A Guide To Your Baby’s Communication Milestones

The Center for Hearing and Speech

As a parent recognizing difficulties in your baby’s hearing or speech is crucial to proper development.

The following communications milestones were obtained from The Center for Hearing and Speech; a good resource to contact should notice developmental problems with your baby.

Keep in mind that babies develop in unique ways so milestones can vary. That being said the following milestones offer a general guideline of how your baby should be developing.

Communication Milestones


Pass the Newborn Hearing Screening

Birth – 3 Months

  • React immediately to sudden, loud sounds (stop eating for a moment, wake up, cry, jump, blink, stir in sleep)
  • Coo or smile when spoken to

3-6 Months

  • Turn eyes toward interesting sounds
  • React to a musical toy
  • Respond to his/her own name
  • Try to talk back when spoken to

6-9 Months

  • Look to find new sounds, including quite sounds
  • Understand “no” and “bye bye”
  • Begin to imitate speech sounds
  • Babble (“baba”, “dada”)

9-12 Months

  • Use gestures (shake his head “no”, wave “bye bye”)
  • Follow simple commands
  • Say first word such as “uh-oh”, “mama” or “dada”

12-18 Months

  • Point to or look at familiar objects when asked
  • Imitate simple words and sounds
  • Enjoy music, nursery rhymes and books

18-24 Months

  • Answer “yes” and “no” questions
  • Say 100-150 words
  • Put two words together (“eat cookie”, “dirty hand”)
  • Try to sing

24-36 Months

  • Answer simple “what” and “where” questions
  • Follow 2-3 part directions
  • Use own name to refer to self
  • Use words with 2 or more syllables (“monkey”, “banana”)
  • Recite nursery rhymes
  • Use pronouns (“you”, “me”, “my”, “he”)
  • Imitate 4 word sentences

More Ways To Support Proper Development

Have your child’s hearing tested

Identifying and intervening  can ensure that your child develops strong speech, language and listening skills.

Protect your child’s hearing

Prolonged loud sounds can have a permanent impart on your child’s hearing. In many cases this type of hearing loss can be avoided entirely. Test the volume of ear buds before letting the child use them. Turn down the volume if the sound is too loud. Also be sure to have your child wear ear plugs or some other form of protection if they are exposed to loud noises at movie theaters or sports arenas.

Encourage your child’s language

Engaging your child in the following activities that can improve and build strong communication skills.

  • Narrate your day
  • Follow your child’s lead and name what he/she sees
  • Respond with interest to your child’s attempts to talk
  • Play games, sing songs and recite nursery rhymes
  • Read to your child and talk about the pictures in the book
  • Use speech that is clear and simple for your child to understand and use

If you notice problems

Again the following was obtained from The Center For Hearing and Speech. Contact their office at 713.523.3633 to schedule an appointment.

If your child has a doctor simply contacting them for a checkup is another option.

Bonus: Download this free Guide To Your Baby’s Communication Milestones Click here to get it

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