QUICK GUIDE TO IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES
If your child ever fails to meet these guidelines, please let us know!
By age 2 months, most babies…
- Smile when happy, cry when upset.
- Look at and follow another person’s face with their eyes.
- Startle and turn towards voices or other familiar sounds.
- Make “cooing” noises (vowel sounds), and do so in a “reciprocal” way – meaning if you coo at them they will coo back at you.
By age 4 months, most babies…
- Opens hands, then…
- Reaches for & grasps objects (bringing them to mouth).
- Starting to roll over (one direction)
- Lift head easily and have good head control
- Respond appropriately to facial expressions.
- Recognizes parents (responds differently to strangers vs. familiar people).
By age 6 months, most babies…
- Passes objects hand-to-hand.
- Are at least trying to sit up.
- Bears some weight on legs when held (under arms) in standing position.
- Blow “Raspberries” or “Bronx Cheers”.
By age 9 months, most babies…
- Sit without support and can get from lying down to sitting up on their own without help.
- Make consonant sounds and babbling noises like “ga-ga” or “ma-ma” (no meaning yet).
- Stops or pauses to the word “No”.
- Grasp objects between thumb and index finger (pincer grasp).
- Hold their own cup or bottle.
- Look for toys or other objects when they go out of sight
- Enjoys “peek-a-boo” or “pat-a-cake” games.
- With “partner” looks back & forth – from object to person to object or person-object-person (shared or “joint” attention).
By age 12 months, most babies…
- Have a few meaningful words (usually mama, dada, and at least one other)
- Pull to stand.
- Are “cruising” (moving around furniture standing up, holding on).
- Wave “bye-bye”.
- Point to objects to get another person’s attention.
- Will follow simple one step commands with a gesture.
- Swallow soft solid foods without gagging.
By age 15 months, most toddlers…
- Have 5 – 10 meaningful words (which may not be pronounced right).
- Use gestures and facial expressions to engage others in play.
- Initiates “peek-a-boo” or “pat-a-cake” games.
- Follow simple one-step directions without need for a getsure.
By age 18 months, most toddlers…
- Walk with confidence, climb things, starting to run.
- Say 10 – 20 words and at least one two-word phrase.
- Know a few body parts.
- Takes off shoes.
- Uses a spoon to successfully bring food to mouth.
- Points to objects to indicate intention/desires.
By their 2nd birthday, most children…
- Say more than 50 words and speak in 3-5 word sentences, although often not grammatically correct or fully understandable by strangers
- Follow a 2-step verbal command
- Point to pictures in a book and can point to at least one body part
- Can scribble and use utensils
- Can run and climb
- Develop fantasy play and often imitate adults
- Show increasing enthusiam about being with other children
By their 3nd birthday, most children…
- Speak in longer sentences, use pronouns and are mostly understandable to strangers
- Can tell stories and answer simple questions
- Are developing an understanding of time (“before” and “after”) and place (“under”, “behind”)
- Can build a tower of 4 blocks and may start to use one hand more than the other
- Know most body parts, some colors, and can sing songs.
- Can jump, throw a ball and climb stairs independently
By their 4th and 5th birthday, most children…
- Speak in long sentences and can hold a conversation
- Can climb a ladder, pedal a bike and use the swings
- Can dress/undress themselves and can usually care for their own toilet needs
- Understands the concepts of time, know most colors and are starting to count
- Draw circles and squares, use scissors and can draw a person with 2-4 body parts
- Are more independent, interested in new experiences and cooperate with other children
TIPS TO IMPROVE LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT IN TODDLERS
- Talk slightly louder than normal, in a high pitched voice, with exaggerated intonation.
- Use short simple sentences.
- Narrate concrete day to day events.
- Praise or reward any utterance by the child.
- Provide the child with listening experiences (e.g., reading aloud, telling stories).
- Ask lots of questions and label everything.
- Discourage others from speaking for the child.
- Accompany words with gestures and eye contact.
- Don’t criticize language errors.
- Find a pal at a slightly higher level.
- Don’t punish the child for not talking.
- Spend more time together; Forget about it; HAVE FUN!!!