Developmental Milestones

Developmental milestones are a set of functional skills or age-specific tasks that most children can do at a certain age range.  Although each milestone has an age level, the actual age when a normally developing child reaches that milestone can vary quite a bit because every child is unique.     

Please Note: The ages shown in the below table represent guidelines only and are not absolute.

Developmental Milestones




Vision and Hearing


1–1.5 months

When held upright, holds head erect and steady.

Cooes and babbles at parents and people they know.

Focuses on parents.

·         Loves looking at new faces

·         Starts to smile at parents

·         Startled by sudden noises.

1.6–2 months

When prone, lifts self by arms; rolls from side to back.

Vocalizes; Cooes (makes vowel-like noises) or babbles.

Focuses on objects as well as adults.

·         Loves looking at new faces

·         Smiles at parent

·         Starting to smile.

2.1–4.5 months

Rolls from tummy to side

Rests on elbows, lifts head 90 degrees Sits propped up with hands, head steady for short time.

·         Changes sounds while verbalizing, "eee-ahhh"

·         Verbalizes to engage someone in interaction

·         Blows bubbles, plays with tongue

·         Deep belly laughs.

Hand regard: following the hand with the eyes. Color vision adult-like.

Serves to practice emerging visual skills. Also observed in blind children.

3 months

Prone: head held up for prolonged periods. No grasp reflex.

Makes vowel noises

Follows dangling toy from side to side. Turns head round to sound. Follows adults' gaze (joint attention). Sensitivity to binocular cues emerges.

Squeals with delight appropriately. Discriminates smile. Smiles often. Laughs at simple things. Reaches out for objects.

5 months

Holds head steady. Goes for objects and gets them. Objects taken to mouth.

Enjoys vocal play.


Noticing colors

Adjusts hand shape to shape of toy before picking up.

6 months

Transfers objects from one hand to the other. Pulls him/herself up to sit and sits erect with supports. Rolls over prone to supine. Palmar grasp of cube, hand-to-hand eye coordination.

Double syllable sounds such as 'mumum' and 'dada'; babbles (consonant-vowel combinations).

Localises sound 45 cm lateral to either ear. Visual acuity adult-like (20/20). Sensitivity to pictorial depth cues (those used by artists to indicate depth) emerges.

May show stranger anxiety.

9–10 months

Wiggles and crawls. Sits unsupported. Picks up objects with pincer grasp.

Babbles tunefully.

Looks for toys dropped.

Apprehensive about strangers.

1 year

Stands holding furniture. Stands alone for a second or two, then collapses with a bump.

Babbles 2 or 3 words repeatedly.

Drops toys, and watches where they go.

Cooperates with dressing, waves goodbye, understands simple commands.

18 months

Can walk alone. Picks up toy without falling over. Gets up/down stairs holding onto rail. Begins to jump with both feet. Can build a tower of 3 or 4 cubes and throw a ball.

'Jargon'. Many intelligible words.

be able to recognise their favourite songs, and will try to join in.

Demands constant mothering. Drinks from a cup with both hands. Feeds self with a spoon. Most children with autism are diagnosed at this age.

2 years

Able to run. Walks up and down stairs 2 feet per step. Builds tower of 6 cubes.

Joins 2 to 3  words  in  sentences.


Parallel playDry by day.

3 years

Goes up stairs 1-foot per step and downstairs 2 feet per step. Copies circle, imitates hand motions and draws man on request. Builds tower ofcubes.

Constantly asks questions. Speaks in sentences.


Cooperative play. Undresses with assistance. Imaginary companions.

4 years

Goes down stairs one foot per step, skips on one foot. Imitates gate with cubes, copies a cross.

Questioning at its height. Many infantile substitutions in speech.


Dresses and undresses with assistance. Attends to own toilet needs.

5 years

Skips on both feet and hops. Draws a man and copies an hexagonal based pyramid using graphing paper. Gives age.

Fluent speech with few infantile substitutions in speech.


Dresses and undresses alone.

6 years

Copies a diamond. Knows right from left and number of fingers

Fluent speech.


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