Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us
Adult Health Library
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Topic IndexLibrary Index
Click a letter to see a list of conditions beginning with that letter.
Click 'Topic Index' to return to the index for the current topic.
Click 'Library Index' to return to the listing of all topics.

Hearing Problems and Speech and Language Milestones

Child sitting with a speech therapist.

Children may reach speech and language milestones at different ages. But in some cases, a child that isn’t developing speech and language on track may have a hearing problem.

Signs of a hearing problem

Being able to hear is important for good speech and language growth. A child who doesn’t respond to sounds or who isn’t developing language skills may have trouble hearing. The age guidelines below may help you know if your child has a hearing problem. Talk with your child's healthcare provider if you think your child isn’t developing speech and language skills on time.

Milestones of speech and language

Birth to 3 months

  • Reacts to loud noises

  • Smiles at you

  • Makes sounds of pleasure

  • Knows your voice and may calm down if upset

4 to 6 months

  • Laughs

  • Babbles (says "ba-ba-ba")

  • Notices music or toys that make sounds

7 to 1 year

  • Looks towards sounds

  • Understands some words like cup or shoe

  • Imitates different sounds

  • Says first words

1 to 2 years

  • Can point to a few parts of the body

  • Points to pictures in books when asked

  • Asks simple two-word questions

  • Continues to add new words

  • Uses 2-word phrases, like "more milk"

2 to 3 years

  • Knows some spatial concepts, such as "in," "on"

  • Has words for most things

  • Follows tow-step instructions

  • Uses 3-word sentences

  • Friends and family can understand much of what is said

  • Enjoys hearing stories

  • May have trouble with some sounds

3 to 4 years

  • Can hear you from another room

  • Can hear the television and radio at same volume as others

  • Identifies colors and shapes

  • Talks about daycare, preschool, or other activities

  • Use 4-word sentences

  • Uses plural words, like shoes or socks

  • Uses pronouns, like you, me, her

  • Strangers are able to understand much of what is said

  • Answers simple questions, such as "What do you do when you are hungry?"

4 to 5 years

  • Understands words for time, like today and tomorrow

  • Understands words for order, like first and last

  • Follows more difficult or multi-step directions

  • Can say all speech sounds

  • Identified letters and numbers

  • Can tell a short story

  • Able to have a conversation

Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora, C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth Greenblatt, RN, M.Ed.
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2016
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
About Us