0 - 6 Months


Birth to 1 month

  • Babies can recognise and turn their head towards their parent’s voice.
  • Makes pre-speech lip and tongue movements in response to talk.
  • Demonstrates a strong preference for human faces

Caregiving behaviours that support the milestone

  • Spend time together face-to-face – see if baby can copy your tongue sticking out, blink your eyes, make lip sounds
  • Talk to your baby about anything and everything in a gentle, even voice when your baby is awake and try to make eye contact. Feeding and cleaning provide particularly good opportunities to start a ‘conversation’.

1 - 4 months

  • Vocalises delightedly in response to chat or enjoyable play
  • Recognises the difference between happy and sad faces and can copy simple facial movements.
  • Responds to positive touch and can see, hear and smell.
  • Can discern whether a person’s gaze is towards/away from them or if people are behaving in a socially contingent way.

Caregiving behaviours that support the milestone

  • Talk to them in an animated, tuneful voice with lots of smiles, laughter and facial expressions.
  • Respond to baby’s movements and communication – copy the noises they make. Interpret their sounds and say what they are trying to tell you.
  • Sing songs and rhymes with actions or lots of repetition.
  • Play with your baby following predictable routines, but also contain an element of surprise. ‘Body’ or ‘lap’ games that include tickling or tactile stimulation, such as ‘mousie creep’ or ‘koochy-koo’ are especially liked by babies during the first few months of life.

4-6 months

  • Babies can recognise own name.
  • Expresses a range of emotions such as pleasure, fear and excitement through facial expressions, vocalisations and body language.
  • Begins to engage in babbling that replicates the pitch and tone of adult speech.
  • Shows clear like, dislike, acceptance and rejection of experiences42.
  • Can track the gaze of others and share attention towards an object, such as a household item or a toy.

Caregiving behaviours that support the milestone

  • Continue to support using behaviours as in 1-4 months, and chat with your baby (without distraction), look at them.
  • Respond to infant babbling as if they are initiating a conversation.
  • Describe your baby’s emotions as you speak to them.
  • Use daily activities as an opportunity to stimulate your baby’s learning (e.g. go outside and smell a flower).

Adapted from: EIF Early Intervention Framework with Input from National Literacy Trust and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists