Childhood Milestone Dates

First weeks

Recognizes your face and the faces of other regular caregivers.
Mimics facial expressions like sticking out your tongue.
Sense of touch is very strong.
Differentiates amongst taste.
Distinguishes between different voices.
Relatively keen sense of smell.
Moves head from side to side.
Touches face with hands.
Strong lights make baby blink.
Strong reflex movements.
Awkwardly moves arms.

1 Month

Lifts head when lying on stomach.
Stares at people's faces.
Makes eye contact.
Aware of sounds.
Eyes follow things for short period of time.

2 Months

Hearing your voice makes baby smile.
Coos noises.
Hand awareness.
Says 'ah' or 'ooh'.
Watches you move around room.
Can follow things that are in the line of sight.
Able to keep head at 45 degree angle.

3 Months

Lifts chest and head up when on stomach.
Lifts head up with control at about a 45 degree angle.
Smiles at different people.
Grabs things and shakes hand toys.
When laying on back baby likes to kick and straighten legs.
Blows bubbles.
Brings hands together and can open and shut each hand.
Hand-eye coordination improving.
Can squeal or make other noises.
Notices parents' scent and face.
Legs can hold weight.

4 Months

Imitates sounds and noises that the child hears.
Smiles, laughs and babbles.
Sits with support.
Can lift head up to a 90 degree angle.
Uses mouth to learn about objects.
Able to hold a toy.
Able to keep head from moving.
Cries when scared, lonely, in pain or when something is bothering him.

5 Months

Rolls over.
Recognizes differences in color.
Plays with feet.
Small objects capture attention.
Sees things that are on the other side of the room.
Notices his name.
Teething often begins.
Starts to understand cause and effect.

6 Months

Rolls from back to stomach.
Rolls from stomach to back.
Sits with little to no support.
Separation anxiety common.
Passes objects from one hand to the other hand.
Lunges forward.
With help can drink from a cup and hold a bottle without help.
When being fed will open mouth as spoon approaches.
Begins early crawling by getting into position.

7 Months

Recognizes his or her name.
Imitates sounds.
Speaks sounds that are a vowel-consonant combination.
Ready for solid foods and finger foods can be self fed.
Able to find things that are somewhat out of sight.

8 Months

Does not like strangers.
Sits without any help or support.
Passes things from one hand to the other.
Chews things to help teething process.
Speaks the words 'mama' and 'dada' indiscriminately.
Babbles often.
Cries differently depending on what he or she needs.
When no longer wants food will turn head away.
Sleeps about 12 hours at night with about two naps per day.

9 Months

Baby sits up without any help.
Says mama and dada.
Plays peek-a-boo and patty-cake.
Crawls with belly often touching floor..
Stands with support.
Drops objects and then looks to see where they went.
Wants to use spoon when being fed.
Can pick up small objects and reach for nearby toys.

10 Months

Uses pincer grasp to pick objects up.
Crawls with belly off the ground.
Pulls to standing.
Reacts negatively if a toy is taken away.
Can move objects from one hand to the other.

11 Months

Waves bye-bye and can clap hands.
Stands without any support for short periods of time.
Correctly says mama and dada to the right parent.
The word 'no' is understood.

12 Months – 18 Months

Walks holding onto things or walks without any support.
Can speak a word or more.
Takes one or two naps per day.
Tells you wants and desires by gesturing, including shaking head 'no'.
Likes to imitate other people.
Draws scribbles with crayons.
Plays pretend.
Enjoys opening and closing cabinet and closet doors.
Dance when listening to music.
Turns the pages of books and can sort of read independently.
Can use a spoon and fork.
Can say a few words well and uses several words regularly.
Throws temper tantrums.
Places things inside containers and then takes them out.
Can throw a ball underhand and kick a ball.
Assists with chores in the house.
Increasingly a picky eater.
Afraid of strangers.
Pushes things away that does not interest.
When walking can push and pull toys around the room or outside.
Can identify different parts of the body and point to them.
Can identify things in books.

18 Months – 2 Years

Eats with fingers.
Rolls a ball back and forth with you.
Bends over to pick things up off the ground.
Drinks from a cup.
Vocabulary expands from 15-20 words to 50-60 words.
Stares at own reflection.
Starts games.
Brush teeth with assistance.
Understands when asked to give you something.
Helps you put on his shirt by holding up his arms.
Picky eater.
Enjoys toys that can be ridden on.
Kicks a ball.
Takes off shirts and pants.
Correctly does basic puzzles.
While looking at a book can say the name of some pictures.
Imitate you by blowing nose or throwing something out in the garbage.
Understands 200 – 300 words.
Points to something when you say its name, like the sun.
Throws a ball both underhand and overhand.
Says two word sentences.
Can learn more than 10 words per day.
Can follow basic instructions.
Plays pretend.
Can stack blocks and put together big Lego pieces.
Walks up and down stairs.
Says 'no' very often.

2 Years – 3 Years

Toilet training.
Plays make-believe.
Stacks 5-15 blocks and can build a skyscraper with blocks.
Wash and dry hands.
Anyone talking to the child can clearly understand speech.
Draws circles and lines and noticeable improvement with art skills.
Draws a cross which is a precursor to the ability to write.
Can draw a stick figure.
Opens doors without help.
Two footed jump.
Heal to toe walking movement is maturing and walking is much more controlled and precise.
Says I, we, me, you (personal pronouns) and prepositions.
Opens doors and sliding doors.
Knows some colors.
Can stand on one foot for a moment and displays improved agility.
Can use several words to say a sentence.
Knows meaning of some adjectives.
Understands sharing is part of friendship.
Comprehends opposites like big/small, up/down, heavy/light.
Understands ABC's.
Can say his or her own name and those of friends and siblings
Asks questions about the world.

3 Years  4 Years

Can have a meaningful conversation.
Does not need more that one nap and is working towards not napping at all.
Learned skills of taking turns and sharing are evident.
Does not need help brushing teeth or brushing hair.
Rides a tricycle.
Can play games with other children.
Wants to choose which clothes to wear.
Says sentences with several words.
Organize and sort things by color and shape.

4 Years  5 Years

Acts friendly towards non-family people.
Able to draws squares, circles and triangles.
Rides a tricycle.
Hops and skips.
Can jump with skill.
Counts things beyond 10.
Can say address.
Can say the names of different people.

Note: Baby milestones are a great way to keep track of the developmental progress of your child and also experience the excitement and fun that comes with seeing each marker reached for the first time.
  • Gross motor skills, examples include crawling, walking, jumping.
  • Fine motor skills, examples include coloring, stacking blocks, picking up objects.
  • Social interaction, examples include smiling at you, playing with other children.
  • Thinking, examples are rationalizing situations, figuring out puzzles.
  • Language, examples are being able to speak, listen and comprehend.

One of the first major baby milestones is eye contact which occurs usually around six weeks and eight weeks. As a parent the eye contact milestone is significant because it shows your baby is paying attention to you. Furthermore, eye contact is one of the first signs of communication and a clear indicator of neurological progress.

The social smile is two-way smile that is considered an early communication milestone that is a major bonding moment between parent and child. Your baby smiles because you smiled. The social smile is an important developmental milestone since it shows the child's ability to see things that are close, understand what it is he or she saw, and respond with a smile.

Cooing and babbling are important communication milestones. About 2 months after birth your baby will take the leap from communicating by crying to cooing, a sign the brain's speech center in the frontal lobe is developing. Talking and describing your actions to your baby can encourage cooing.

Whereas the cooing sound comes from the baby's throat, the next step is to use the tongue and mouth to babble. Babbling normally takes place before six months and after six months the ability to respond to someone talking by babbling is noticed as a significant language developmental milestone.

Once a baby starts to realize she can control her arms and hands, the ability to reach for something and to grab something becomes a major motor-development milestone. Babies will reach and grab for things they are curious about, so it is a good opportunity to promote that interest by offering the child different, safe, things to reach for, touch and grab.

The pulling up to a stand milestone that occurs around nine to ten months is the precursor to your baby being able to walk. The legs and body must be strong and balanced enough for your baby to stand upright making this an important gross motor development. A baby will try to stand because of interest in needing to be taller to reach or see something. It is a good parenting idea to allow your baby plenty of time and opportunities to stand by not keeping the child for large portions of the day in a car seat, in a stroller and being carried around.

The very noticeable pincer grasp begins around six months and by twelve months is well established. The rudimentary pincer grasp at first will be with all the fingers and the thumb. With time and practice a parent will see the child's increased pincer grasp ability as they use just one finger and the thumb to pick up a single small object like a Cheerio.

Playing with Clay

The baby milestone of stacking blocks is an example of a fine motor skill that involves coordination, balance and a well developed pincer grip. By 12 months a baby should be able to build a two block tower using his or her finger and thumb and then be able to knock it over. At this same time a baby should be able to nest a smaller object inside a larger object and then take the smaller object out, thus learning the concept of big and little.Building Blocks

Gesturing is a way for baby to communicate what he or she is thinking. A gesture is a nonverbal communication in which visible bodily actions are used to share a thought or message with someone. Encourage your child to gesture by gesturing yourself whenever possible.

Teething can begin at different times during the first nine months but eventually that first tooth will break through the gum. Teething is usually painful for a baby and you will see your child chewing on a lot of different things and drooling more often. Help by giving him a teething ring and start cleaning the teeth and gums once a day with a baby toothbrush. The first tooth is often the lower central incisor, which is a bottom tooth in the middle of the mouth.


One of the most famous baby milestones is when the child speaks the first word. Most children start saying words around twelve months and many children can say 30-40 words by the time they reach eighteen months old, but it is also very common for a child to know less than 10 words by this age. Being able to say a word shows an understanding that the child can associate that objects have names and that specific words are symbols for specific objects.

Children seem to love to pretend play and when this behavior begins that is a very important baby milestone for girls and boys. Often a child will copy the actions of parents like talking on the phone. A positive, learning environment with a variety of different things and activities will help your child to develop and reach these baby milestones.

A positive, safe learning environment with a variety of different things and activities will help your child to develop and reach these baby milestones.

Toddler Playing Baseball

At any age a baby will be learning while playing. So let your child be adventurous while keeping the baby in an exploration safe environment. New experiences help babies learn new things so focus on adding variety to the child's play by regularly adding in new games, changing toys and going to new places like parks and playgrounds. Letting children experiment is a great way for them to learn so be creative in finding ways around your house for your baby to interact in unusual ways like stacking pillows or use pots, pans and wooden spoons as a drum set.

Hands on museums like exploring science can help a child reach developmental milestones

Show your baby how he or she can make things happen by demonstrating that doing something can make something else happen. For instance, pushing the door bell makes the door bell chime. There are lots of good cause and effect opportunities to teach your child with the vast array of electronic toys that are now marketed for babies.
Spend time every single day reading books. Even on a busy day squeeze in a few minutes of reading as language development is greatly enhanced by daily reading. Keep some books within easy reach for your baby and change the books that are accessible every couple of days. When reading to your child add emotion, voice inflection, different voices and facial expressions.
Talk to your baby as much as possible. Encourage a back and forth dialogue by asking the child many questions even if you are unable to understand the answers. Describe to your baby whatever it is you are doing by narrating your actions.

Developmental Delay

A great reason to pay attention when developmental milestones are reached is to make sure your child is not having a developmental delay. Many children will not reach every milestone on the chart at the expected age and are totally okay as they are just taking their time and babies develop at their own pace. However, a developmental delay can happen if a child does not reach a milestone by the upper age range of what is considered normal. A developmental delay is when a child can not do specific task by a specific age that have been determined to show age appropriate development. Your child may reach certain milestones quicker than the time line shows and slower than the time line shows, but remember it is best to discuss any concerns with your child's pediatrician.

The baby's actions in key areas can show what type of developmental delay they are showing.

Look for signs of possible problems and trust your instinct because the sooner you and your pediatrician can recognize a problem the faster the problem can be fixed. One thing to look for is baby's desire to reach for nearby things and trying to put objects into his or her mouth. These are normal behaviors for babies so it could show a developmental problem if a baby is not trying to touch and eat things. A baby should be displaying a desire to progress into new movements like lifting chest/head, rolling-over, sitting-up, standing-up, crawling, cruising, and walking. If you notice your child's lack of interest and progression in reaching these major motor skill milestones you should talk to your pediatrician. Babies are supposed to notice sounds, react to visual stimuli, and make eye contact so if your child is not responding to these things you should talk to your pediatrician. Verbally your child should copy common sounds, coo and babble about the time when the baby milestone date chart shows but if the child is past that time you should talk to your pediatrician.

Potty Training

Toilet training milestone varies in age among babies with some having the cognitive skills and physical ability to begin as early as 18 months while others may not be ready until the age of four. Boys generally take longer to be ready than girls. Many children will be potty trained in just a few days though it is normal for potty training to take a few months. Usually it takes a child from three to six months to be potty trained with some children needing a year of toilet training to get it right.

Potty Training

Physically a toddler will need to be able to hold his urine for two hours which is an indication that the child has developed sufficient bladder muscles. A child must also be able to recognize when he or she needs to use the bathroom, which is often a challenge for a child who has never had to think of this before. Being able to pull down clothes is also a helpful skill when potty training for a child. A child will show readiness often by wanting to imitate the bathroom habits of siblings or parents and by displaying a desire for independence.