Milestones – Speech

Talking milestones for hearing children.

Information provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

0-3 months

  • Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, gooing).
  • Cries differently for different needs.
  • Smiles when sees you.

4 – 6 months

  • Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b and m.
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure.
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you.

7 – 12 months

  • Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as “tata upup bibibi”.
  • Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention.
  • Imitates different speech sounds.
  • Has 1 or 2 words (bye-bye, dada, mama), although they may not be clear.

1 – 2 years

  • Says more words every month.
  • Uses some 1-2 word questions (“Where kitty?, “Go bye-bye?”, “What that?”).
  • Puts two words together (“More cookie”, “No juice”, “Mommy book”).
  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words.

2 – 3 years

  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses two or three words to talk about and ask for things
  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time
  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them.

3 – 4 years

  • Talks about activities at school or at friend’s homes.
  • People outside the family usually understand child’s speech.
  • Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words.
  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or word.

4 – 5 years

  • Voice sounds clear like other children’s.
  • Uses sentences that give lots of details (e.g., “I like to read my books”).
  • Tells stories that stick to topic.
  • Communicates easily with other children and adults.
  • Says most sounds correctly except a few like l, s, v, z, j, ch, sh, th.
  • Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family.

Every child is unique and has an individual rate of development. This information represents, on average, the age by which most children will accomplish the listed skills. Children typically do not master all items in a category until they reach the upper age range. Just because your child has not accomplished one skill within an age range does not mean the child has a disorder. However, if you have concerns you may want to seek the advice of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist.