May 10, 2016

Child Speech Therapy: Speech Development

Communication between a parent and their child is a very powerful thing. Parents are always eager for their child to start talking. Even before their first word, infants are finding ways to bond and communicate with their caregivers. The next post in the Development series focuses on the development of speech in infants. The months may vary, but the typical speech development timeframe goes as follows:

0-2 months: Reflexive stage

  • Infants at this stage are only making reflexive sounds, such as crying, fussing, burping, coughing, and/or sneezing.

2-4 months: Control of speech

  • At around 2 months old, children begin to make cooing and gooing sounds that consist of mainly different vowels. They may even combine some vowels with consonants to form sounds such as “gaaa”. Children will also be able to make raspberries, a sound produced with the tongue and lips through vibrating your lips.

3-5 months: Expansion of speech

  • Infants are gaining control over the timing of vocalizations and responsiveness. Beginning at 3 months old, infants can vocalize in response to other’s speech.

5-8 months: Babbling

  • At 5 months, infants are able to produce sounds that vary in volume, pitch, and rate in order to attract attention. First, children will begin to babble by using the same pattern of consonants and vowels. For example, mama or dada. As the child gets a little older, they will start to be able to extend their babbling to vowel-consonant-vowel or consonant-vowel-constant sounds. For example, “mabapa”. Additionally, Infants will begin to imitate caregivers’ gestures, intonation, and pitch around 8 months.

9-12 months: Jargon

  • Around 9 months, infant’s vocalizations are considered jargon. Jargon is unintelligible speech that imitates adult’s stress and intonation patterns. At this stage, your child’s speech may sound more like questions, exclamations, and/or commands.

12-15 months: First Words

  • Around your infant’s first birthday, they will produce their first word. To know if a word is considered a true word, the word should have a clear intention, be a recognizable word, and be used more than once.

If you feel that your child is significantly behind in their vocalizations or is completely mute, contact Lumiere Children’s Therapy for a consultation with a Speech Therapists.


Justice, Laura M., and Erin E. Redle. “An Overview of Communication Development.” Communication Sciences and Disorders: A Clinical Evidence-based Approach. 3rd ed. N.p.: Person, 2014. 50. Print.

Owens, Robert E. “The Social and Communicative Bases of Early Language and Speech.” Language Development: An Introduction. 9th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2011. 103-08. Print.

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