There is no one who knows your child better than you as the parents. Learn what early milestones are expected while your baby is growing. If you learn there are concerns about your child’s development, consult with a health care professional as soon as possible. Always trust your instincts. If you think your baby is developing at a different pace than is recommended, seek help. Early intervention and treatment of physical differences is important in assuring the best for your child. Help is available.

Some resources for help include:

• Pediatrician
• Developmental-behavioral pediatricians
• Pediatric neurologists
• Physical therapists
• Occupational therapists
• Speech therapists
• Early Intervention Programs

Evaluations of your child’s speech, vision and hand function is recommended. There is much that can be done to improve a child’s physical skills and abilities through speech, occupational and physical therapy. Above all, keep a positive attitude. It has been proven that a positive attitude maximizes any child’s potential. Intelligence may be hidden by difficulty with movement or vision. All children can learn. Early detection is the best prevention.

Typical Speech Development:

By 3 months of age your baby should:

• Sucks and swallows well during feeding
• Quiets or smiles in response to sound or voice
• Coos or vocalizes other than crying
• Turns head toward direction of sound

By 6 months of age your baby should:

• Begin to use consonant sounds in babbling, such as dada and mama
• Use babbling to get attention
• Begins to eat cereals and pureed foods

By 9 months of age your baby should:

• Increase variety of sounds and syllable combinations in babbling
• Look at familiar objects and people when named
• Begin to eat junior and mashed table foods

By 12 months of age your child should:

• Meaningfully uses “mama” or “dada”
• Responds to simple commands, such as “come here”
• Produces long strings of gibberish in social communication
• Begins to use an open cup

By 15 months of age your child should:

• Have a vocabulary of 5 to 10 words
• Imitate new less familiar words
• Understand 50 words
• Increase the variety of coarsely chopped table foods

Continued in Part 2

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use the information in this article to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.

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Written by: Connie Limon. Visit us at About Babies and Toddlers is an information portal addressing a variety of topics. Also visit: for additional articles of interest.