Speech & Language Milestones & Tips to enhance communication skills (Birth to 12 Months)


During the first year of life, your baby will grow and develop at an amazing speed. The rate at which children reach their milestones can vary depending on the child and the environment that surrounds them.

Babies communicate from birth through crying and eye contact, and then simple sounds and gestures. Talking and responding to babies helps them develop language and communication skills.

Why focus on communicating with your baby?

Because early speech and language skills are associated with success in developing reading, writing, and interpersonal skills, both later in childhood and later in life.


AgeUnderstanding Sounds/Words
(Receptive Language)
Making Sounds/Words (Expressive Language)What you can do to help language development
1 to 3 months. Startles to loud noises
· Looks at your face
· Gives attention to voices
· Smiles
·  Seems to recognise your voice. Quiets if crying.
· Localises speaker with eyes
· Frequently watches lips and mouth of speaker.
– Cries frequently
– Different cries for different needs can be noticed – hunger, uncomfortable.
Cooing – Vowel like sounds similar to ah-ah, ooh-ooh
Laughs and uses Vocal expressions of pleasure when played with.
·         Hold your baby so you are face to face
·         Talk to your baby in a soothing tone. Let your baby hear your friendly and affectionate voice. Talk to your baby about the reason for crying by saying things like “You are hungry.  I’ll feed you” or “You want a hug.”
·         Sing to your baby.
·         Let your baby hear different sounds.
·         Turns to your voice and other sounds
·         Usually frightened/disturbed by angry voice
·         Moves eyes in the direction of sound.
·         Pays attention to music
·         Notices toys that makes sound
·         Starts drooling
·         Coos more and in response to your voice
· Coos to toys
· Giggles and laughs
Makes sounds when happy or upset
·         Repeat sounds and smile when your baby makes sounds.
·         Laugh with your baby.
·         Talk to and imitate your baby when you dress, feed, bathe or change the baby.
·         Put safe toys near your baby so your baby can “talk” to the toys.
Encourage laughing/squealing by making funny faces or sounds or by blowing on the baby’s belly and laughing.