Main – Developmental Milestones2020-10-03T16:20:16+00:00

Developmental Milestones

0-3 Months

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Appears to recognize your voice and smiles or quiets
  • Makes pleasure sounds (cooing)
  • Smiles reflexively as newborn then develops social smile by 3 months

  • Turns head to each side
  • Rolls side to back
  • Lift head 45 degrees

4-6 Months

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Moves eyes toward sound source
  • Babbles using more consonant-like sounds sounds (p,b,m)
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
  • Begins to play – “peek a boo” and other games
  • Imitates some movements and sounds

  • Holds self with forearms (Lifts chest from surface)
  • Holds head steady in supported sitting
  • Actively moves head in supported sitting
  • Bears some weight on legs in supported standing
  • Rolls prone to supine/supine to side

7-9 Months

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Exhibits resistive behaviors
  • Shouts for attention
  • Imitates play
  • Plays vocally
  • Recognizes some words
  • Uses social gestures
  • Uses jargon

  • Sits independently
  • Belly crawls
  • Bears almost all weight on legs
  • Pulls to stand on furniture
  • Rolls supine to prone

10-12 Months

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Shows moods
  • Uses objects appropriately (ex., spoon to pick up food)
  • Obeys simple commands and directions
  • Speaks one or more words
  • Recognizes own name

  • Walks, holding furniture
  • Walks with two hands held
  • Creeps on hands and knees

12-18 Months

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Responds to simple requests (“get your toy”)
  • Points to common objects
  • Uses simple gestures (e.g. waving)
  • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh”
  • Imitates non-speech sounds
  • Says one or two words
  • Vocalizes with intent

  • Finds hidden things easily
  • Explores things in different ways (e.g. shaking)
  • Puts things in/out of a container
  • Pokes with index finger
  • Uses things correctly
  • Walks with one hand held

18-24 Months

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Demonstrates pretend play
  • Follows simple directions without gestures
  • Points to show others something interesting
  • Uses several single words (e.g. no)
  • Puts some two words together (“more cookie,” “no juice,” “mommy book”)

  • Points to body parts
  • Scribbles on his own
  • Walks alone
  • May walk up steps and run
  • Pulls toys while walking
  • Can help undress herself
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Eats with a spoon

2 Years

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Copies others
  • Enjoys playing with other children
  • Points to common objects/pictures
  • Follows 2 step directions
  • Knows the name of familiar people, common objects and body parts
  • Puts 2-4 words together to form sentences
  • Says things heard in conversation

  • Sorts shapes and colors
  • Completes rhymes
  • Builds towers by stacking blocks
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Begins to run
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
  • Throws ball
  • Makes straight lines and circles

3 Years

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Takes turns in games
  • Shows concern for others
  • Understands possessives (e.g. mine, his/hers)
  • Understands prepositions (e.g. in and on)
  • Follows 2-3 step directions
  • Can name most familiar things
  • Uses pronouns (e.g. I, we) and plurals (e.g. cats)
  • Can have a conversations using 2-3 sentences

  • Dresses and undresses self
  • Completes puzzles
  • Copies a circle
  • Turns pages one at a time
  • Screws and unscrews jar lids
  • Climbs well
  • Runs easily
  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step

4 Years

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Creative with make-believe play
  • Recalls parts of a story
  • Names colors and numbers
  • Understands “same” and “different”
  • Talks about what he likes
  • Tells stories
  • Sings songs
  • Uses pronouns (e.g. I, we), possessives (e.g. his/hers) and plurals (e.g. cats)

  • Starts counting
  • Understands time
  • Draws a person with 2-4 body parts
  • Uses scissors
  • Starts to copy capital letters
  • Plays board and card games
  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds
  • Pours, cuts with supervision and mashes own food
  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time

5 Years

Language/ Communication

Cognitive/ Motor Skills

  • Likes to sing, dance and act
  • Can tell what’s real and make-believe
  • Shows more independence
  • Speaks very clearly
  • Tells stories using full sentences
  • Uses future tense
  • Says name and address

  • Counts 10 or more things
  • Can draw a person with at least 6 body parts
  • Copies a triangle and other shapes
  • Can print some letters or numbers
  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Hops
  • Can do a somersault
  • Can use toilet on his own
  • Swings and climbs

****Note to parents: Developmental milestones can vary slightly depending on each individual child.
If you are concerned, speak to your pediatrician about a referral to receive a thorough occupational and/or speech therapy evaluation.

(Source: ASHA and NBCOT)

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