Before raising any concerns about speech and language development, you may want to learn about the milestones that a child should be reaching at each age. Keep in mind that children develop at their own rate and they may not have all the skills until the end of the age range.

mom and child reading language milestones speecheasyBirth to One Year

  • From birth to 3 months, your child should be making cooing sounds, smiling at people, and have changing cries for different needs.
  • From 4-6 months old, your child should coo and babble when playing. They should be giggling, laughing, and making sounds when happy or upset. You should be noticing babbling sounds like pa, ba, and mi.
  • From 7 months to 1 year, your child should be babbling long strings of sounds, like babababa. They should imitate different speech sounds and have the ability to say one or two words, like hi, mama, or dada, although the sounds may not always be clear.

One to Two Years

From ages one to two years, your child should be using lots of new words and using p, b, m, h, and w in words. They should be able to start naming pictures in books and asking questions like “What’s that?” They should be putting words together, like “more juice” or “mommy book.”

Two to Three Years

From ages two to three, the child has a word for almost everything, using words like in, on, and under. They should use two or three words to talk about things or ask for things. K, g, f, t, d, and n should be used in words. People who know your child should be able to understand them.

Three to Four Years

A child aged three to four should be answering who, what, and where questions and asking when and how questions. They should be saying rhyming words and pronouns like I, you, me, we, and they. Plural words should be appearing in their speech. They can put four words together, even if some mistakes are made, like “I goed to school.”

Four to Five Years

From ages four to five years, a child should say all speech sounds in words. They may make mistakes on harder sounds like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, and th. Your child should be able to say names letters and numbers, tell short stories, keep conversations going, and talk without repeating sounds or words most of the time. They should know how to respond to the question “What did you say?”

To learn more about the speech-language milestones your child should be reaching by age, visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association here.


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