Key Milestones (months)


Crying is a baby’s main form of communication


Seeing a familiar face a baby might quieten or smile - often fascinated by your sounds and facial expressions.


Babies may make cooing, gurgling or babbling sounds…often to themselves!


Babies get excited seeing familiar people and communicate this through sounds, giggles, arm gestures and body movements.


From the moment your child enters the world it uses sound to communicate. You’ll notice this in the way your baby’s cries differ depending on if he or she is hungry, wet or tired. From around six months it’s likely your baby will respond to games such as peek-a-boo, be able to wave ‘bye bye’ and recognise different tones of voice.

Within the first year of life, children typically learn to form initial sounds and express emotion through laughing and squealing. By twelve months, it’s not unusual for your child to look at your face when you talk to them, turn towards a voice from across the room and exhibit a range of basic gurgling and babbling noises.

Chalk wall


Even at this early stage there are lots of things you can do to encourage your child to start communicating with you. Spending time at your baby’s level and being face to face while talking to them is a great way of fostering engagement. Look to see what your child is doing or where their attention is focussed and use simple language to comment- with babies it’s important to avoid complex words. Repetition is also key to helping infants to recognise words, including familiar people’s names, and to understand the meaning associated with those words.

Help & support

Your health visitor can provide a great deal of support and is a good person to sense check things with in the first instance. Children’s speech, language and communication development also benefits from interacting and playing with others their own age, so we highly recommend inducting in playgroups and activity sessions designed to enhance child development.

Child Reading
General training


Discover our range of free online speech and language resources offering tips you can easily apply with your child at home.

Child outdoors playing


Advance your knowledge of speech, language and communication development and ways to support children’s skills by attending one of our events.