Is your child on-track with his/her developmental milestones?

At 0-3 months, your child…

  • Calms down or smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to recognize familiar voices
  • Startles and reacts upon hearing loud noises
  • Starts or stops feeding in response to sound
  • Begins to coo and make pleasure sounds
  • Cries differently for different needs

At 4-6 months, your child…

  • Follows sounds with their eyes
  • Responds to changes in the tone of your voice
  • Makes gurgling sounds when playing with you or alone
  • Uses their voice to express pleasure and displeasure
  • Notices music and toys that make sounds
  • Babbles in a speech-like way during playtime
  • Smiles during interaction with familiar faces
  • Laughs and giggles

At 7 months-1 year, your child…

  • Says a few words, like “mama” or “uh-oh”
  • Understands simple commands like, “come here”
  • Shows anxiety when separated from main caregivers
  • Recognizes words for common items, like “juice”
  • Responds to the word “no”
  • Uses speech sounds to get attention
  • Uses nouns almost exclusively
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Communicates using gestures like holding up arms
  • Imitates different speech sounds

At 1-2 years, your child…

  • Identifies pictures or objects by pointing
  • Recognizes the names of familiar people, objects and body parts
  • Follows simple directions accompanied by gestures
  • Practices voice intonation, sometimes imitating others
  • Uses inflection and emotion even if speech is unintelligible
  • Asks one- or two-word questions, like “more milk?”
  • Understands simple questions, like “where’s your bear?”
  • Has a growing vocabulary of 5-20 words
  • Enjoys simple stories, songs and nursery rhymes
  • Uses a variety of consonant sounds at the beginning of words

At 2-3 years, your child…

  • Requests specific items by name
  • Has a word to communicate almost everything
  • Has growing vocabulary of 50-250 words
  • Begins to use verbs, plurals and past tense
  • Uses vowels correctly
  • Speaks in a way that is understood by family and friends
  • Explains experiences in short, 3-4 word sentences
  • Uses two- or three-word phrases to talk about or request things
  • Uses speech that is 50-70% intelligible to strangers
  • Understands between 500-900 words
  • Asks short, 1-2 word questions
  • Answers yes and no questions

At 3-4 years, your child…

  • Has a growing vocabulary of 800-1500 words
  • Speaks using 4- or 5-words sentences
  • Uses pronouns during speech
  • Talks about experiences and events in chronological order
  • Engages in conversations
  • Begins to identify colors and animals
  • Imitates many words, phrases, sounds
  • Understands contrasts
  • Uses at least four prepositions
  • Uses speech that is 80% intelligible to strangers
  • Understands between 1200-2000 words
  • Answers simple “who?” “what?” “where?” and “why?” questions

At 4-5 Years, your child…

  • Repeats sentences as long as 9 words
  • Uses speech that’s intelligible, even if articulation errors are present
  • Counts to 10 without help
  • Knows and understands opposites
  • Understands simple time concepts
  • Uses adjectives and adverbs in conversations
  • Repeats 4 syllable words
  • Has the ability to define common words
  • Pays attention to and comprehends short stories
  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and at school
  • Tells stories that stay on topic
  • Communicates easily with others
  • Says most sounds correctly
  • Uses rhyming words
  • Names some letters and numbers
  • Uses adult grammar

Sources: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association  & U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services