Developmental Milestones


Guidelines for Checking Child Development

Before your child’s next visit to the physician, please take the time to see if your child has met his/her key milestones. These milestones should not be used in place of a screening, but should be used as discussion points between parents and physicians at each well visit. If a child does not have the skills listed—or if there is a loss of any skill at any age—be sure to let your physician know. Check to see if your child is achieving these typical milestones at each age level:

0-3 Months

  • Rolls to back from both right and left sides
  • Lifts head and shoulders when on stomach
  • Startles at loud sounds
  • Makes cooing sounds
  • Grasps rattle

3-6 Months

  • Follows moving toys or faces with their eyes
  • Brings both feet to mouth
  • Maintains balance while sitting
  • Reaches for toys
  • Moves eyes in the direction of sounds
  • Makes speech-like babbling sounds, like “pa, ba, mi”
  • Giggles and laughs

6-9 Months

  • Explores toys with hands and mouth
  • Rolls over
  • Turns when you call their name
  • Sits without help
  • Looks when you point
  • Babbles long strings of sounds, like “mimi, upup, babababa.”
  • Moves toys from one hand to the other

9-12 Months

  • Copies hand movements like “patty cake” or “bye-bye”
  • Crawls on hands and knees
  • Removes both socks
  • Understands words for common items and people, like “cup, truck, juice, daddy.”
  • Starts to respond to simple words and phrases, like “No, Come here,” and “Want more?”
  • Says 1 or 2 words, like “hi, dada, mama, uh oh.” *This will happen around their 1st birthday and sounds may not be clear.* 
  • Feeds themselves finger foods

12-15 Months

  • Pulls themselves up to a standing position
  • Walks unaided for 5 steps
  • Drinks from a cup with your help
  • Points to objects they want
  • Can find a toy hidden under a cloth
  • Holds a crayon in a fist
  • Opens book
  • Begins to use straw for drinking

15-18 Months

  • Hands toys to you when asked
  • Points to pictures or objects you name
  • Walks 10 feet with heel to toe pattern
  • Stacks 2-3 cubes
  • Brings spoon to mouth from plate with some spilling

18-21 Months

  • Likes to pull or push things while walking
  • Uses pointing and words together to tell what they want
  • Feeds themselves with their fingers
  • Can point to one body part when asked
  • Kicks a ball 
  • Uses a lot of new words
  • Understands and answers “yes-no” questions

21-24 Months

  • Puts together a 2 or 3 piece picture puzzle
  • Likes to throw balls
  • Likes to play alone with toys for a short time
  • Says “No” a lot
  • Puts 2 words together, like “more apple, no bed, mommy look.” 
  • Uses at least 50 words
  • Likes to copy what others do

24-30 Months

  • Understands new words quickly 
  • Feeds themselves with a spoon
  • Shows affection
  • Runs short distances without falling
  • Jumps forward
  • 200 to 300 word vocabulary

30-36 Months

  • Throws a ball overhand
  • Walk up 4 steps without assistance
  • Combines 2 ideas such as “I want an apple and a banana.”
  • Asks for help when needed
  • Comforts another child who is crying
  • Combines 2 toys such as using a stuffed bear as the driver of a toy car
  • People who know your child can understand them