Speech Development Chart

Birth to 6 Months

  • Responds to voices and sounds.
  • Coos and gurgles when spoken to.
  • Begins to babble, playing with sounds.

6 to 12 Months

  • Babbles with greater diversity (ba-ba, da-da).
  • Starts to imitate sounds and tones.
  • Responds to their name and common words.

1 to 2 Years

  • Speaks simple words (mama, dada) and short phrases.
  • Begins to name familiar objects.
  • Follows simple instructions.
  • Speech is 25-50% understandable to strangers.

2 to 3 Years

  • Vocabulary expands rapidly (200-300 words).
  • Begins to use 2-3 word sentences.
  • Speech is 50-75% understandable to strangers.
  • Asks simple questions (What? Where?).

3 to 4 Years

  • Uses sentences with 4 or more words.
  • Speech is mostly understandable, even to strangers.
  • Understands and answers simple questions.
  • Starts using basic grammar.

4 to 5 Years

  • Vocabulary grows to 1,000+ words.
  • Tells short stories and engages in conversations.
  • Uses complete sentences and understands complex instructions.
  • Speech is clear and fluent; errors may still occur.

5 to 6 Years

  • Understands and uses age-appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
  • Engages in longer, more complex conversations.
  • Understands and tells longer stories.
  • Speech is clear and can be easily understood by strangers.

This chart is a general guideline and should not be used as a diagnostic tool. If you have concerns about a child’s speech and language development, it is important to consult with a speech-language pathologist or other qualified professional. They can provide a more detailed assessment and personalized recommendations.