Babies do differ in what they can do at any given age. The ages presented here are approximate only. 

Checklist for Making Sounds

4 months – a baby: Makes soft sounds when awake. Gurgles and coos.

6 months – a baby: Makes laughter-like sounds. Starts to make sing-song vowel sounds, e.g. a-a, muh, goo, der, aroo, adah.

9 months – a baby: Makes sounds to communicate in friendliness or annoyance. Babbles (e.g. ‘da da da’, ‘ma ma ma’, ‘ba ba ba’). Shows pleasure in babbling loudly and tunefully. Starts to imitate other sounds like coughing or smacking lips.

12 months – a baby: Babbles loudly, often in a conversational-type rhythm. May start to use one or two recognisable words.

15 months – a baby: Makes lots of speech-like sounds. Uses 2-6 recognisable words meaningfully (e.g. ‘teddy’ when seeing or wanting the teddy bear).

18 months – a baby: Makes speech-like sounds with conversational-type rhythm when playing. Uses 6-20 recognisable words. Tries to join in nursery rhymes and songs.

24 months – a child: Uses 50 or more recognisable words appropriately. Puts 2 or more words together to make simple sentences e.g. more milk. Joins in nursery rhymes and songs. Talks to self during play (may be incomprehensible to others).

30 months – a child: Uses 200 or more recognisable words. Uses pronouns (e.g. I, me, you). Uses sentences but many will lack adult structure. Talks intelligibly to self during play. Asks questions. Says a few nursery rhymes.

36 months – a child: Has a large vocabulary intelligible to everyone.

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and language therapists are registered professionals with the Health and Care Professions Council. They work with children who need help with their communication skills. This may include difficulties with understanding others; using words and sentences; saying sounds correctly; stammering; voice and interacting with others. Speech and language therapists also work with children who have eating and swallowing difficulties. Ask your health visitor about referral to speech and language therapy if you have concerns about your child’s communication.

       Surrey CC

Contact details

Children's Centre:  01252 350225


Address: Ash Grange Children's Centre and Primary School, Ash Church Road, Ash, Surrey GU12 6LX - Map