Communication Delay Under One Year Of Age

By June 7, 2024 June 13th, 2024 Speech Pathology
Communication delay under one year of age in Speech Pathology session in Bondi Junction and Mascot

Communication is a vital part of a child’s development, even in the first year of life. Babies start to communicate from birth through sounds, facial expressions, and gestures. When a child shows signs of communication delay, it means they are not meeting the typical milestones for their age. Understanding these delays and knowing how to support a child’s communication development under one year of age is important for parents and caregivers.

What is Communication Delay?

A communication delay occurs when a child is not developing speech and language skills as expected for their age. For children under one year, this can mean they are not making sounds, responding to sounds, or using gestures as other babies do. It’s essential to remember that each child develops at their own pace, but there are general milestones that most children meet within certain age ranges.

Typical Communication Milestones for Babies

  1. 0-3 Months:
    • Crying and Coos: Babies communicate primarily through crying to express their needs. They also start cooing and making gurgling sounds.
    • Response to Sounds: Babies react to loud noises by startling or becoming quiet. They begin to recognise their parents’ voices and may turn their heads toward sounds.
  2. 4-6 Months:
    • Babbling: Babies start to babble, producing sounds like “ba-ba” or “da-da.” This babbling is an important step toward forming words.
    • Laughing and Squealing: They express joy through laughter and squealing sounds.
    • Eye Contact and Smiling: Babies make eye contact and smile in response to familiar faces.
  3. 7-9 Months:
    • More Complex Sounds: Babbling becomes more complex, and babies start to combine different sounds.
    • Responding to Name: Babies begin to respond to their own name and recognize common words like “no” or “bye-bye.”
    • Using Gestures: They may use simple gestures like waving or reaching out to be picked up.
  4. 10-12 Months:
    • First Words: Some babies start saying their first words, like “mama” or “dada,” though these words might not be used consistently or correctly.
    • Understanding Simple Instructions: Babies begin to understand simple instructions and words.
    • Pointing and Showing: They use pointing to show interest in objects and to communicate needs.

Signs of Communication Delay Under One Year Of Age

  1. No Response to Sounds: If a baby doesn’t react to loud noises or familiar voices, it might be a sign of a hearing issue or communication delay.
  2. Limited Babbling: By six months, a baby should start babbling. If they are not making these sounds, it could indicate a delay.
  3. No Eye Contact: Babies typically make eye contact and smile by a few months old. Lack of eye contact can be a concern.
  4. Not Responding to Name: By nine months, babies should respond to their name. If they don’t, it might be worth discussing with a paediatrician.
  5. No Gestures: By one year, babies usually use gestures like pointing or waving. A lack of these gestures can be a sign of a communication delay.

Causes of Communication Delay Under One Year Of Age

  1. Hearing Problems: Hearing is crucial for language development. If a baby has hearing issues, they might not be able to hear sounds and voices, leading to a delay.
  2. Neurological Issues: Conditions affecting the brain can impact communication development.
  3. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Autism can affect communication skills. Early signs of autism can include limited eye contact, not responding to their name, and delayed babbling.
  4. Environmental Factors: Lack of interaction and stimulation can also contribute to communication delays. Babies need to hear language and have opportunities to interact with others to develop their skills.

How to Support a Baby’s Communication Development

  1. Talk and Sing to Your Baby: Regularly talking and singing to your baby helps expose them to language. Describe what you’re doing, sing nursery rhymes, and read books aloud.
  2. Respond to Their Sounds: When your baby makes sounds, respond to them. Imitate their babbling and have “conversations” with them. This encourages them to keep trying to communicate.
  3. Use Gestures: Use simple gestures along with words. For example, wave when you say “bye-bye” or point to objects when naming them.
  4. Play Interactive Games: Games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake are not only fun but also promote communication and social skills.
  5. Read Books Together: Reading picture books and talking about the images helps build vocabulary and understanding.
  6. Create a Stimulating Environment: Provide a variety of toys and experiences that encourage exploration and interaction.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you notice signs of communication delay in your baby, it’s important to discuss your concerns with a pediatrician. They can conduct hearing tests and developmental screenings to determine if there is a delay and what might be causing it. Early intervention is key to helping children with communication delays catch up to their peers.


Communication delay in children under one year can be concerning, but with early detection and support, many children can make significant progress. Understanding typical communication milestones, recognising signs of delay, and engaging in activities that promote language development are crucial steps for parents and caregivers. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. By being proactive and supportive, you can help your baby develop the communication skills they need to thrive.

We’re here to support you

At OneOnOne Children’s Therapy, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to grow and thrive.

Our clinics are not just a space for therapy – it’s a place where children can discover their strengths, overcome challenges, and reach their full potential.

By combining innovative therapy techniques with a stimulating and supportive environment, we’re proud to offer a holistic approach to paediatric therapy and early intervention that addresses the unique needs of each child we support.

Reach out for support

If you’re concerned about your toddler’s communication development or want to learn more about how Speech Pathology and Hanen – It Takes Two To Talk can help your child, OneOnOne Children’s Therapy is here to help. We have clinics in Bondi Junction and Mascot – in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

Call us on (02) 80657837 or email. You can book a free 30 minute phone call with us to discuss how we can support your child’s unique journey