Skip to Main Content

Developmental Milestones for Children

The following milestones are common for young children, but it's important to remember that each child is unique and will grow and develop in their own way.

At 3 months old, most children:

  • Hold their head up when awake and on their tummy
  • Bring their hands together and play with them at the midline
  • Coo, chuckle, or laugh
  • Search for sounds and respond to loud sounds

At 6 months old, most children:

  • Hold their head upright when sitting
  • Reach out to grasp objects and transfer them hand-to-hand
  • Respond to friendly speech with a coo or smile
  • Babble

At 9 months old, most children:

  • Crawl on their belly and/or hands and knees
  • Can finger-feed themselves
  • Say "Mama" and "Dada" and imitate sounds
  • Respond to his or her name

At 12 months old, most children:

  • Pull to stand and cruise around the furniture
  • Can pick up small objects using index finger and thumb
  • Say at least one word other than "Mama" or "Dada"
  • Can follow simple instructions with a gesture given

At 15 months old, most children:

  • Can hold and drink from a cup with minimal spilling
  • Can vocalize and make his or her voice go up and down
  • Can use four or five words
  • Can walk independently

At 18 months old, most children:

  • Are able to walk up to a large ball and kick it
  • Can build a four-block tower and turn pages in a book
  • Use 5 to 10 words
  • Can follow simple instructions like "Bring the ball"

At 2 years old, most children:

  • Are able to walk up and down stairs, holding the rail with both feet on the step
  • Can assist you when dressing themselves
  • Can ask for items by name
  • Use two or three words together, such as "more juice"

At 3 years old, most children:

  • Can ride a tricycle with pedals
  • Can use a fork
  • Can use a three to four-word sentence
  • Can name one color, count to 10, and give his or her first and last name

At 4 years old, most children:

  • Can alternate feet going down the stairs
  • Can completely dress and undress with little help
  • Can use four to five-word sentences
  • Can name three to six colors and know nursery rhymes by heart

At 5 years old, most children:

  • Can skip and jump
  • Can copy familiar shapes (square, circle, triangle)
  • Can use five to six-word sentences with correct grammar
  • Can follow simple rules in games
If you have questions or concerns about your child's growth and development, contact your child's physician or call 618.288.5436 to be placed in contact with a qualified pediatric professional to answer your questions.
doctor icon

Find a Provider
near you