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0-3 Months

Movement Milestone:

  • Raises head and chest when lying on stomach

  • Supports upper body with arms when lying on stomach

  • Stretches legs out and kicks when lying on stomach or back

  • Opens and shuts hands

  • Pushes down on legs when feet are placed on a firm surface

  • Brings hand to mouth

  • Takes swipes at dangling objects with hands

  • Grasps and shakes hand toys

Visual and Hearing Milestones:

  • Watches faces intently

  • Follow moving objects

  • Recognizes familiar objects and people at a distance

  • Starts using hands and eyes in coordination

  • Smiles at the sound of your voice

  • Begins to babble

  • Begins to imitate some sounds

  • Turns head toward direction of sound

  • Startles at loud sounds

  • Seems to recognize your voice. Quiets if crying.

Social & Emotional Milestones:

  • Begins to develop a social smile

  • Enjoys playing with other people and may cry when playing stops

  • Becomes more communicative and expressive with face and body

  • Imitates some movements and facial expressions

Developmental Health Watch: 

Although each baby develops in her own individual way and at her own rate, failure to reach certain milestones may signal medical or developmental problems requiring special attention. If you notice any of the following warning signs in your infant at this age, discuss them with your pediatrician.

  • Doesn’t seem to respond to loud sounds

  • Doesn’t notice her hands by two months

  • Doesn’t smile at the sound of your voice by two


  • Doesn’t follow moving objects with her eyes by two

    to three months

  • Doesn’t grasp and hold objects by three months

  • Doesn’t smile at people by three months

  • Cannot support her head well at three months

3-7 Months

Movement Milestones:

  • Rolls both ways (front to back, back to front)

  • Sits with, and then without, support of her hands

  • Supports her whole weight on her legs

  • Reaches with one hand

  • Transfers object from hand to hand

  • Uses raking grasp (not pincer)

Visual Milestones: 

  • Develops full color vision

  • Distance vision matures

  • Ability to track moving objects improves

Cognitive Milestones:

  • Finds partially hidden objects

  • Explores with hands and mouth

  • Struggles to get objects that are out of reach

Social & Emotional Milestones:

  • Enjoys social play

  • Interested in mirror images

  • Responds to other people’s expressions of emotion and appears joyful often

Developmental Health Watch:

Because each baby develops in his own particular manner, it’s impossible to tell exactly when or how your child will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones listed in this book will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect, but don’t be alarmed if your own baby’s development takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician, however, if your baby displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Seems very stiff, with tight muscles

  • Seems very floppy, like a rag doll

  • Head still flops back when body is pulled up

    to a sitting position

  • Reaches with one hand only

  • Refuses to cuddle

  • Shows no affection for the person who cares

    for him

  • Doesn’t seem to enjoy being around people

  • One or both eyes consistently turn in or out

  • Persistent tearing, eye drainage, or

    sensitivity to light.

By 1 Year

Movement Milestones:

  • Gets to sitting position without assistance

  • Crawls forward on belly by pulling with arms and pushing with legs

  • Assumes hands-and-knees position

  • Creeps on hands and knees supporting trunk on hands and knees

  • Gets from sitting to crawling or prone (lying on stomach) position

Milestones in Hand & Finger Skills:

  • Uses pincer grasp

  • Bangs two cubes together

  • Puts objects into container

  • Takes objects out of container

Cognitive Milestones:

  • Explores objects in many different ways (shaking, banging, throwing, dropping)

  • Finds hidden objects easily

  • Looks at correct picture when the image is named

  • Imitates gestures

  • Begins to use objects correctly (drinking from cup, brushing hair, dialing phone, listening to receiver)

Social & Emotional Milestones:

  • Shy or anxious with strangers

  • Cries when mother or father leaves

  • Enjoys imitating people In play

  • Shows specific preferences for certain people and toys

  • Tests parental responses to hid actions during feedings (What do you do when he refuses food?)

  • Tests parental responses to his behavior (What do you do if her cries after you leave the room?)

Developmental Health Watch:

  • Does not crawl

  • Drags one side of body while crawling (for over one month)

  • Cannot stand when supported

  • Does not search for objects that are hidden while he watches

By 2 Years

Movement Milestones:

  • Walks alone

  • Pulls toys behind her while walking

  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking

  • Begins to run

  • Stands on tiptoe

  • Kicks a ball

  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted

Cognitive Milestones:

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers

  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors

  • Begins make-believe play

Social & Emotional Milestones:

  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children

  • Increasingly aware of herself as separate from others

  • Increasingly enthusiastic about company of other children

Developmental Health Watch:

  • Cannot walk by eighteen months

  • Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks exclusively on his


  • Does not speak at least fifteen words by eighteen months

  • Does not use two-word sentences by age two

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