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Speech and Language Development Checklist, 0 to 36 months

Check off the communication skills that your child is demonstrating on a consistent basis.

Lansdowne Children's Centre 0 - 36 month Speech and Language development milestone checklist for parents and caregivers

Click the button below to open and download a PDF document (3MB) that you can print.

By 6 months your child should:

o Turn towards sounds

o Make different cries for different needs, e.g. tired, hungry

o Smile and laugh in response to your smiles and laughs

o Watch your face when you talk

o Make different noises, e.g. coo, gurgle

By 9 months your child should:

o Respond to his/her name

o Understand “no”

o Get what he/she wants by sound and gesture, e.g. reaching to be picked up

o Play social games like ‘peek-a-boo’

o Babble and repeat sound, e.g. “babababa”

o Enjoy being around people

By 12 months your child should:

o Follow simple directions, e.g. sit down

o Use at least three words

o Babble using lots of different sounds

o Shake head for “no”

o Draws your attention to an object by using gestures or sound and looking at you, e.g. looks up to the sky and points to a bird and then looks back at you

By 18 months your child should:

o Understand simple directions, e.g. “put your hat on“ or “go get the doll”

o Point to several body parts

o Understand concepts like “in” or “off”

o Engage in pretend play, e.g. giving a dolla drink

o Use at least 20 words

o Start to put two words together, e.g. “Mommy bye bye”

o Make at least 4 different consonant sounds – b, n, d, g, w, h

o Respond to yes/no and “wh” questions, e.g. “Do you want a drink?”, “Where’s the truck?”

By 24 months your child should:

o Use at least 100 words

o Consistently put two or more words together, e.g. “bubble go up”

o Use at least two pronouns, e.g. “mine”, “you”

o Enjoy playing with other children and start to imitate them

o Be understood 50% of the time by unfamiliar people

o Follow two-step directions, e.g. “go get your car and put in the toy box”

By 30 months your child should:

o Use more than 350 words

o Say their name

o Use some adult grammar, e.g. “two dogs”, “baby’s crying”

o Consistently use 3-4 words in a sentence

o Use action words (eat, jump) and pronouns (you, mine)

o Understand concepts such as big/little, and prepositions such as in, off, under

o Have complex play sequences, e.g. put blocks in a truck, drive it, then dump them

o Produce 2-3 syllable words, e.g. ba-na-na

o Take short turns with other children

By 36 months your child should:

o Use sentence of 4-6 words with adult-like grammar

o Be understood 75% of the time by everyone

o Follow long, complex directions

o Ask “wh” questions eg “what”, “where”

o Use adjectives for colour and size

o Use “in” and “on” when asked “where” questions

If your child does not meet all the communication, speech and language milestones for their age,

we recommend that you complete a referral submission to SmartStart Hub at Lansdowne Children’s Centre for an assessment. We can help connect you with available services supports and resources in our community.


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