Development of speech, language and communication

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What to expect

12 months

12 months a baby should be able to do the following regarding their speech and language development:


  • Point at objects that they are interested in using their index finger.
  • Show an interest in pictures.
  • Respond immediately to their own name
  • Understand several words in usual context e.g. ‘car', ‘cat' and ‘drink'.
  • Understand simple instructions when used with gesture e.g. ‘give it to mummy'.
  • May use single word utterances.
  • Hand objects to adults when requested
  • Understand the use of objects e.g. brushing their hair with a hair brush.

al and play

  • Less likely to mouth objects.
  • Shake toys to make a noise, manipulate toys.
  • Repeat action of toys to gain desired outcome, e.g. reproduce action to make a sound.
  • Find toys which are hidden from view.
  • Wave good-bye and play ‘pat-a-cake', on request and spontaneously.

ng, drinking and swallowing

  • Able to finger feed independently
  • Continues to eat mashed up food, cut up table food and will additionally be able to manage meats which are easy to chew.
  • When given soft biscuit will use a controlled bite, for harder biscuits the baby may use a phasic biting pattern.
  • Sucking pattern is followed by a quick swallow and no pause.

you have any concerns over your child's development or would like to book an appointment for you and your child please contact us by 0330 0885 643.

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Next steps

To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email


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All our speech and language therapists are registered with the RCSLT and the HCPC

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