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Question & Answer - Communication

What are baby's first year communication milestones?

November 2017


The following is an interview with Diane Bahr (Published Author and International Presenter on Feeding, Motor Speech, and Mouth Development) by Cintia Saporito (Journalist in Argentina). This interview was conducted in February, 2017.

 Question from Cintia Saporito: What are baby's first year communication milestones?

 Answer from Diane Bahr: Here are some of a baby’s first year speech and communication milestones:

1 month

-Cries are different for hunger, pain, and anger

-Makes vowel-like sounds coming mostly through nose

-Quiets when hears human voice; makes vocal sounds when hears mom’s voice

2-3 months

-Has cries for hunger, discomfort, sleepiness, and attention

-Laughs, coos, and chuckles

-Makes more vowel-like sounds and some consonant sounds

3-4 months

-Takes turns when making vocal sounds

-Makes more vowel and consonant sounds

-Listens to speech

4-6 months

-Voices a ranges of emotions (happy, mad, irritated, protesting, eager, satisfied)

-Imitates facial expressions

-Begins to babble with a variety of consonant and vowel sounds

6-9 months

-Looks, points, and reaches for objects

-Plays speech and gesture games such as peek-a-boo

-Says most vowels and many consonants; may repeat the same syllable over and over such as “bababa”

9-12 months

-First words such as “dada, mama, bye-bye, no, go, me”

-Puts at least four syllables together that sounds like language (called jargon)

-Answers simple questions with gestures, body language, or vocal sounds


Bahr, D. (2010). Nobody ever told me (or my mother) that! Everything from bottles and breathing to healthy speech development. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons/Sensory World.

Saporito, C. (2017, Feb.). Baby's Speech Development Month by Month (Text in Spanish). Telemundo.

About the Interviewer

Cintia Saporito is a Journalist and Sociologist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has contributed as a writer to different media and editorials in her country, as well as collaborated in the writing process of books specializing in subaltern movements and economic history. Cintia is also a Human Studies and Communications Middle School Teacher and is now in the process of getting her degree in Psychology.

About Diane Bahr

Diane Bahr, MS, CCC-SLP, CIMI is a certified speech-language pathologist and infant massage instructor. She has practiced speech-language pathology since 1980 and has been a feeding therapist since 1983. Her experiences include teaching graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education courses; working with children and adults who exhibit a variety of speech, language, feeding, and swallowing disorders; and publishing/presenting information on oral sensory-motor function, assessment, and treatment. She is the author of the textbook Oral Motor Assessment and Treatment: Ages and Stages (Allyn & Bacon, 2001). She has also written a book for parents entitled Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! Everything from Bottles and Breathing to Healthy Speech Development (Future Horizons/Sensory World, 2010).