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What should my child be saying, and when?

Early Speech & Language Development Benchmarks

What sounds should I be hearing?

By 6 Months
  • Cooing, gurgling
  • Babbling "papapapa"
  • making noise when you are not in the room.
  • Localizes to sound
  • Understands some common single words (cup, spoon, blanket, etc.)
  • Recognizes different voices
By 12
  • Begins to approximate single words e.g. "mama", "coocoo" with intention
  • Initiates sounds
  • Understands familiar words (e.g., "Juice")
  • Can respond to simple request or questions (e.g., "All Done?")
By 18
  • Produces mostly unintelligible utterances
  • Omits final sounds of words e.g., "ha" for "hat"
  • Uses gestures with language.
  • Vocabulary of approximately 20 words
  • Identifies some body parts
By 24
  • 50% intelligible
  • Varies intonation to ask questions
  • Understands approx. 300 words; Expresses approx. 100 words
  • Combines 2 words e.g., "mamma eat"
By 3
  • 75% intelligible
  • Omits middle sounds of longer words
  • Can produce most sounds
  • Uses all initial and final consonants in words
  • May make sound substitutions
  • Understands 500-1000 words.
  • Can understand 2 step directions
  • Begins use ofva variety of grammatical forms (e.g. "Mommy’s" "I," "He," "She," "is,")
  • Asks questions using "Wh- words" (e.g., "What is that?")