Developmental Milestones

Receptive Language



3 months                    Recognizes familiar voices.


4 months                    Turns head to voice.


5 months                    Reacts to environmental sounds: Reacts to sounds other than voices.


6-9 months                 Understands “no”, anticipates events, understands some phrases (give kiss), Understands object 



12 months                  Recognizes names of common objects, familiar people, and action verbs.


15 months                  Responds to simple requests and follows one step commands without gestures.


18 months                  Identifies pictures in a book, points to body parts, and uses objects appropriately in play.


2 years                       Understands approximately 300 words, listens to simple stories, responds to yes/no and simple “wh”

                                   questions, and able to follow two step commands.


3 years                       Understands use of objects, understands the concept of turn taking, able to identify parts of of objects                                    understands simple descriptive adjectives, understands pronouns, comprehends approximately          

                                   500-1000 words, knows difference between sexes and own sex, knows simple spatial concepts

                                   (in/on/under), able to match and identify colors, understands some quantity concepts (one, all).


4 years                       Identifies categories, makes inferences, understands analogies, correctly identify colors,    

                                    and understand “more” and “most”.


5 years                       Understands time and qualitative concepts, understand “-er” as “one who does  

                                    something”, and answer simple questions about a story.  Letter and number recognition emerging 

                                    or present. Able to understand 95% of what is said to them.


6 years                       Identifies items that don’t belong, able to order pictures from largest to smallest, and understand 

                                    passive voice tense.


Expressive Language



3 months                 Cooing: Early vowel sounds a baby makes. (oohs and aahs)


4 months                  Laughing: Laughs or giggles when stimulated by silly faces and tickling.


5 months                  Razzing/raspberries: A great oral exercise your baby engages in possibly to gain attention.


6  months                 Babbling: When baby combines consonants and vowels. (da da da or ma ma ma)


7-9 months               Protests: Protests when a toy is taken away.


10 months                Mama/Dada meaningfully: Baby relates “mama” and “dada” with the caregivers


12 months                Uses anywhere from one to three words.


18 months                Strings together many sounds, adds intonation and gestures, imitates some words and  

                                 begins to try to communicate with more words than gestures.


2 years                     Joins words into two word phrases such as “more drink” or “bye mama”, asks questions with 

                                 rising intonation, responds to yes/no questions, uses approximately 50 words, labels familiar 

                                 objects by name produces animal sounds, identifies self by name,talks to self while 

                                 playing, and is approximately 65% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener by age two.


2½ years                  Begins to use short 3-4 word phrases. Meaningfully uses 200 words. Able to identify actions in pictures

                                 Able to identify the use of some objects. Answers: Answers simple “wh” questions logically.

                                 Able to use plurals and simple prepositions (in and on).

                                 Approximately 70% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener.


3 years                     Have a vocabulary of approximately 1000 words and be about 75% intelligible.

                                 Pronouns: Uses pronouns appropriately.

                                 Answer more complex “wh” questions logically. (who, why, where, how)

                                 Articles and Auxiliaries present: “the” and “a”, and “is” “am”


3½ years                  Name pictures in a book, tell how an object is used, and use possessives. Able to use possessives                                               and irregular past tense verbs.


4 years                     Be about 95% intelligible, even to unfamiliar listeners.


4½ years                  Respond to “where” questions and complete analogies. Approximately 95% intelligible to unfamiliar                  listeners. Able to use regular past tense verbs.


5½ years                  Repeat sentences, use adjectives to describe objects, use past tense forms of verbs (-ed), 

                                   and describe similarities. name categories and complete analogies


6½ years                  Define words, rhyme words, and repair grammatical errors.tell a story in sequence, repairs errors,                           and expresses quantity.