Speech & Language; First 12 Months

Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologists are able to identify a delay in even the youngest children.  Are you observing the following in your infant? 

1 month
-Cries are different for hunger, pain, and anger

-Makes vowel-like sounds coming mostly through nose

-Quiets when hears human voice; makes vocal sounds when hears mom’s voice


2-3 months

-Has cries for hunger, discomfort, sleepiness, and attention

-Laughs, coos, and chuckles

-Makes more vowel-like sounds and some consonant sounds


3-4 months

-Takes turns when making vocal sounds

-Makes more vowel and consonant sounds

-Listens to speech

 
4-6 months

-Voices a ranges of emotions (happy, mad, irritated, protesting, eager, satisfied)

-Imitates facial expressions

-Begins to babble with a variety of consonant and vowel sounds

 
6-9 months

-Looks, points, and reaches for objects

-Plays speech and gesture games such as peek-a-boo

-Says most vowels and many consonants; may repeat the same syllable over and over such as “bababa”


9-12 months

-First words such as “dada, mama, bye-bye, no, go, me”

-Puts at least four syllables together that sounds like language (called jargon)

-Answers simple questions with gestures, body language, or vocal sounds

There are many things you can do to help your little one meet his or her speech and language milestones! Check out this great list from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association:

  • Check your child's ability to hear, and pay attention to ear problems and infections, especially when they keep occurring.
  • Reinforce your baby's communication attempts by looking at him or her, speaking, and imitating his or her vocalizations.
  • Repeat his or her laughter and facial expressions.
  • Teach your baby to imitate actions, such as peekaboo, clapping, blowing kisses, pat-a-cake, itsy bitsy spider, and waving bye-bye. These games teach turn taking that is needed for conversation.
  • Talk while you are doing things, such as dressing, bathing, and feeding (e.g., "Mommy is washing Sam's hair"; "Sam is eating carrots"; "Oh, these carrots are good!").
  • Talk about where you are going, what you will do once you get there, and who and what you'll see (e.g., "Sam is going to Grandma's house. Grandma has a dog. Sam will pet the dog.").
  • Teach animal sounds (e.g., "A cow says 'moo'").
  • Communicate with your child in the language you are most comfortable using.
Sarah McDonnell