Developmental milestones recordGrowth milestones for children; Normal childhood growth milestones; Childhood growth milestones
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.
There is a normal range in which a child may reach each milestone. For example, walking may begin as early as 8 months in some children. Others walk as late as 18 months and it is still 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 watch for different milestones. Talk to your child's provider if you have concerns about your child's development.
Closely watching a "checklist" or calendar of developmental milestones may trouble parents if their child is not developing normally. At the same time, milestones can help to identify a child who needs a more detailed check-up. 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. These are NOT precise guidelines. There are many different normal paces and patterns of development.
Infant -- birth to 1 year
- Able to drink from a cup
- Able to sit alone, without support
- 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 such as soccer, T-ball, or other team sports
- 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
Related topics include:
- Developmental milestones record - 2 months
- Developmental milestones record - 4 months
- Developmental milestones record - 6 months
- Developmental milestones record - 9 months
- Developmental milestones record - 12 months
- Developmental milestones record - 18 months
- Developmental milestones record - 2 years
- Developmental milestones record - 3 years
- Developmental milestones record - 4 years
- Developmental milestones record - 5 years
Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW. Recording information. In: Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW, eds. Siedel's Guide to Physical Examination. 9th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2019:chap 5.
Kimmel SR, Ratliff-Schaub K. Growth and development. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 22.
Lipkin PH. Developmental and behavioral surveillance and screening. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 28.
Developmental growth - illustration
Normal development in a child such as crawling or walking is a developmental milestone. Each period of growth in a child is marked by developmental milestones up until the adolescent years.
Review Date: 2/2/2021
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.