Preemie Milestones - a quick look

quick look preemiehelp

Preemie Milestones are important to know and understand. Keeping an eye on your preemies development and checking when they reach certain milestones can help you determine when a little help might be necessary.


Preemie milestones can keep you both on track

When understanding preemie milestones is important to learn a little bit of information on the typical development of various skills, as well as some information about signs that may indicate problems with development. If your preemie is not meeting the milestones mentioned you may want to talk to your paediatrician about your preemie's development.

Select from the menu items for related information...

Speech development

Keeping an eye on your preemies development can help you determine when a little help might be necessary

It’s amazing how quickly babies grow and develop! The tables below highlight some important milestones. Although these tables give an average age at which milestones are achieved it is important to realise that even babies born at term achieve these milestones at varying ages. For preemies, you should always correct for their prematurity. 

Speech Development

Have a look at the following information for typical development of these skills. You should talk to your paediatrician if you have any concerns about your preemie's development.

speech development milestones and preterm birth

Developmental Milestone

Age Development
By 3 months
  • Sucks and swallows well during feeding
  • Quiets or smiles in response to sound or voice
  • Coos, laughs, squeals, or vocalises in ways other than crying
  • Turns head toward direction of sound
By 6 months
  • Begins to use consonant sounds in babbling, e.g. “dada”
  • Uses babbling to get attention
  • Begins to eat cereals and pureed foods
By 9 months
  • Increases variety of sounds and syllable combinations in babbling
  • Looks at familiar objects and people when named
  • Begins to eat junior and mashed table foods
By 12 months
  • Meaningfully uses “mama” or “dada”
  • Follows simple instructions, e.g. “give mummy the cup”
  • Produces long strings of gibberish in social communication
  • Drinks from an open cup
By 15 months
  • Can say around 5-10 words
  • Likes imitating new, less familiar words
  • Understands around 50 words
These milestones represent overall age trends. There are individual differences in the exact age at which each milestone is attained.(Berk, 2008; Zaichkin, 2009)

Want More Information?


AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

Help us help you!

help us help you! is here to provide preemie information, community and solutions to the people that need it most... you!
Preemie Help is also looking to provide a resource for any professionals that have contact with preterm babies and children in order to help them best understand the challenges that face a preemie. Get in contact to help us impact preemies.

Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 

Read More: Defining Preterm birth



New Release - Preemie Development

All in one easy to read eguide

‘The complete preemie guide to: ‘Preemie development’ is the must have guide to the NICU for new preemie parents.

With an easy-to-read layout this comprehensive guide is over 130 pages of important information about the NICU and your preemie.

Using Adobe’s .pdf format makes the guide usable across a wide range of platforms from ipad to PC, smartphone to macbook.

Packed with extra features like progress charts, NICU checklists and plenty of others. ‘The preemie guide’ is a must for any new parents.