Milestones for Growing & Learning
Watching children grow is one of the many joys of life. As they grow, your children will experience physical, cognitive, and social-emotional milestones, which will help you recognize the different stages they have reached or passed. You’ll be surprised at how much they learn and change in such a short time!
Growth and Development
Use this page as a resource for marking you child’s milestones, and visit the Domains of Development page to learn about the categories of human development that the milestones fall into.
Keep in mind that every child develops skills and abilities at their own unique pace. If at any time you have questions about your child’s growth and development, please take the opportunity to discuss them with your family’s healthcare provider.
Milestones to Look for:
Birth to 3 months
Smiles and coos.
Recognizes faces, touch, voices, and smell.
Grips your finger or a toy placed in his or her hands.
3 to 6 months
Rolls over from front to back.
Sits with help and holds head steady.
Responds to you with a few different sounds.
6 to 9 months
Babbles and makes sounds to communicate. Smiles at his or her reflection in a mirror.
Sits independently; may crawl, scoot or pull up on furniture to stand.
May love meeting new people—or may be shy at first.
9 to 12 months
Makes sounds and movements to communicate wants.
Says a few words like “mama” and “dada.”
Figures out how things work through repetition (e.g. dropping his or her toy for you to pick up again and again).
12 to 15 months
Walks independently—or by holding a hand.
Throws a ball.
Imitates, like talking on a phone or stirring in a pot.
15 to 18 months
Finger-feeds self, starts using a spoon and drinks from a cup without help.
Walks, runs and climbs, scribbles with a crayon, and builds a tower with blocks.
Has difficulty handling feelings; has tantrums and needs help to calm down.
18 to 24 months
Learns new words every day; may say 50 to 100 words by his or her second birthday, and makes two-word sentences.
Wants to do things independently.
Uses imagination (e.g. making noises while playing cars).
24 to 30 months
Links words together; speaks clearly enough to be understood half the time.
Opens and closes things to see how they work; sorts similar objects together.
Gets scared; not always sure what’s real and what’s pretend.
30 to 36 months
Does “big kid stuff” like running, riding a tricycle, drawing or getting dressed.
Knows his or her first name and age.
Makes friends and plays cooperatively.
3 to 4 years
Remembers what happened yesterday; acts out stories.
Separates more easily from parents; openly expresses affection.
Builds a tower of six blocks.
4 to 5 years
Tries to solve problems; is interested in new experiences.
Cooperates with friends; becomes more independent.
Throws a ball overhand, kicks a ball, and catches a bounced ball most of the time.
5 to 6 years
Follows three-step commands (e.g. “put on your hat, put on your coat, and stand by the door”).
Correctly names at least four colors and counts at least 10 objects.
Brushes teeth and cares for other personal needs.