Keep an Eye on These Key Milestones for Early Communication in Children from Birth to 1 Year

Communication Milestones: Birth to 1 Year

Keep an Eye on These Key Milestones for Early Communication in Children from Birth to 1 Year

Understanding your child's speech and language development is a journey filled with exciting milestones and precious moments. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has recently updated its milestones to give parents and caregivers an even better roadmap for tracking their child's communication growth. Let's delve into these milestones and explore how you can support your little one's development during their first year of life.

Communication Milestones: Birth to 1 Year

Birth to 3 Months:

  • Reacts to sound.
  • Smiles or quiets when spoken to.
  • Engages in vocal back-and-forth with you.
  • Shows different cries for different needs.
  • Begins to coo with sounds like "oooo" and "ahhh."
  • Recognizes familiar people and objects.
  • Turns head towards voices or talking.

4 to 6 Months:

  • Laughs and giggles.
  • Responds to emotions in facial expressions.
  • Follows objects with eyes.
  • Reacts to toys with sounds.
  • Vocalizes in response to play.
  • Makes varied sounds, including "ummm" and "agoo."
  • Blows "raspberries" (brrr sounds).

7 to 9 Months:

  • Responds to name.
  • Pauses at the word “No.”
  • Babbles chains of sounds like "mamama."
  • Shows distress and looks for caregivers.
  • Raises arms to indicate wanting to be picked up.
  • Recognizes names of people and objects.
  • Shows dislike for certain things.

10 to 12 Months:

  • Reaches for objects.
  • Points, waves, gives objects.
  • Imitates social gestures.
  • Tries to mimic sounds.
  • Enjoys rhythmic movements like dancing.
  • Understands simple words and phrases.
  • May say words like "mama," "dada," "hi," and "bye."

Supporting Your Child's Communication Development:

  • Monitor Hearing: Notice if your child reacts to sounds and looks at you when you speak.
  • Engage in Conversation: Make eye contact and respond when they make noises.
  • Interactive Play: Teach actions like peek-a-boo and waving.
  • Narrate Your Day: Describe your activities and surroundings.
  • Introduce Animal Sounds: Use everyday opportunities to teach new sounds.
  • Read and Sing Daily: Incorporate storytelling and music into your routine.
  • Speak in Your Native Language: Use the language you are most comfortable with for better learning.

Remember, each child develops at their own pace. These milestones are not a checklist but a guideline. If you have concerns about your child's development, ASHA's ProFind tool can connect you with certified professionals for support.

How to Use the Chart:

  • Keep it accessible as a reference for monitoring your child’s development.
  • Use it to identify areas where your child excels or may need support.
  • Share your observations with healthcare providers during check-ups.

In our connected world, where bilingualism and multilingualism are celebrated, remember that children may reach these milestones while learning multiple languages. Diversity in language exposure can enrich a child’s development.

With this updated "developmental milestones speech and language chart," you can be confident in understanding and supporting your child’s journey in communication. By engaging with them, responding to their attempts at communication, and seeking help if needed, you are setting the foundation for a lifetime of learning and connection.

Remember, this journey of development is as unique as your child, filled with joyous "firsts" that pave the way for a future of confident communication. Enjoy every giggle, every wave, every "mama" and "dada" — these are the sounds of your child's incredible growth.