Developmental Milestones and When we Should Reach Them

Developmental Milestones and When we Should Reach Them

Knowing when children should reach their developmental milestones can be difficult to navigate, particularly as many parents will give you advice on milestones based on their own observations. Below we have broken down developmental milestones that you can look out for in your child.

By the end of their first month, most babies:

                              • Make jerky, quivering arm movements
                              • Bring hands near face
                              • Keep hands in tight fists
                              • Move head from side to side while lying on stomach
                              • Focus on objects 8 to 12 inches away
                              • Prefer human faces over other shapes
                              • Prefer black-and-white or high-contrast patterns
                              • Hear very well
                              • Recognise some sounds, including parents’ voices


By the end of the third month, most babies:

                              • Raise head and chest when lying on stomach
                              • Support upper body with arms when lying on stomach
                              • Stretch legs out and kick when lying on stomach or back
                              • Push down on legs when feet are placed on a firm surface
                              • Open and shut hands
                              • Bring hands to mouth
                              • Grab and shake hand toys
                              • Follow moving object with eyes
                              • Watch faces closely
                              • Recognise familiar objects and people at a distance
                              • Start using hands and eyes in coordination
                              • Begin to babble and imitate some sounds
                              • Smile at the sound of parents’ voices
                              • Enjoy playing with other people
                              • May cry when playing stops

By the end of their seventh month, most babies:

                              • Roll over both ways (stomach to back and back to stomach)
                              • Sit up
                              • Reach for object with hand
                              • Transfer objects from one hand to the other
                              • Support whole weight on legs when upright
                              • Develop full-colour vision and mature distance vision
                              • Use voice to express joy and displeasure
                              • Respond to own name
                              • Babble chains of consonants (ba-ba-ba)
                              • Distinguish emotions by tone of voice
                              • Explore objects with hands and mouth
                              • Struggle to get objects that are out of reach
                              • Enjoy playing peekaboo
                              • Show an interest in mirror images
                              • Crawl


By their first birthday, most babies:

                              • Sit without assistance
                              • Get into hands-and-knees position
                              • Pull self-up to stand
                              • Walk holding on to furniture, and possibly a few steps without support
                              • Use pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger)
                              • Says ‘dada’ and ‘mama’
                              • Uses exclamations such as ‘uh-oh!’
                              • Try to imitate words
                              • Respond to ‘no’ and simple verbal requests
                              • Use simple gestures, such as shaking head ‘no’ and waving bye-bye
                              • Explore objects in many ways (shaking, banging, throwing, dropping)
                              • Begin to use objects correctly (drinking from cup, brushing hair)
                              • Find hidden objects easily
                              • Loot at correct picture when an image is named

By their second birthday, most children:

                              • Walk on their own
                              • Pull toys behind them while walking
                              • Begin to run
                              • Kick a ball
                              • Climb on and off furniture without help
                              • Walk up and down stairs while holding on to support
                              • Scribble with crayon
                              • Build tower of four blocks or more
                              • Recognise names of familiar people, objects and body parts
                              • Say several single words (by fifteen to eighteen months)
                              • Use simple phrases (by eighteen to twenty-four months)
                              • Use two-to four-word sentences
                              • Follow simple instructions
                              • Begin to sort objects by shape and colours
                              • Begin to play make-believe
                              • Imitate behaviour of others
                              • Show growing independence