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Growth & Development



Your Child's Growth: Developmental Milestones

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Watching a young child grow is a wonderful and unique experience for a parent. Learning to sit up, walk, and talk are some of the major developmental milestones your child will achieve.

Although no two children develop at the same rate, they should be able to do certain things at certain ages. This list of milestones by age is a good way to see how your child is doing. Keep in mind that a “No” answer to any of these questions does not mean that there is a problem. However, if you see large differences between your child and what is listed here, talk with your pediatrician.

3 Months

  • When your baby is lying on his back, does he move both arms equally well? Check “No” if your baby uses only one arm all the time.

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby make sounds such as gurgling, cooing, babbling, or other noises besides crying?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby respond to your voice?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Are your baby's hands frequently open?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your baby hold his head up for a few seconds when held upright?

    □ Yes  □ No

6 Months

  • Does your baby play with her hands by touching them together?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby turn her head to sounds coming from a different room?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your baby roll over from stomach to back or from back to stomach?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • When you hold your baby under her arms, does she seem like she's trying to stand?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • When your baby is on her stomach, does she try to push up with her hands?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby see small objects, like crumbs?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby produce a string of sounds?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does she react to the emotions of others?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby relax when you read her a story?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby like looking at herself in a mirror?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby reach for you?

    □ Yes  □ No

9 Months

  • When you come up quietly behind your baby, does he sometimes turn his head as though he hears you? (Only check “Yes” if you have seen him respond to quiet sounds or whispers.)

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your baby sit without support and without holding up his body with his hands?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby crawl or creep on his hands and knees?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby hold his bottle?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby drop or throw toys on purpose?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does he bang and shake his toys?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • When you show your baby a book, does he get excited and try to grab and taste it?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Is your baby wary of people he doesn't know?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby make sounds that use vowels and consonants?

    □ Yes  □ No

12 Months

  • Does your baby like to play peekaboo?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby pull up to stand?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby walk holding on to furniture?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby say at least one word other than “ma-ma” or “da-da”?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby turn her head in the direction of where a sound is made?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby copy familiar behaviors, like using a cup or telephone?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby turn her books face up, but turn several pages at once?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby look for and find toys?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your baby like to explore objects and spaces?

    □ Yes  □ No

18 Months

  • Can your child use a cup without spilling?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child walk across a large room without falling or wobbling from side to side?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child take off his own shoes?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child feed himself?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child clearly look to you in stressful situations?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child have temper tantrums?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child say at least 4 to 10 words?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child point to pictures that you name in a book?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child pretend to talk?

    □ Yes  □ No

2 Years

  • Can your child say things like “all gone,” “go bye-bye,” or other 2-word sentences?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child say about 50 words?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child take off her own clothes? (Diapers, hats, and socks do not count.)

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child run without falling? (Occasional falls do not count.)

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child look at pictures in a book?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child pretend to read to you?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child tell you what she wants?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child repeat words others say?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child point to at least one named body part?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child like to play with or around other children?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child show increasing independence, wanting to do things her way?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child like to collect or hoard things?

    □ Yes  □ No

3 Years

  • Can your child name at least one picture when you look at animal books together?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child enjoy sitting together for at least 5 minutes for story time?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child answer “what” questions about the story that you have just read together?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child throw a ball overhand from a distance of 5 feet?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Is your child easily understood by most adults?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child help put things away?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child answer the question, “Are you a boy or girl? ”

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child name at least one color?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child talk in 3-word sentences most of the time?

    □ Yes  □ No

4 Years

  • Can your child pedal a tricycle at least 10 feet forward?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child play hide-and-seek, cops-and-robbers, or other games where he takes turns and follows rules?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child turn paper pages in a book one at a time?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child retell stories that are familiar?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child tell you what action is taking place in a picture?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child use action words (verbs)?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child play pretend games, such as with toys, dolls, animals, or even an imaginary friend?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child copy a circle?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child pretend to write, making marks on a page that only he can read?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child use 4- or 5-word sentences?

    □ Yes  □ No

5 Years

  • Can your child button her clothing or her doll's clothes?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child react well when you leave her with a friend or sitter?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child name at least 3 colors?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child walk down stairs alternating her feet?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child jump with her feet apart?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child point while counting at least 3 different objects?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child name a coin correctly?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child sit and listen to a 10- to 20-minute story?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child copy a square?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child name at least some letters of the alphabet when she sees them?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child identify and print the first letter in her name?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child recognize and name several single numbers?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child recognize common street and store signs (eg, “Stop,” “Open”)?

    □ Yes  □ No

6 Years

  • Can your child tie his shoes?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child dress himself without help?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child catch a small bouncing ball? (Large balls do not count.)

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child skip?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child tell his age?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child repeat at least 4 numbers in the proper sequence?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child recognize and name at least 10 letters in the alphabet?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Does your child know the sounds of most letters of the alphabet?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child recognize and read 15 or more common words?

    □ Yes  □ No

  • Can your child copy a few simple words from a book?

    □ Yes  □ No

Remember, these milestones are an aid, not a test. If you have any questions or concerns about your child, talk with your pediatrician. If there is a problem, early treatment is important.

Copyrighted information used in this brochure was granted courtesy of William Frankenburg, MD, and Josiah Dodds, MD.

Copyright © 2003

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