Developmental Milestones


1 month

Responds to voice and sounds

3 months

Makes cooing sounds such as “oo and ah”

4 months

Responds to noise by turning head towards sounds

6 to 9 months

Babbles “da, ga, ba, mu”
Turns in response to own name
Intonates in a sing song manner using patterns as in adult speech
Understands “their own name, the word ‘no’ and questions like where's  Daddy?”
Copies others waving bye bye

9 to12 months

Babbles in 2 parts “dada, gaga, baba, mumu”
Tries to copy sounds such as eow for cat, brrmm for car
Uses sound patterns that are not real words but are meaningful to themselves
Claps hands and waves when asked

12 to 18 months

Uses gestures, actions and facial expression to express wants/needs 
Begins to use single words such as Mummy and ball, or negative words ‘no’
Expresses needs ‘more’ and ‘drink’
Uses doing words i.e. ‘fall down’
Points to objects you have named
Tries to imitate words and songs
Uses sound patterns that you may not understand
Uses one word for lots of meanings such as ‘drink juice’ (doing word),
‘more drink’ (object) and ‘Mummy drink’ (possession)

18 to 24 months

Vocabulary is around 25 to 50 words
Listens to short stories
Understands simple questions such as “where’s the puppy dog?”
Starts to use 2 words together in different ways such as (person/place)
“Daddy home” (owner/object) “Madi dolly” (description/object) “big dog”
(action/object) “drink juice” (person/action) “Mummy drink” (action/place)
“get down” (this & that/object) “that man”

2 to 3 years

Vocabulary is around 50 to 200 or more words
Identifies objects by their function such as “Which one do I sit on?”
Understands basic concepts such as in, out, on, under, over, not, little, big
Understands the difference between basic objects i.e.  dog or cat & table & chair
Uses 3 to 5 word sentences
Sentences are well formed even though they may not be correct
Speaks in present tense i.e. “Mummy sit down”
Starts using grammatical word endings such as in/on (in bed) ‘ing’ (me drinking)
‘s’ plural (more toys) ‘I, me, it, you’ (my train)

4 years

Uses 5 or more words in a sentence using correct grammar most of the time
Can tell you about their news although it may not be in sequence
Understands and can answer more complex WH questions such as
“what happened” “why did that happen”

5 years

Can tell news in sequence and can problem solve and reason
Can understand abstract concepts such as before, after, until and opposites


6 to 18 years

Produces various text types such as narrative, procedure, debate & report with
good language style, tense, descriptive language, conjunctions and sequence 
Uses abbreviations and slang  such as ‘cause’ ‘thingy’
Is easily able to predict, reason and problem solve