0 – 3 Months

0 - 3 Months

This is a guide to how children develop speech and language between 0 and 3 months.

Phonology Development

  • Birth cry – undifferentiated
  • Reflexive sound making produces glottal catch and vowels (ah, eh, uh)
  • Some variety in non-crying sounds
  • Differentiated cry (true vocal communication begins)
  • Coos and gurgles
  • Produces single syllables
  • Begins blowing bubbles

Semantics Development Chart

  • Startle response to loud sound
  • Visually tracks while on back
  • Moves eyes toward source of sound
  • Attends to voice – turns head toward voice
  • Fixes gaze on spoon or bottle
  • Orients to light
  • Briefly holds and inspects two objects (1-4 months)
  • Mouths some objects

Play Development Chart

  • Long spells of staring vacantly at large masses (windows, walls)
  • Hands predominately closed. No reaching to grasp objects
  • If hand is touched, either clenches or opens
  • Reacts to paper or cloth on face
  • Raises head when prone
  • Will grasp object when placed in hand
  • Reaches for object but misses (3 months)

Syntax – Morphology Development Chart

Note : Due to the highly variable nature of syntactic and morphological development and due to the lack of sufficient research in the area, the age levels listed are approximations of when certain forms and constructions may appear


Pragmatics Development Chart

  • Briefly looks at people
  • Follows moving person with eyes
  • Quiets in response to sound (responds more readily to speech than non-speech sounds
  • Smiles/coos in responses to another smile/voice (1-4 months)
  • Excites when caregiver approaches (1-4 months)
  • Aware of strangers and unfamiliar situations (1-4 months)
  • Cries differently when tired, hungry, in pain (1-4 months)
  • Quiets when picked up