From the very first months of his life, your child starts to develop his ability to communicate through his hearing. Here is a general guide that you can use to track the development of your child’s communication skills:

Indicators for communication development in children based on age


Developmental indicators for children

0 to 3 months

  • Startles at loud and sudden noises
  • Becomes calm when a familiar voice is heard

3 to 6 months

  • Makes noises with his mouth
  • Turns head and looks around for voices that he recognizes
  • Likes toys that make sounds (e.g., rattles)

6 to 12 months

  • Responds to own name
  • Turns head and looks in the direction of recognized sounds
  • Begins using babytalk (e.g., “dadada”, “mamama”)
  • Starts to understand certain words like “no” or “bye-bye”

12 to 18 months

  • Says more and more words
  • Understands simple instructions from parents
  • Points to body parts or pictures in a book
  • Imitates animal noises

18 to 24 months 

  • Reacts when spoken to from another room
  • Uses about 20 words at 18 months, and 100 words at 24 months
  • Starts forming short 2- or 3-word sentences
  • Understands instructions like “go find…” and “show me…”

If you have any concerns about your baby’s hearing, talk to a doctor.

Help your Child Develop

You are models for your child. Talk to him as often as possible. Use the right words. Play with words and sounds by making rhymes and imitating animal noises. Tell him the names of things around him.