"Helping Children Learn, Grow, and Develop From Birth"

written by Jaime Towell

Developmental Milestones 
in Child Develpment

  Babies develop at their own pace, so it is impossible to tell exactly when your child will learn a specific skill.  The developmental milestones give you a general idea of the changes that are expected at each age, but don't be alarmed if your child's development differs.


    Children learn, grow, and develop starting from birth.  Some ways to recognize your babies development is through play, communication, behavior, and the way they learn.  Many parents find themselves wondering if their child is growing and developing "normally" and may be frequently comparing their child to others. As a parent it is important to recognize that every child is unique in their development and will learn, grow, and develop at different times in many different ways.

    As a parent, you are the most important doctor, teacher, and friend to your baby.  Having a knowledge of developmental milestones for infants will aid you in providing opportunities for your infant to grow and develop into a healthy child.  Being able to recognize abnormal development and being educated in developmental disorders will help you to be the first to detect early warning signs of a developmental delay.  Most of the time, a child does not grow out of a developmental delay on their own, but you can help them reach their highest potential in order that they grow into healthy functioning adults!

     A clear understanding of both normal and abnormal child development and behavior is needed to decide which problems your child may be having are likely to continue and which might by outgrown.  Educate yourselves as parents and be the first to detect early warning signs of developmental delays in your children. 

0-6 Months


Large Motor Development:

  • Waves arms and legs
  • Holds head steady
  • Rolls from stomach to back
  • Lifts head up 
  • Reaches for and touches objects 

Fine Motor Development:

  • Moves hands to face
  • Holds two objects
  • Brings both hands to midline (3-4mon.)
  • Grasp a one inch cube (2-7mon.)
  • Finger play (4-5mon.) 

Cognitive Development 

  • Sensory: Discriminates between smells
  • Auditory: Responds to loud sounds
  • Visual: one month-can see 8-10 inches from face
  • Inspects hands
  • Tracks objects with eyes (2-3mon.)
  • Knows mother by 3 months
  • Sees across the room (4-5mon.) 


Language Development

  • Responds to human voice
  • Imitates sounds
  • Communicates pain/discomfort 
  • Laughs and gurgles 
  • Imitates facial expressions
Social-Emotional Development
  • Kicks in response to sound
  • Senses parents emotional state from touch
  • Enjoys physical contact
  • Intentional smile (4-6 weeks)
  • Social laughter (3-4mon.)
  • Interacts with peers(3-6mon.)
  • Holds arms out to be picked up (5-6mon.)
  • Surprise emotion (3-4mon.)
  • Shyness(4-5mon.)

7-12 Months

Large Motor Development:

  • Sits alone
  • Crawls (6-9mon.)
  • Rolls from back to stomach    
       Fine Motor Development 

  • Picks up toys with one hand
  • Inferior pincer grasp(pointer finger and thumb)
  • Claps hands 





  • Object-oriented: works to obtain out of reach objects
  • Pays attention to small objects
  • Cause and Effect: Intentionally drops toys on floor


Language Development 

  • Two syllable sounds: BA-BA
  • Babbles enthusiastically
  • Understands phrases like "hi" and "bye-bye" 
  • Responds to name: turns head


Social-Emotional Development

  • Mimics simple actions
  • Shows anxiety when separated from primary caregiver
  • Begin to recognize face in mirror
  • Play by themselves and initiate their own play