Developmental milestones are skills or activities that most children can do by a certain age.
While all children develop at their own pace most milestones are reached around the same age, or age range.
Developmental milestones are a great way for a parent and pediatrician to follow a child’s developmental health.
Milestones are often broken down into 4 categories – communication/language, gross and fine motor, social/emotional, and problem-solving.
Common milestones by age:
- Scribbles when shown how
- Drinks from a cup with little spilling
- Points to ask for things
- Follows an instruction without gestures
- Speaks gibberish
- Uses at least 3 words besides names
- Squats to pick something up
- Starts to run
- Can put a small object in and take it out of a container
- Starts to play with others
- Looks at parents when they see something new
- Points at something to show parents
- Points to pictures in a book
- Helps dress and get undressed
- Starts using a spoon
- 6-10 word vocabulary
- Can identify 2 or more body parts
- Can walk up stairs holding someone’s hand, 2 feet per stair
- Throws a ball
- Scribbles spontaneously
- Plays along side other children
- Scoops and eats well with a spoon
- Able to remove some clothing
- 50 word vocabulary
- Makes sentences with at least 2 words
- Follows commands with 2 steps
- Half of what they say can be understood by others (outside the family)
- Kicks a ball, jumps with 2 feet, runs
- Can turn a knob
- Turns pages in a book
- Stacks things on top of each other
- Uses toilet for urine by themselves
- Puts on a coat or shirt
- Plays and shares with others
- Plays make believe
- Eats independently
- Tells a story from a book
- Makes 3 word sentences
- 75% of speech understood by others (outside the family)
- Climbs on chair/sofa
- Pedals a tricycle
- Draws a circle
- Can draw a person with a head and 1 other body part
- Cuts with child scissors
It is important to remember that all children will not meet every milestone in the exact age range discussed above. These are, however, the most common ages at which children achieve these milestones and a good guide to track development.
Developmental and Autism Screening
Your pediatrician will be following development and milestones at all routine well baby visits along with some other specific screens for developmental disorders such as autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children have an Autism screening at 18 and 24 months of age.
- Catching signs of abnormal development early is important so treatment such as physical or occupational therapy, or referral for further evaluation/testing can be started promptly when indicated.
If your child is not meeting multiple milestones for an age category make sure to discuss it with your pediatrician.