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Developmental Milestones

Below is a table that describes the developmental milestones of an infant or toddler with normal hearing. If you find that your child isn’t meeting these milestones talk to your pediatrician or an audiologist.

Birth-3 Months


Hearing and Understanding

  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Quiets or increases or decreases smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to recognize your voice and quiets if crying
  • Ceases sucking behavior in response to sound

Talking

  • Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, gooing)
  • Cries differently for different needs
  • Smiles when they see you

4-6 Months


Hearing and Understanding

  • Moves eyes in direction of sounds
  • Responds to changes in tone of your voice
  • Notices toys that make sounds
  • Pays attention to music

Talking

  • Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b and m
  • Chuckles and laughs
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you

7 Months-1 Year


Hearing and Understanding

  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
  • Turns and looks in direction of sounds
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Recognizes words for common items like “cup”, “shoe”, “book”, or “juice”
  • Begins to respond to requests (e.g. “Come here” or “Want more?”)

Talking

  • Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as “tata upup bibibibi”
  • Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention
  • Uses gestures to communicate (waving, holding arms to be picked up)
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Has one or two words (hi, dog, dada, mama) around first birthday, although sounds may not be clear

By 18 Months


Hearing and Understanding

  • Understands simple phrases
  • Is able to retrieve familiar objects and point to body parts on command without gestures

Talking

  • Has a spoken vocabulary of 20 to 50 words and short phrases (“all done,” “go out,”  “mommy up”)
  • Is learning new words each week

By 24 Months


Hearing and Understanding

  • Can easily sit and listen while being read to

Talking

  • Has a spoken vocabulary of 200-300 words
  • Simple sentences can be spoken
  • Unfamiliar adults can understand your child’s speech

For More on this Topic
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association