Developmental Milestones

Birth through 6 Months

Raises head while lying on stomach (3 mos.)
Opens & shuts hands (2-3 months)
Watches face intently (2-3 months)
Follows moving objects with eyes (2 months)
Grasps & holds objects (by 3 months)
Recognizes familiar objects & people from a distance (3 months)
Smiles at sound of voice (3 months)
Cooing noises & vocal play (begins at 3 months)
Attends to sound (1-3 months)
Startles to loud noises (1-3 months)
Begins to develop a social smile (1-3 months)
Enjoys playing with other people (2-3 months)
Imitates some movements & facial expressions
Pushes up on extended arms (5 months)
Sits with support of hands (5-6 months)
Supports whole weight on legs (6-7 months)
Grasps feet (6 months)
Transfer objects from hand to hand (6-7 months)
Grasps objects dangling in front (5-6 months)
Looks for fallen toys (5-7 months)
Responds to sound by making sound (4-6 months)
Turns head to locate sound (4 months)
Uses voice to express pleasure and displeasure (4-6 months)
Syllable repetition begins (5-7 months)
Enjoys social play (4-7 months)
Interested in mirror images (5-7 months)
Shows affection for caregiver
Enjoys being around other people (by 6 months)
Laughs & makes squealing noises (by 5 months)
Actively searches for objects (by 6 months)
Follows objects with both eyes (by 5 months)

7 Months to 12 Months

 Gets to sitting position without assistance (8-10 months)
Crawls forward on belly
Creeps on hands and knees
Pulls self up to standing position
Walks holding onto furniture
Stands for a moment or two without support
May walk two or three steps without support
Uses pincer grasp (thumb and index finger)
Bangs two one-inch cubes together
Puts objects into and takes objects out of container (10-12 months)
Tries to imitate scribbling
Shakes, bangs, throws and drops objects (8-10 months)
Finds hidden objects easily (10-12 months)
Looks at correct picture when object is named
Imitates gestures (9-12 months)
Responds to simple verbal requests
Responds to no
Babbles with inflection (by 8 months)
Babbles “dada” and “mama” (8-10 months)
Says “dada” and “mama” for specific person (11-12 months)
Uses exclamation such as “uh-oh”
Cries when mother or father leaves (8-12 months)
Enjoys imitating people in play (10-12 months)
Shows preference for specific people and/or toys
Prefers primary caregiver over all others
Repeats sounds or gestures for attention (8-12 months)
Finger feeds (8-12 months)
Extends arm or leg to help with getting dressed
Uses gestures such as waving or shaking head
Shows interest in ‘peek-a-boo’ and ‘patty-cake’ (by 8 months)

12 Months to 24 Months

Walks alone (12-16 months)
Pulls toys behind him while walking (13-16 months)
Carries large toy or several toys while walking (12-15 months)
Begins to run stiffly (16-18 months)
Climbs onto and down from furniture unsupported (16-24 months)
Walks up and down stairs holding on to support (18-24 months)
Scribbles spontaneously (14-16 months)
Turns over container to pour items out (12-18 months)
Builds tower of four blocks or more
Points to objects or pictures when named (18-24 months)
Recognizes names of familiar people, objects and body parts (18-24 months)
Says several single words (16-18 months)
Uses two-word sentences (18-24 months)
Follows simple one- step directions (14-18 months)
Repeats words overheard in conversation (16-18 months)
Begins to sort shapes and colors (20-24 months)
Begins make-believe play (20-24 months)
Imitates behaviors of others – esp. adults and older children (18-24 months)
Enthusiastic about company of other children (20-24 months)
Begins to show defiant behaviors (18-24 months)
Knows the function of common objects – i.e. spoon, brush (15 months )

24 Months – 36 Months

Climbs well (24-30 months)
Walks down stairs alone with both feet on same step (26-28 months)
Walks up stairs alternating feet with support (24-30 months)
Swings leg to kick ball
Runs easily (24-26 months)
Pedals tricycle (30-36 months)
Makes vertical, horizontal and vertical strokes (30-36 months)
Turns book pages one at a time (24 – 30 months)
Holds a pencil in writing position (30-36 months)
Builds a tower of more than six blocks (24-30 months)
Screws and unscrews jar lids (24-30 months)
Recognizes & identifies most common objects and pictures (28-32 months)
Understands most sentences (24-40 months)
Understands physical relationships (on, in, under) (30-36 months)
Can say name, age, and gender (30-36 months)
Uses pronouns – I, me, we, they (24-30 months)
Strangers can understand most words (30-36 months)
Makes mechanical toys work (30-36 months)
Matches objects to pictures (24-30 months)
Plays make-believe with dolls, animals and people (24-30 months)
Sorts objects by color (30-36 months)
Completes puzzles (24-30 months)
Understands concept of two (26-32 months)
Separates easily from parents (by 36 months)
Expresses a wide range of emotions (24-36 months)
Can copy a circle (by 36 months)
Communicates in phrases and short sentences

36 Months to 48 months

Hops and stands on one foot for up to six seconds
Goes upstairs and downstairs without support
Kicks ball forward
Throws ball overhand
Catches bounced ball most of the time
Uses riding toys
Can jump in place
Draws circles and squares
Draws a person with four body parts
Uses scissors
Begins to copy some capital letters
Can feed self with spoon
Understands the concept of same and different
Has mastered some basic rules of grammar
Speaks in sentences of 5 – 6 words
Asks questions
Uses some pronouns correctly
Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
Tells stories
Correctly names some colors
Understands the concept of counting
Begins to have a clearer sense of time
Follows three part commands
Recalls parts of stories
Engages in fantasy play
Understands causality (I can make things happen)
Interested in new experiences
Cooperates and plays with other children
Dresses and undresses
More independent
May have imaginary friends or ‘see’ monsters

48 Months to 60 Months

Stands on one foot for ten seconds or longer
Hops, somersaults
Swings, climbs
May be able to skip
Copies triangle and other geometric shapes
Draws person with body
Prints some letters
Uses fork and spoon
Usually cares for own toileting needs
Speaks sentences longer than 5-6 words
Uses future tense
Tells longer stories
Says name and address
Can count ten or more objects
Correctly names at least four colors
Wants to please
Wants to be with friends
More likely to agree with rules
Likes to sing, dance and act
Shows more independence
Can concentrate on a single activity for at least five minutes
Understands two-part commands and prepositions (get the ball under the table)
Gives first and last name
Uses plurals and past tense
Can brush teeth and wash and dry hands

Adapted from Shelov, S.P. & Hannemann, R.E. (1994). The American Academy of Pediatrics: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5: The Complete and Authoritative Guide. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub.