Milestones of Normal Development

Every child is an individual and develops at a different rate. However, there are ranges for when a child should learn and master a new skill. These are called milestones. Below are basic milestones. If you notice that your child is missing several of these milestones or seems to be falling further behind compared to his or her peers, please contact your child’s pediatrician to discuss whether they would benefit from therapy.

0-3 months:

  • Holds up head when lying on belly and pushes up on his elbows
  • Starting to hold head steady when upright
  • Brings hands together when lying on back
  • No longer involuntary grabs something that touches the palm
  • Attempts to reach toward a toy

3-6 months:

  • Rolls between belly and back
  • Sits by propping with his hands
  • Grabs feet with hands when lying on his back
  • Bangs objects on a table
  • Holds and transfers toys between hands
  • Can regularly find a speaker or source of a sound
  • Cooing, gurgling, chuckling, laughing
  • Imitates sounds and actions
  • Enjoys social games (peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake)

6-9 months:

  • Sits well
  • Crawls on hands and knees
  • Finger feeds himself beginning foods e.g. puffs or cheerios
  • Holds his own bottle
  • Babbling (mamama, bababa)

9-12 months:

  • Pulls to standing at furniture and people, walks sideways at furniture
  • Beginning to walk with hands held
  • Drinks from a sippy cup
  • Likes to put in and take out of a container
  • Picks up small objects/foods between index finger and thumb
  • Attracts attention by vocalizing
  • Waves bye-bye
  • Vocalizations that sound like first words (mama, dada)
  • Clearly indicates desire for objects

12-19 months:

  • Walks well and starting to hurry/run stiffly
  • Climbs on and off the couch
  • Turns pages of a book several at a time
  • Feeds himself with a spoon
  • Single word production begins
  • Request objects: points, vocalizes, word approximations
  • Uses “ritual” words (bye, hi, please, thank-you)
  • Protests (says no, shakes head, moves away, etc.)
  • Comments (points and vocalizes or uses word approximations)
  • Acknowledges (eye contact, vocal response, repetition of words)

18-24 months:

  • Jumps with both feet landing simultaneously
  • Running fairly well
  • Turns pages of a book one at a time
  • Scribbles spontaneously and starting to imitate a vertical line
  • Drinks from a straw and an open cup
  • Uses mostly words to communicate
  • Begins to use two word combinations (more juice)
  • By 24 month, has more than 50 words or word approximations

24-36 months:

  • Walks up and down stairs with an adult nearby
  • Kicks a ball fairly accurately and catches a ball by trapping it to his body
  • Chews with mouth closed
  • Dresses himself with some help for fasteners (e.g., buttons, zippers)
  • Engages in short dialogues
  • Expresses emotions
  • Begins using language in imaginative ways
  • Begins providing descriptive details when speaking
  • Begins to use articles and word endings (a, they, ing)
  • Uses plurals (dogs)

If your child is not progressing along these milestones, consider contacting your pediatrician to learn the benefits of therapy.


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