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Developmental milestones record

Alternative Names

Growth milestones for children; Normal childhood growth milestones; Childhood growth milestones

Information

Developmental milestones are behaviors or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop. Rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking are all considered milestones. The milestones are different for each age range.

For every developmental milestone, there is a normal range in which a child may reach that milestone. For example, walking may begin as early as 8 months or as late as 18 months and be considered normal.

One of the reasons for well-child visits to the health care provider in the early years is to follow your child's development. Most parents also closely watch their children for different milestones. If you are worried about your child's development, call the child's primary care provider.

Closely watching a "checklist" or calendar of developmental milestones may trouble parents whose child is not developing normally. At the same time, following these milestones is important to identify a child who needs a more detailed check-up.

Identifying children with delayed milestones early is important because research has shown that the sooner the developmental services are started, the better the outcome. Examples of developmental services include: speech therapy, physical therapy and developmental preschool.

Below is a general list of some of the things you might see children doing at different ages, but these are NOT precise guidelines. There are many different normal paces and patterns of development. This article provides just one example.

Infant -- birth to 1 year

  • Able to drink from a cup
  • Able to sit alone, without support
  • Babbles
  • Displays social smile
  • Gets first tooth
  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Pulls self to standing position
  • Rolls over by self
  • Says mama and dada, using terms appropriately
  • Understands "NO" and will stop activity in response
  • Walks while holding on to furniture or other support

Toddler -- 1 to 3 years

  • Able to feed self neatly, with minimal spilling
  • Able to draw a line (when shown one)
  • Able to run, pivot, and walk backwards
  • Able to say first and last name
  • Able to walk up and down stairs
  • Begins pedaling tricycle
  • Can name pictures of common objects and point to body parts
  • Dresses self with only a little bit of help
  • Imitates speech of others, "echoes" word back
  • Learns to share toys (without adult direction)
  • Learns to take turns (if directed) while playing with other children
  • Masters walking
  • Recognizes and labels colors appropriately
  • Recognizes differences between males and females
  • Uses more words and understands simple commands
  • Uses spoon to feed self

Preschooler -- 3 to 6 years

  • Able to draw a circle and square
  • Able to draw stick figures with two to three features for people
  • Able to skip
  • Balances better, may begin to ride a bicycle
  • Begins to recognize written words -- reading skills start
  • Catches a bounced ball
  • Enjoys doing most things independently, without help
  • Enjoys rhymes and word play
  • Hops on one foot
  • Rides tricycle well
  • Starts school
  • Understands size concepts
  • Understands time concepts

School-age child -- 6 to 12 years

  • Begins gaining skills for team sports (soccer, T-ball, etc.)
  • Begins to lose "baby" teeth and get permanent teeth
  • Girls begin to show growth of armpit and pubic hair, breast development
  • Menarche (first menstrual period) may occur in girls
  • Peer recognition begins to become important
  • Reading skills develop further
  • Routines important for daytime activities
  • Understands and is able to follow several directions in a row

Adolescent -- 12 to 18 years

  • Adult height, weight, sexual maturity
  • Boys show growth of armpit, chest, and pubic hair; voice changes; and testicles/penis enlarge
  • Girls show growth of armpit and pubic hair; breasts develop; menstrual periods start
  • Peer acceptance and recognition is of vital importance
  • Understands abstract concepts

See also:

References

Glascoe FP, Marks KP. Developmental-behavioral screening and surveillance. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th Ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 14.

Updated: 1/27/2013

Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.


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