Is Your Baby on Track?

Birth to three months:

Hearing:

  • recognizes your voice and is quiet for a moment when you speak.
  • startles or jumps after a loud sound.
  • stirs, wakes up, or cries when someone talks or makes a noise.

Speech:

  • makes sound indicating pleasure.
  • looks at you, looks away, then looks at you again during playtime.
  • repeats the same sounds often.
  • cries differently for different needs.
  • smiles when he/she sees you.

Four to six months:

Hearing:

  • turns eyes towards an interesting sound, such as your voice.
  • appears to listen, then smiles when spoken to.
  • smiles or stops crying when you speak.
  • awakes easily to sounds.
  • notices toys that make sound.

Speech:

  • makes babbling noises that are more speech-like and include a variety of sounds.
  • tells you by sound or gesture when he/she wants you to do something again.

Seven months to one year:

Hearing:

  • stops or pays attention when you say "no" or call his/her name.
  • moves his/her head to try to find where a new sound is coming from.
  • strings of sounds such as "ba, ba, ba, da, da, da."
  • understands "no" and "bye-bye."
  • enjoys games like "peek-a-boo" and "pat-a-cake."

Speech:

  • has one or two words (bye-bye, mama, dada), although they may not be clear.
  • child uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep your attention.

One to two years:

Hearing:

  • gives you toys or other objects when you ask, without your having to use a gesture
  • points to familiar objects if you ask
  • follows simple commands and understands simple questions such as, "roll the ball," or "kiss the baby."
  • listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes.

Speech:

  • says more words every month
  • puts two words together ("more cookie," "no juice")

Two to three years:

Hearing:

  • understands differences between concepts such as, "go-stop," or "up-down".
  • continues to notice sounds such as a ringing telephone or doorbell.

Speech:

  • has a word for almost everything.
  • speaks understandably (to parent) most of the time.
  • uses two- or three-word sentences to talk about and ask for things.

Three to four years:

Hearing:

  • hears you when you call him/her from another room.
  • hears television or radio at the same loudness level as the other people in the room.
  • answers simple "who," "what," "when," "where," "why" questions.

Speech:

  • talks about what he/she does at school or at friends' houses.
  • usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.
  • is understandable to people outside your family.
  • uses many sentences that have four or more words.

Four-and-one-half to five years:

Hearing:

  • hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school.
  • is thought by others to hear them well.
  • pays attention to a story and answers simple questions about it.

Speech:

  • communicates easily with other children and adults.
  • says all sounds correctly except maybe one or two.
  • uses the same grammar as the rest of the family.