Whether you’re the kind of parent who fills out a baby book religiously, or one who documents milestones on Facebook and Instagram, it’s hard not to compare your baby to others. When you see someone else’s baby starting to talk, or when you fill out the questionnaires at well-child visits, you’re sometimes left wondering—is my baby behind?
We all know that babies mature at different rates and reach milestones at different times. But how do you know if your baby is just a late talker, or if there might be more to it?
Here are some speech and language milestones the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) notes your baby should be doing with speech and language:
- Laughing and smiling at you – between birth and 3 months
- Turning toward sounds or looking toward your voice – by 4 to 6 months
- Making some sounds (usually some b, m, g or k sounds like ba, ma, ga, ka) – by 6 months
- Responding to some requests like “come here” or “want up?” – by 7 months to 1 year
- Enjoying games like pat-a-cake or peekaboo – between 7 months – 1 year
- Babbling with a variety of different sounds like “mabatibi” or “babakade” – between 7 months and 1 year
- Using some gestures to communicate (waving, arms up for “up”) – by 7 months to 1 year
- Using 1-2 words (even if they’re not clear) – between 7 months to 1 year
- Pointing to some body parts or pictures in a book when asked – between 1 and 2 years
- Using more and more words every month – between 1 and 2 years
- Starting to put 2 words together – by 2 years
If your child isn’t doing some or all of these things, don’t despair. Early intervention is available, and is key to helping kids make progress and improve their speech and language skills. The Speech Language Pathologists at LifeScape’s outpatient center are experts in speech and language development, and would love to help your little one learn to listen and talk. If you’re concerned that your baby might be behind, give us a call to learn more or schedule a free screening. In Sioux Falls, 605-444-9700. In Rapid City, 605-791-7400.
Learn more about our therapy services here.
-Bridget Page, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, LifeScape