Table of Contents
0–3 Months Developmental Milestones
Since birth to three months of age, an infant can generally perform the following functions:
- Open and close fists.
- Bring hands to the mouth.
- Lift head and chest while lying on abdomen.
- Move peripheries smoothly off the surface.
- Can shake toys a little.
- Attempts to reach for a toy with hands while lying on the back.
- Visually tracks a moving thing from side to side.
- Enjoys movements and gets calm upon touching, rocking and lighter sounds.
- Begins to recognize the parent.
- Smiles in response to a sound.
- Turns head in the direction of the voice.
- Pays attention to faces and objects.
- Eye contact and cooing sounds.
- Cries for different needs, e.g., hungry, tired, etc.
- Begins to babble.
- Latches on baby bottle.
- Moves the tongue back and forward to suck during feeding.
- Takes feed for at least six times a day, drinking only two to six oz. of liquid per feed.
- Swallows well when given a liquid.
4–6 Months Developmental Milestones
From four to six months of age, an infant can generally perform the following functions:
- Can support self with the help of the hands while sitting.
- Rolls to the tummy and back again.
- Can stand up on legs with support.
- Reaches for the toys around while taking support from the abdomen.
- Can transfer a toy from one to the other hand.
- Plays with her or his feet using both hands.
- Pushes up to the elbows while lying on tummy.
- Uses both hands and eyes to examine toys.
- Responds to people and generally looks happy.
- Bites on nearby objects.
- Enjoys different movements and is calmed upon touching, rocking and lighter sounds.
- Not disturbed by the noises around.
- Likes to look into the mirror.
- Knows his or her name.
- Reacts to sudden noises or sounds.
- Responds to the sounds by babbling.
- Begins to say consonant sounds while babbling, e.g., “da,” “ba,” etc.
- Makes different kinds of sounds to show joy or displeasure.
- Takes notice of the toys that produce sounds.
- Tries to get attention through babbling.
- Likes to take turns with the elders in making sounds.
- Responds to her or his name and turns to look at the person when being called.
- Shows interest when the spoon is brought near the mouth.
- Opens mouth to take food.
- Starts eating cereals and puree – crushed, thick and smooth food, e.g., banana, apple, peach.
7–9 Months Developmental Milestones
From seven to nine months of age, an infant can generally perform the following functions:
- Can comfortably sit without any support.
- Sits without falling.
- Tries to grab the toys from some distance.
- Shows more controlled movements.
- Can easily roll over the tummy.
- Begins the alternate leg and arm movements like crawling.
- Picks up head and pushes through elbows while lying on tummy.
- Turns head to 90 degrees to visually follow the objects around.
- Less trembling and falling while standing on a support, i.e., toppling and recovering.
- Starts picking up small objects with the help of thumbs and index fingers, i.e., finger-thumb opposition.
- Eye-hand coordination.
- Expresses joy when given the bouncing and rocking movements.
- Shows interest in objects and tries to examine them using both hands and mouth.
- Learns to turn the pages of books, however, many pages at the same time.
- Tries to pick up heavy objects using force.
- Takes an interest in both far and nearby objects.
- Examines and explores the geometric shapes, character and size of toys and other nearby objects.
- Observes the environment with more interest and from varying angles.
- Makes a variety of sounds in babbling.
- Looks at familiar objects and people.
- Recognizes his or her name when called off.
- Points at things using fingers.
- When paired with gestures, starts following some routine commands.
- Recognizes the commonly used words.
- Understands simple gestures, e.g., head or finger shaking for “No.”
- Starts to imitate the sounds like mamama, bababa.
- Can hold the bottle and drink from it on her or his own.
- Begins to eat thicker pureed and mashed table foods.
- Sore and swollen gums – tries to chew on things to relieve the symptoms of teething.
- Does not need frequent feeds; eats adequately to stay full for a longer time.
- Reaches for nearby food.
- Shows joy or displeasure for new smells and tastes.
10–12 Months Developmental Milestones
From ten to twelve months of age, an infant can generally perform the following functions:
- Pulls up to stand on his or her own.
- Cruises along the furniture.
- Starts taking independent steps and can stand alone.
- Takes small steps to get the desired toys.
- Moves in and out of different positions to explore the environment.
- Can throw objects from a sitting position without losing balance.
- Clapping of hands is a new activity.
- Throws objects in large containers with big openings.
- Uses thumb and index finger to pick up minute objects.
- Bangs two things together.
- Pokes with the help of pointer finger.
- Enjoys listening to soft sounds like songs.
- Explores toys using fingers.
- Takes toys to the mouth.
- Cries when one of the parents leaves.
- Plays peek-a-boo type of games.
- Has favorite people and things.
- Cries in strange situations.
- Starts saying some clear words like “mama” or “dada.”
- Responds to simple directions like “Pick up the toy.”
- Vocabulary increases.
- Tries to copy the sounds.
- Babbling now has a rhythm of speech.
- Pays attention to where you are looking and pointing.
- Understands and responds to “No.”
- Learns to wave bye-bye.
- More responsive at the time of dressing.
- Begins to communicate wants and needs, e.g., pulls out hands to be picked up.
- Finger-feeds self.
- Starts eating a greater variety of food.
- Can drink from an open cup.
- Eats soft diet like cooked vegetables, biscuits, banana, other soft fruits, pasta.
- Learns to use spoon.
- Enjoys variety of food and aroma.
13–18 Months Developmental Milestones
From thirteen to eighteen months of age, an infant can generally perform the following functions:
- Can easily walk independently.
- Scrunch to pick up toys and other fallen objects.
- Knows how to stack two objects.
- Learns to scribble.
- Helps in dressing and undressing.
- A predictable sleeping schedule.
- Eats a greater variety of food.
By 15 months
- Knows up to 10 words and can understand almost 50 words.
- Uses sounds and gestures together.
- Copies simple words and actions.
- Can identify some body parts like nose and lips.
- Can follow simple directions.
- Takes interest in colorful pictures.
By 18 months
- Understands the questions and gives responses.
- Learns words overheard in conversation and repeats them.
- Speech-like babbling is still there.
- When shown pictures, points at familiar objects and people.
- Understands “in” and “on” commands.
- Responds to questions with head shakes.
- Starts eating coarsely chopped food.
- Easily holds the cup and drinks.
- Eats with a spoon.
19–24 Months Developmental Milestones
From nineteen to twenty-four months of age, a child can generally perform the following functions:
- Knows how to climb stairs.
- Climbs onto and down from furniture without help.
- Begins to run and can easily kick a ball.
- Can throw the ball with hands.
- Can stack up to four blocks.
- Gets excited when other children are around.
- Disobedient behavior: the child does what she or he is told not to do.
- Copies others, especially adults.
- Can sort certain colors and shapes.
By 21 months
- Uses up to 50 words.
- Consistently imitates overheard words.
- Knows the names of objects and pictures like cat, bird, bag, etc.
- Understands simple pronouns like me, mine, my, you.
- Can identify 3-5 body parts.
- Learns new things quickly, especially vocabulary.
By 24 months
- Begins to use two word phrases like “drink milk.”
- Starts using simple pronouns like me, you, my, etc.
- Understands action words, e.g., “Come here.”
- Uses gestures and words during playing.
- Learns to follow 2-step directions, e.g., “Pick up my mobile and bring it to me.”
- Brings a book when he or she wants to listen to stories.
2–3 Years Developmental Milestones
From two to three years of the age, a child can generally perform the following functions:
- Runs smoothly.
- Climbs the furniture.
- Rides a tricycle.
- Climbs stairs easily.
- Turns the pages of a book, one at a time.
- Can stack more than six blocks.
- Can untighten jar lids.
- Can use door handles.
- Shows concern for a crying person.
- Shows variety of emotions.
- Does not usually cry when parents leave the room.
- Gets upset with a change in routine.
By 30 months
- Can use 2-3 sentences in a row.
- Understands the meaning of in, under, and on.
- Almost 50% of the speech can be understood.
- Follows 2-step directions that are not related to each other, e.g., “Give me the bag and go get your toys.”
- Knows basic grammar.
- Knows the meaning of “I,” “mine” and “yours.”
By 36 months
- Starts asking questions like “What is this?”
- Learns to use plurals, e.g., “birds,” “cats,” etc.
- Clarity of speech.
- Simple understanding of concepts, including color, space, time.
- Understands questions related to reasoning like “Why?”
- Can name a friend.
- Can tell his name, age and sex.
Premature babies may lag on these developmental milestones. This is because they do not have the same muscle strength, and their rate of development is somewhat different to that of an average child.