Speech & Language Milestones

Home/Early Learning/Speech & Language Milestones

Speech & Language Milestones

  • Woman holds kid in grass

We all know that children develop some skills at different rates. While that is certainly true there are still developmental markers that children should attain by specific age ranges. Below is a short list of speech milestones to look for in children ages birth to three.

Birth to Three Months

  • Coos and makes pleasure sounds
  • Uses specific cries for different needs
  • Smiles and/or calms when sees parent or hears them speak

4 to 6 Months

  • Babbles using speech like patterns with different sounds, including m, b, and p
  • Follows sounds with his or her eyes
  • Vocalizes using coos, gurgles, and laughs

7 Months to 1 Year

  • Turns head to look for sound
  • Understands common words such as “cup,” “milk,” “dog”
  • Uses some gestures to communicate like waving or putting hands up for “up.”
  • Uses one or two words by 1 year of age

1 to 2 Years

  • Follows simple commands like “Shut the door.”
  • Acquires new words regularly, uses close to 50 words by age 2 and begins to put two words together
  • Understands and points to several body parts

2 to 3 Years

  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses 2-3 word phrases
  • Is approximately 70-80% intelligible by age 3


The National Institutes of Health offers a more extensive checklist for you to run through. It’s based upon How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?, courtesy of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

If you or a parent have any concerns about a child’s speech and language under 3, please contact the Early Learning Program today by calling 907.225.7825.