Speech and language developmental milestones

By: Rana Gupta, Mar 20, 2014

What are the speech milestones that I should be looking for in my child?

A guide to childrens speech and language milestones.


  • Makes pleasure sounds

0 - 3 Months

  • Repeats the same sounds a lot (cooing)
  • Cries differently for different needs 
  • Smiles when he/she sees you

4 – 6 Months

  • Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b, and m
  • Tells you (by sound or gesture) when he wants you to do something
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you

7 months – 1 Year

  • Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as “tat upup bibibib”
  • Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention 
  • Imitates different speech sounds 
  • Has 1 or 2 words (“bye-bye”, “dada”, “mama,” “no”) although they may not be clear

1 - 2 Years

  • Says more words every month
  • Uses some 1-2 word questions (“Where Kitty?” “Go bye-bye?” “What’s that?”)
  • Puts 2 words together (“more cookie,” “no juice,” “mommy book”)
  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words

2 - 3 Years

  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses 2-3 word “sentences” to talk about and ask for things 
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time 
  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them

3 - 4 Years

  • Talks about activities at school or at friends’ homes
  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words 
  • People outside family usually understand child’s speech 
  • Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words

4 - 5 Years

  • Voice sounds clear like other children’s
  • Uses sentences that give lots of details
  • Tells stories that stick to the topic 
  • Communicates easily with other children and adults
  • Says most sounds correctly

Rana Gupta is a speech-language pathologist with Aspire Speech Pathology service Halton Peel region and the GTA. Rana specializes in interdisciplinary and professional skills, pre-school & school age articulation, language andliteracy development, adult neurological swallowing disorders and adult neurologicalcommunication disorders. www.aspirespeechpathology.com