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Developmental Milestones

Language & Feeding

Between birth-to-6 months old
  • Sucks fingers near mouth

  • Makes cooing sound

  • Smiles at familiar people

  • Recognizes voices

  • Makes sounds when happy and upset

  • Notices toys that make noise

  • Begins to try and hold a bottle

  • Transitions to puree on a spoon

Between 6-to-12 months old

  • Begins self-feeding

  • Drinks from a straw cup or open cup

  • Responds to name

  • Waves bye-bye

  • Understands common words

  • Plays games “Pee-a-boo”

  • Uses gestures and sounds to gain attention

  • Transitions to solid foods

  • Points to objects

  • Imitates sounds and words

  • Uses 1-2 words “mama”

Between 1-to-2 years old

  • Understands “no”, “come here”, and “sit down”

  • Names familiar objects, uses single words frequently

  • Asks to have some needs met, such as using “more”

  • Gives a toy when asked

  • Points to his or her toes, eyes, and nose

  • Brings object from another room when asked

  • Imitates new words and short phrases and uses new words spontaneously

  • Spontaneously combines two words (between 18 and 24 months)

  • Eats a variety of foods and chews food without choking or gagging

  • Speech sounds 25-50% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener

Between 2-to-3 years old
  • Follows two step commands, such as “pick up your socks and give them to me”

  • Comprehends simple questions

  • Carries on a “conversation” with self and dolls

  • Frequently and spontaneously uses 2 word phrases (24 months)

  • Uses 3 word phrases (24-27 months)

  • Asks “what’s that?” and “Where’s my” 

  • Talks to other children as well as adults

  • Solves problems by talking instead of hitting and crying

  • Uses action words, uses negation and plurals, and uses basic prepositions

  • Answers what, where and who questions by 3 years old

  • Speech sounds 50-75% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener

  • Produces the sounds: /b, m, n, ng, p, f, h, and w/

Between 3-to-4 years old

  • Follows three-step directions

  • Understands when, why, how questions

  • Understands spatial concepts (first, last, middle)

  • Understands temporal concepts (before and after)

  • Understands more complex sentences

  • Understands same and different

  • Can tell a story

  • Speaks in 4-5 word sentences in conversation

  • Uses possessives, verb forms, quantity concepts (one, some, all)

  • Speech sounds 75-100%% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener

  • Produces the sounds: /k, g, d, t, ng, f, y/

  • Produces the sounds: /r, l, s, ch, sh, z/ by 5 years of age

Other Concerns

  • Difficulty making friends

  • Academic concerns

  • Difficulty with rhyming words, learning shapes, numbers, and colors

  • Picky eater

  • Mouth breather, drools, or messy eater

  • Difficulty transitioning to solid foods

  • Tongue thrust during swallow or speech

  • Difficulty moving tongue, jaw, lips on command

  • Tongue or lip tie

  • Hoarse vocal quality

  • Stuttering

When to be concerned

If your child is experiencing multiple difficulties on this checklist, an speech/feeding therapy evaluation is recommended.  An evaluation is available to your child through Speech and Feeding Therapy.


Also, a free phone consultation or screening may be provided to your child.

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