The baby speech development guide

A approximate guide to how your baby’s communication skills will develop during the first year.

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  • The baby speech development guide

    Children reach their language milestone as their own pace. However, below is an approximate guide to how your baby’s communication skills develop during the first year. 

    0-3 Months

    She’s making eye contact, smiling, kicking, and gurgling. By 1 ½ to 2 months, she may begin to coo and chuckle back at you, so chat to her in a sing-song voice and exaggerate your facial expressions so she knows your communicating.

  • 3-6 Months

    She can now laugh and squeal and may experiment with two sounds together, such as ‘ah – goo’. She’s discovering she has lips and a tongue and will be delighted at blowing raspberries! She’ll also watch your mouth movements when you speak.

  • 6-9 Months

    His vocal cords are developing and he's learning to babble. He’ll also enjoy playing with sounds, such as ‘dada’, as well as imitating sounds you make. During the next three months, he’ll listen intently to all speech and other fascinating sounds. 

  • 9-12 Months

    She’s starting to understand simple words and will look for you if someone says, ‘where’s Mummy?’ Around 10 months she’ll start pointing at objects. She can shake her head for ‘no’ and ‘yes’. By her first birthday, she may have said her first word.

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  • 1 - 1 ½ Years

    She can recognise names, ask for help with gestures and sounds and can understand ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘hot’ and ‘off’. By 1 ½, she can use between 10 to 20 words, mostly nouns like ‘cat’ and ‘car’, and may even be able to chatter and imitate sounds.

  • 1 ½ - 2 Years

    He has 20 to 50 intelligible words, but can understand up to 200 words. He uses general words to describe things, like 'ball’ for all toys. His language is now more intelligible to others outside the family and he’s able to ask a two-word question. 

Last updated on 30 November 2009

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