What should my child's language look like at 12 months?

By 12 months old, your child should be well on their way to exploring their world through sound!
The following skills should have emerged by this point:

Receptive language milestones:

  • looking at you when you say their name and responding to "no" most of the time
  • looking at familiar objects and people when named (e.g. where's mama?)
  • starting to identify body parts when named (e.g. where are your eyes?)
  • giving objects upon request (e.g. can I have a block?)

Expressive language milestones:

  • using simple gestures, like shaking their head "no" and pointing towards an object of desire
  • babbles should have inflection, and start to sound like their own language (jargon)
  • first words should be emerging. These are typically two syllables and start with those easy sounds (mama, dada, baba, etc.)

*When researching developmental milestones for your child's language development, it's important to keep in mind that ages of expected development are for children who are typically developing. Many children with speech or language delay or disabilities show atypical development and don't always follow the same sequence. Visual, hearing, and/or motor impairments all play a role in language development.