies will exchange social smiles between 6-12 weeks. These smiles are different than the ones your baby does in his/her sleep or when gassy. 

Babbling: Babies begin to babble between 4-6 months. Your baby will produce consonant-vowel (CV) or vowel-consonant combinations (VC), such as “maaaa” “ummm”. This will then turn into reduplicated babbling, between 7-10 months. He/she will repeat CV combinations, such as “bababa” or “mamama”. The last stage of babbling is known as variegated babbling. This occurs when your baby combines different CV combinations.

Responding to his/her name: Between 6-9 months, your child will start to respond when you call his/her name. Shortly after, he/she will begin to recognize common words and phrases. Your baby may look in the direction of an object you are talking about, or if he/she is on the move, your baby may move towards the object.

Using gestures to communicate: Beginning around 7 months, your baby will begin to use gestures to communicate. He/she may lift up his/her arms as a way of requesting to be picked up. Your baby also may wave “hi” or “bye.”

First word: We typically expect a baby to say his/her first word around a year. This word should be something other than “mama” or “dada.”

If you have any questions regarding your baby’s speech and language development, please let us know! We can provide additional resources as well as strategies to encourage your baby to reach some of these milestones! Schedule a free phone consultation or complete a short questionnaire about your child via the link below.

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