This describes the usual pattern of development that you may expect to
see your baby undergo in the first five years.
Keep in mind that every baby is different and some babies skip steps or
learn things in a different order. This
does not mean your baby has a problem, but if your baby differs greatly from
these guidelines, you may wish to mention it to your pediatrician at your next
well child visit. The information
here is organized by the usual ages at which well checks are done and includes
developmental milestones from the four basic categories:
gross motor, visual and fine motor, language, and social development.
Click on a specific age to jump to that section.
weeks your baby is returning to birth weight after an initial period of weight
loss. Most babies sleep a lot
during this time. Your baby should
sleep on her back, not on her tummy or side.
The back is the safest position for preventing SIDS (crib death), one of
the most common causes of death in the first year of life. In order to promote gross motor development, make sure that she spends
some supervised time during the day playing on her tummy.
This will also help keep the back of her head from becoming flattened
from lying face up all the time.
month of age, your baby is more alert, with definite wakeful periods and less of
the groggy, semi-alert state that is common earlier in the first month.
His head control is improving, with the ability to raise his head
slightly and, possibly, to turn his head from side to side when lying on his
tummy. He holds his hands in tight
fists most of the time. His vision
and hearing are gradually improving with age.
At one month, his best seeing distance is about one and a half feet away.
He probably recognizes your face when sitting in your lap and is able to
follow an object that moves from his side to midline (directly in front of him)
with his eyes. If he startles in
response to loud noises, that's a good sign that he can hear.
months, your baby is able to lift her upper chest off the table when lying on
her tummy and she is able to lift her head up and look around.
Her fists are not closed so tightly any more. She may occasionally be tracking objects and movements past
midline with her eyes. She is
becoming more social, smiling in response to being talked to or stroked, and she
recognizes your face and voice. Within
the next month, she will be cooing (making soft “ooh” and “aah” sounds).
Soon, she will be discovering her hands, staring at them, and holding
them together. By now, you should
be getting pretty good at sensing your baby’s cues and using your intuitive
and empathetic skills to tune in to her needs and various modes of alertness.
Try to encourage her to use her multiple sensory and motor modalities,
such as vision, sound, touch, and movement, to explore the world. Mobiles and mirrors are great stimulation.
four month-olds are rolling over, but others wait until about five months of age
to roll. Now your baby can push his
chest off the table, supporting his weight on his wrists when lying on his
tummy. He reaches with both arms
for things that interest him, using his hands to grasp and play with small hand
toys such as rattles. You often
hear him laughing and making happy, squealing sounds.
He can follow you with his eyes as you walk around the room, and turn
toward your voice when you talk to him. He
really enjoys looking at his surroundings.
Soon he will transfer toys from hand to hand and start making
“raspberry” sounds (spitting sounds) with his lips.
At six months of age, your baby
may be able to maintain a sitting position, at least briefly.
She is transferring toys from hand to hand and playing with her feet,
possibly getting them into her mouth. She
reaches for objects with one hand and can pick things up using a
"raking" motion. She is
starting to use hard consonant sounds like "ba", "ga", or
"da". This is referred to
as babbling, and is a good sign that your child is hearing.
Since she is soon going to be independently mobile, starting to crawl and
pulling up to stand on furniture, now is the time to be sure your house is child
proof. Install electrical outlet
guards and child proof latches. Move
dangerous chemicals such as those found in drain cleaners and dishwashing
detergents out of your baby’s reach. Some
houseplants are poisonous, so move them up high, too.
nine months, your baby has probably been crawling for about a month and should
be able to stand, with something to hold onto.
Many nine month-olds are pulling up to stand, and some are taking steps
holding onto furniture (cruising). He
may be able to pick up small objects with his finger and thumb (the "pincer
grasp"), hold his bottle, and may be able to throw objects.
His is babbling more (using “dada” and “mama”, but not
necessarily specifically for you), and playing social games such as peek-a-boo,
pat-a-cake, or waving bye-bye with you. It’s
a good age to talk a lot to your child, and to read to him. This gives him a good speech model and encourages language
year-olds are beginning to walk unsupported.
Some children walk as early as ten months of age; others don’t take
that first step until about 15 months. As
your child becomes more mobile, it is extremely important to supervise her
around any body of water. If you
have a pool, it should be fully enclosed and equipped with self-closing gates. Buckets of water and kiddie pools should be emptied when not
in use. REMEMBER, IT ONLY TAKES
SECONDS AND JUST A FEW INCHES OF WATER TO DROWN.
Children also begin to say words at about one year of age, and she may be
saying things that only she can understand ("jargonning").
She imitates your actions and may come when you call to her.
You can help her developmental progress by giving her plenty of
opportunities to move around furniture on carpeted floors and by talking to her
a lot. Explain to her everything
you’re doing with her. Tell her
what she is eating, playing with, or wearing.
Teach her body parts and animal sounds.
Reading to her provides an excellent speech model and teaches object
permanence. A rear-facing car seat
is still required until she is over 20 pounds.
15 month-olds are walking, running, and climbing, though a few aren't quite
ready to walk yet. These are
usually children with cautious personalities.
They'll walk soon! Your
child can scribble and build a tower of two blocks, if shown how.
He is talking more, using several words and his jargonning is becoming
more recognizable as real words. He
understands speech; follows simple commands, like, "Bring me your
shoes"; and points to some body parts.
He soon will be able to use a spoon by himself.
months, coordination is improving. Your
child is running, climbing, and jumping, and may be able to kick or throw a
ball. She can build a tower of
three blocks and can scribble independently.
Her speech is also improving. Hopefully,
she is using more single words, repeating words you say to her, and putting two
words together. She enjoys
imitating housework (dusting or vacuuming with you) and can feed herself with a
spoon or fork.
years of age, your child can kick a ball, throw overhand, climb stairs one at a
time, and stack five or six blocks. He
imitates horizontal or circular strokes with a crayon, turns the pages of a
book, and can take off a few items of clothing.
Most children are using at least 50 words by this age; putting words
together to make short phrases; and using pronouns like "I",
"me", and "you", though they don't use them correctly.
You can work on teaching him colors and counting.
He may be showing an interest in toilet training.
You can get him a potty seat and give positive reinforcement, but do not
force it if he doesn't want to use the potty.
Most kids will be ready by about two and a half or three years of age.
years, many kids can
pedal a tricycle, balance briefly on one foot, alternate feet ascending stairs,
build a tower of nine cubes, copy a circle or cross, do simple puzzles, dress
themselves partially, and recognize colors.
Your child can speak in clear sentences that are understandable to you
and also to others, though there is often some minor stuttering at this age.
Being with other kids in a preschool setting often helps.
If stuttering becomes excessive, please call your pediatrician.
Teach your child the ABC song, work on counting, and keep reading to her.
At this age, she can also play in groups, sharing toys and taking turns.
years, children are
developing the coordination to alternate feet descending stairs, hop, jump,
stand on one foot for three to five seconds, climb a ladder, ride a tricycle,
walk on tip-toes, hold a pencil with good control, build a tower of ten blocks,
and play with puzzles. Your child
can copy figures such as a cross, a circle, and possibly a square.
He may have learned to wash and dry his hands and brush his teeth.
He can dress himself, including using zippers and buttons.
He enjoys the companionship of other children, plays cooperatively, and
tells "tall tales". Attending
preschool helps him develop friendships and makes the transition to kindergarten
years, your child is able
to skip; walk on tip-toes; wash and dry her hands; brush her teeth; cut and
paste; identify coins; name four or five colors; copy a triangle; tell a simple
story; define at least one word, such as "ball", "shoe",
"chair", or "dog"; and name the materials of which objects
are made. She can tie her shoes and
may be able to write her first name. She
is beginning to understand right from wrong, fair from unfair, and the concept
that games have rules. She enjoys
the companionship of other children and engages in make-believe play with
domestic role-playing. Children
should participate in household chores, such as setting and clearing the table,
and tidying up their own rooms.
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The information contained on this web site is not
a substitute for direct examination and treatment by a physician. If any
of this material is unclear or confusing, or if you have additional
questions or concerns, please call the office at