Children usually progress in a natural, predictable
sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. But each child grows and
gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area,
such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor
Milestones usually are categorized into five major
areas: physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social
development, language development, and sensory and motor development.
Physical growth and development
Most children by age
Have grown a total of about
10 in. (25 cm) in length
since birth and measure somewhere between
28 in. (71 cm) to
32 in. (81 cm). Somewhere
between 9 and 12 months of age, many babies have tripled their birth weight.
After their first birthday, babies start gaining weight and growing at a slower
Have grown in head circumference (the measurement around the
top of the head). The head circumference of most babies is 18 in. (46 cm). The soft spots, or
fontanelles, of the skull have started closing. But
they won't completely grow together until sometime between the 9th and 18th
Still have a "baby" look. Your child's head is large in
proportion to the rest of his or her body. His or her tummy sticks out, which
can add to an overall "chubby" appearance.
Are curious about everyday objects and how they
work. Your child may try turning knobs, pushing buttons, and opening drawers
Start to remember things that happened a few hours
or even a day ago. Your child may show this new skill by doing a simple thing,
such as stacking blocks or getting excited when you talk about going to the
Can find an object that they watch you hide. For example,
if your child watches you cover a teddy bear with a blanket, he or she can
"find" the teddy bear by removing the blanket.
Like to play
Emotional and social development
Most children by
Interact mostly with parents and other primary
caregivers. They do not show much of an interest in playing with other
children. But they do engage in "parallel play." This is when children play
next to or alongside each other but don't interact.
"flirt" with parents and other caregivers. They giggle, show off, and seek
Begin to understand permanence—that people and objects
still exist even when they are out of sight. Early on, before this concept is
learned, some children may continue to have or seem to have a relapse of
separation protest. This condition is when children feel uneasy and anxious
when a parent or another caregiver leaves.
Most children by age 1:
Experiment by making different sounds, such as
"ptthhh," or repeat sounds, such as "ba-ba-ba-ba." Many toddlers favor
practicing the "b" and "d" sounds. They may jabber a long string of sounds with
tone and inflection that sound like conversation.
Can identify each
parent, often by name ("mama," "dada").
Sometimes repeat right away
a sound they hear when someone is talking.
Can say at least 3
Recognize their own names. They may also look at family
members or pets when you talk about them. Typically, babies this age understand
some familiar words, although they are still guessing about many other words
and their meanings.
Sensory and motor development
Most children by age
Like to put things in their mouths. This is
their way to find out about an object.
Pull up to a standing position
by holding onto furniture or other solid objects.
while holding on to furniture) or walk on their own.
grasping objects, such as a piece of cereal, with their thumb and second finger
("pincer grasp"). Most children use the pincer grasp by the time they are about
10 months of age.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.