Developmental Milestones

3 months social smile
Sensory and Thinking Skills:

  • Turn head toward bright colors and lights
  • Turn toward the sound of a human voice
  • Recognize bottle or breast
  • Respond to your shaking a rattle or bell
  • Begins to eat small amounts of smooth, pureed foods

Motor Skills:

  • Lift head when at your shoulder
  • Lift head and chest when lying on his/her stomach
  • Lift head from side to side when lying on his/her stomach
  • Follow a moving object or person with his/her eyes
  • Often hold hands open or loosely fisted
  • Grasp rattle when given to him/her

Language and Social Skills:

  • Make cooing, gurgling sounds
  • Smile when smiled at
  • Communicate hunger, fear, discomfort (through crying or facial expression)
  • Usually quiet down at the sound of a soothing voice or when held
  • Anticipate being lifted
  • React to “peek-a-boo” games

Sensory and Thinking Skills:6 months grabs at feet

  • Open his/her mouth for the spoon
  • Imitate familiar actions you perform

Motor Skills:

  • Hold head steady when sitting with your help
  • Reach for and grasp objects
  • Play with his/her toes
  • Help hold the bottle during feeding
  • Explore by mouthing and banging objects
  • Move toys from one hand to another
  • Shake a rattle
  • Pull up to sitting position on his/her own if you grasp his/her hands
  • Sit with only a little support
  • Sit in a high chair
  • Rolls over
  • Bounce when held in a sitting position

Language and Social Skills:

  • Begins vocal play
  • Babble, making almost sing-song sounds
  • Know familiar faces
  • Laugh and squeal with delight
  • Scream if annoyed
  • Smile at herself/himself in a mirror

Sensory and Thinking Skills:12 months first steps

  • Copy sounds and actions you make
  • Respond to music with body motion
  • Try to accomplish simple goals (seeing and then crawling to a toy)
  • Look for an object she/he watched fall out of sight (such as a spoon that fell under the table)

Motor Skills:

  • Drink from a cup with help
  • Feed herself/himself finder food like raisins or bread crumbs
  • Grasp small objects by using her/his thumb and index or forefinger
  • Use his/her index finger to poke or point
  • Put small blocks in and take them out of a container
  • Knock two blocks together
  • Sit well without support
  • Crawl on hands and knees
  • Pull himself/herself to stand or take steps holding onto furniture
  • Stand alone momentarily
  • Walk with one hand held
  • Cooperate with dressing by offering a foot or an arm
  • Stand or take steps behind a push toy

Language and Social Skills:

  • Vocalizes during play
  • Babble, but sometimes it “sounds like” talking
  • Say his/her first word
  • Recognize family members’ names
  • Try to “talk” to you
  • Respond to another’s distress by showing distress or crying
  • Show affection to familiar adults
  • Show mild to severe anxiety at separation from parent
  • Show apprehension about strangers
  • Raise her/his arms when she/he wants to be picked up
  • Understand simple commands

Sensory and Thinking Skills:18 months uses fork

  • Identify an object in a picture book
  • Laugh at silly actions (as in wearing a bowl as a hat)
  • Look for objects that are out of sight
  • Put round lid on a round pot
  • Follow simple 1-step directions
  • Solve problems by trial and error

Motor Skills:

  • Like to pull, push and dump things
  • Pull off hat, socks and mittens
  • Turn pages in a book
  • Stack 2 blocks
  • Carry a stuffed animal or doll
  • Scribble with crayons
  • Walk without help
  • Run stiffly, with eyes on the ground
  • Sit on or propel small riding tow without pedals

Language and Social Skills:

  • More words than jargon
  • Say at least 50 words
  • Look at a person who is talking to him/her
  • Ask specifically for his/her mother or father
  • Use “hi”, “bye”, and “please” without reminders
  • Protest when frustrated
  • Ask for something by pointing or by using one word
  • Direct another’s attention to an object or action
  • Become anxious when separated from parent(s)
  • Seek attention
  • Bring toys to share with parent
  • Act out a familiar activity in play (as in pretending to take a bath)
  • Play alone on the floor with toys
  • Compete with other children for toys
  • Recognize herself/himself in the mirror or in pictures
  • Seem selfish at times

Sensory and Thinking Skills:stringing beads 2 yrs

  • Like to take thinks apart
  • Explore surroundings
  • Point to 5-6 parts of a doll when asked

Motor Skills:

  • Drink from a straw
  • Feed himself/herself with a spoon
  • Help in washing hands
  • Put arms in sleeves with help
  • Build a tower of 3-4 blocks
  • Toss or roll a large ball
  • Open cabinets, drawers, boxes
  • Operate a mechanical toy
  • Bend over to pick up a toy and not fall
  • Walk up steps with help
  • Take steps backwards

Language and Social Skills:

  • Have a vocabulary of several hundred words
  • Approximately 70% intelligent speech
  • Answers “where” questions
  • Use 2-3 word sentences
  • Say names of toys
  • Identifies action pictures
  • Ask for information about an object (asks, “shoe?” while pointing to shoe box)
  • Hum or try to sing
  • Listen to short rhymes and short stories for 5-10 minutes
  • Like to imitate parents
  • Sometimes get angry and have temper tantrums
  • Act shy around strangers
  • Comfort a distressed friend or parent
  • Take turns in play with other children
  • Parallel play predominates
  • Treat a doll or stuffed animal as if it were alive
  • Apply pretend action to others (as in pretending to feed a doll)
  • Show awareness of parental approval or disapproval for his/her actions
  • Express emotions
  • Refer to self by name and use “me”, “mine”, “I” and “you”
  • Verbalize his/her desires and feelings (“I want a cookie”)
  • Laugh at silly labeling of objects and events (as in calling a nose an ear)
  • Enjoy looking at one book over and over
  • Point to eyes, ears or nose when you ask

Sensory and Thinking Skills:age 3 pedals tricycle

  • Recognize sounds in the environment
  • Pay attention for about 3 minutes
  • Remember what happened yesterday
  • Know what is food and what is not food
  • Know some numbers (but not always in the right order)
  • Know where things usually belong
  • Understand what “1” is
  • Understand “now”, “soon” and “later”
  • Substitute one object for another in pretend play (as in pretending a block is a “car”)
  • Laugh at silly ideas ( like “milking” a dog)
  • Look through a book alone
  • Match circles and squares
  • Match an object to a picture of that object
  • Match objects that have the same function (as in putting a cup and plate together)
  • Count 2 to 3 objects
  • Avoid some dangers, like a hot stove or moving car
  • Follow simple one-step commands

Motor Skills:

  • Feed himself/herself (with some spilling)
  • Open doors
  • Hold a glass in one hand
  • Hold a crayon well
  • Wash and dry hands by himself/herself
  • Fold paper, if shown how
  • Build a tower of 5 blocks
  • Try to catch a large ball
  • Put on shoes (but not tie laces)
  • Dress herself/himself with help
  • Use the toilet with help
  • Walk up steps, alternating feet
  • Walk on tiptoes if shown how
  • Walk in a straight line
  • Kick a ball forward
  • Jump with both feet
  • Pedal a tricycle

Language and Social Skills:

  • Use 3-5 word sentences
  • Ask short questions
  • Use plurals (“dogs”, “cats”, “hats”)
  • Name at least 10 familiar objects
  • Repeat simple rhymes
  • Name at least one color correctly
  • Imitate housework or help with simple tasks
  • Ask to use the toilet almost every time
  • Enjoy being read to
  • Talk about feelings and mental states (such as remembering)
  • Demonstrate some shame when caught in a wrongdoing
  • Try to make others laugh
  • Play spontaneously with two or three children in a group
  • Assign roles in pretend social play (“You be mommy”, “I be daddy”)
  • Know his/her first and last name
  • Understand “I”, “you”, “he” and “she”
  • Believe everything centers around them (“If I hide my eyes, no one will see me”)
  • Answer whether she/ he is a boy or girl

Sensory and Thinking Skills:age 4 stand on one foot

  • Recognize red, yellow and blue
  • Understand taking turns and can do so without being reminded
  • Understand “big”, “little”, “tall” and “short”
  • Want to know what will happen next
  • Sort by shape or color
  • Count up to 5 objects
  • Follow three instructions given at a time (“put the toys away, wash your hands, and come eat”)
  • Distinguish between the real world and the imaginary or pretend world
  • Identify situations that would lead to happiness, sadness or anger

Motor Skills:

  • Feed herself/himself (with little spilling)
  • Try to use a fork
  • Hold a pencil
  • Try to write name
  • Draw with the arm and not small hand movements
  • Draw a circle
  • Draw a face
  • Try to cut paper with blunt scissors
  • Sometimes unbutton buttons
  • Try to buckle, button and lace, even though she/he probably needs help
  • Completely undress herself/himself if wearing clothes with simple fasteners
  • Brush teeth with help
  • Build a tower of 7-9 blocks
  • Put together a simple puzzle of 4-12 pieces
  • Pour from a small pitcher
  • Use the toilet alone
  • Try to skip
  • Catch a bouncing ball
  • Walk downstairs using a handrail and alternating feet
  • Swing, starting by herself/himself and keeping herself/himself going

Language and Social Skills:

  • Have a large vocabulary and use good grammar often
  • Very intelligible in connected speech
  • Often talk about action in conversation (“go”, “do”, “make”)
  • Enjoy rhyming and nonsense words
  • Use regular past tenses of verbs (“pulled”, “walked”)
  • Use “a”, “an”, and “the” when speaking
  • Ask direct questions (“May I?” “Would you?”)
  • Want explanations of “why” and “how”
  • Relate a simple experience she/ he has had recently
  • Understand “next to”
  • Separate from his/her parent for a short time without crying
  • Help clean up toys at home or school when asked to
  • Like to play “dress up”
  • Pretend to play with imaginary objects
  • Act out elaborate events which tell a story (as in serving an imaginary dinner or going on a “dragon hunt”)
  • Tells 2 events in sequential order
  • Sometimes cooperate with other children
  • Often prefer playing with other children to playing alone, unless deeply involved in a solitary task
  • Change the rules of a game as he/she goes along
  • Try to bargain (“I’ll give you this toy if you give me that one”)
  • Share when asked
  • Enjoy tag, hide-and-seek and other games with simple rules
  • Like moderate “rough and tumble” play
  • Like to do things for himself/herself
  • Know her/his age and the town where she/he lives
  • Act as though a doll or stuffed animal thinks and feels on its own