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Developmental Milestones

The following list depicts typical milestones of development in children birth to age five. Children grow and learn at different  rates. However, there are similar milestones each young child will reach during his/her development. This chart indicates some of these milestones by age. This will help you monitor your child's growth, and also guide your interactions with your young one.

0-3 months
  • Lifts head temporarily

  • Grasps objects placed in hands

  • Movements change from purposeless to more deliberate

  • Makes throaty noises, gurgles

  • Begins smiling socially

3-6 months
  • Has good head control

  • Rolls side to side

  • Coos and babbles

  • Turns head to sound


6-9 months

  • Follows objects with eyes

  • Reaches for, grasps, and puts toys in mouth

  • Crawls and pulls up to furniture

  • Babbles and makes sound

  • Expresses joy and displeasure vocally

  • Responds to "no"


9-12 months

  • Finds hidden objects

  • Finger feeds

  • Imitates sounds and gestures

  • Plays peek-a-boo and patty cake

  • Puts objects into containers

  • Walks holding on

  • Knows the names of common objects

  • Understands simple directions

  • Says "mama" and "dada"

  • Uses a couple other meaningful words


12-18 months

  • Picks up small objects

  • Walks alone

  • Stoops to get toy while standing alone

  • Points to pictures in books and common objects

  • Uses gestures to get needs met

  • Says five to ten words


18 months-2 years

  • Plays make-believe

  • Walks up stairs with help

  • Sorts by shapes and colors

  • Scribbles

  • Uses and understands at least 50 words

  • Identifies and names most major body parts

  • Follows two requests

  • Uses two-four word sentences


2-3 years

  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, or people

  • Plays with others well

  • Feeds self

  • Copies drawing a circular shape

  • Builds a tower of six to eight blocks

  • Runs

  • Understands placement in space (in, on, under, over)

  • Understands most simple questions about environment and activities

  • Names familiar pictures and objects


3-4 years

  • Jumps,climbs

  • Throws a ball overhand

  • Can stand on one foot

  • Dresses and undresses without help

  • Cuts simple shapes

  • Draws circles and squares

  • Expresses basic feelings about self and others

  • More independent

  • Enjoys books and stories

  • Recalls parts of stories

  • Answers simple "what," "where," and "who" questions

  • Knows one or more colors


4-5 years

  • Wants to please friends

  • Aware of gender

  • Prints some letters

  • Draws a face and a person with a body

  • Says first and last name

  • Names several colors

  • Tells a story

  • Speaks in sentences with five or more words

  • Uses future tense


If you have any questions or concerns, contact your pediatrician to schedule a screening. Screenings are also offered by the CDSA (Children's Developmental Services Agency) for children birth to three and by Moore County Schools for children three to five years old.

CDSA (910) 295-3133 I Moore County Schools (910) 947-2342, extension 285


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