Update, February 14, 2022 – As of February 8th, the CDC and AAP have expanded infant, toddler and early childhood development milestones. See the new guidance here.
Infant speech milestones and communication progress varies from child to child, but there are general guidelines parents can use to gauge their own baby’s development. In this blog, Baby Talk: Infant & Toddler Speech Milestones, parents can find a quick guide of communication milestones for babies age newborn to 18 months old.
As always, you know your child best so if you ever feel that baby isn’t reaching their milestones on time or that there’s something wrong, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician. For a full breakdown of milestones, this chart from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is very helpful!
Birth to 5 Months Old
Cooing, vocal sighs and vowel sounds such as “ahhh”
Laughter, crying (obviously!) and fussing sounds
6 -11 Months Old
Begins gesturing or using actions to try to communicate
Babbles without meaning (to us, not to baby!) and attempts to say mama and dada
12- 17 months Old
Understands how to label objects and people. Mom is actually “Mama” or Dad is actually “Dada”
Repeats simple words
Has a vocabulary of 4-6 words
Can respond non verbally
By 18 Months Old
Is adding more sounds, like animal sounds, to their repertoire
Is adding more vocabulary words
Pointing and gesturing, is able to communicate answers to simple questions like “Are you hungry?”
Again, there is a wide range of typical behavior in babies and toddlers. For example, sometimes newborns with older siblings reach milestones later than their peers because the older kids “speak” for their younger sibling. In other cases the child may start communicating earlier than expected because they are exposed to older family members or peers modeling speech to them all day! And of course twins and higher order multiples may even develop their own language which becomes part of their everyday communication.
Either way we hope this info is helpful and if you have more questions, you can visit our Parent Resource Center for evidence-based support.
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