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Receptive Language Milestones for Babies 8 to 12 Months

Parents and caretakers may not be aware of the relationship of receptive language to expressive language. Expressive language is how a person uses their language to convey their thoughts, needs, and feelings using words, phrases, or sentences. Receptive language is the ability to understand another person’s words and language.

As we grow from babies into adulthood, our receptive language development propels our expressive language development. So, a child’s inability to respond to certain words or phrases may be due to their receptive language development. Therefore, it is vital that we ensure our children are progressing to and through general milestones for receptive language ability. Below are some receptive language developmental milestones to keep in mind for children 8 to 12 months old.

  • Recognizes and responds to their own name when it is spoken

  • Recognizes immediate family members’ names

  • Understands names for familiar objects

  • Stops when hearing “No”

  • Responds with gesture to “Want up?”

  • Waves “Bye bye”

  • Gives an object on request with and without visual cues

  • Engages in social games with gestures

If you have any questions about your child's speech and language development, talk with your pediatrician, your speech-language pathologist, or give us a call at 1-866-849-4608.

Mize, Lisa. ‘Receptive Language Milestones for Toddlers’,,, (accessed March 11, 2021).


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