Key Child Development Milestones: Complete Guide | Orchids
Job Alert : To view our Careers Page Click Here X
(+91) 8-888-888-999

Key Child Development Milestones: Ages 1 to 5

Key Child Development Milestones: Ages 1 to 5

“I think my child has a speech issue,” a new mother confided in me last year. Parenting a child can be particularly taxing and overwhelming, especially if it’s your first kid. As new parents, we are often unaware of what behaviors a kid shows at what age, aka “child development milestones.” She was thinking of taking her kid to a child behavior specialist. On being asked how old her child was, she revealed that he was only 8 months old. She was surprised when I told her that most kids start speaking only after they are a year old.

If we aren’t familiar with the developmental milestones of a child, we might assume or miss any signs of developmental issues our kid might be suffering from. My friend is probably not the only one who is confused regarding these milestones.

If you are new to parenting, below are the key developmental milestones from age 0 months to 3 years old that you can refer to.

Development Milestones guide

Understanding your child’s growth and development

Every parent should be aware of what to expect from their child at each stage of development. Usually, development milestones have a typical age range. For instance, babies start walking anywhere from 8 months to 18 months. Some may even walk a bit sooner or a bit later, which is perfectly fine. But if your baby is past a certain age and still not meeting developmental milestones, it’s time to step in. Having said that, it’s crucial to know that achieving a milestone early is neither good nor bad. It simply means your baby is ready for the next milestone in child development.

What are the 3 biggest milestones for a newborn? 

Being a parent, you already know that your baby’s first year is full of child development milestones. Rolling over, crawling or walking, and talking, or attempting to talk, or babbling are the three most important milestones for a newborn. No matter how big or small, each milestone of child development is a proud moment for parents and paves the way for your baby’s next milestone in child development. 

What are the milestones for 0 to 3 month old baby?

The first few months of having a baby can be one of the most challenging periods for new parents. Since these babies haven’t learned much yet, the only way for them to tell you they are unhappy or uncomfortable is to cry. So, expect a lot of screams and tears. 

Emotional and communication milestones

Babies aged one week to 12 weeks show only a little emotional development. They are able to hold eye contact and recognize familiar faces. They can look at the source of sudden noises (be careful not to scare them) or familiar voices to figure out what they are. Towards the end of the three months, a child will often make high-pitched noises or babble away on their own.  

Motor development

You must have seen it in advertisements and movies when a child tries to hold a parent’s finger with a loose grip. A month-old child can clasp his fingers to grip clothes and toys loosely. They can also move their heads from side to side. 

What are the milestones from 4 to 12 months?

Development Milestones for age 4 to 12 months

Emotional and communication milestones

Between 4 and 12 months, babies change quickly and respond to different stimulations. A 5-month-old baby can recognize its parents and will cry if you are not around them. A 5-month-old baby will try to respond to voices calling his name. Your baby will also be able to recognize words when he is around 11 or 12 months old. You can start teaching him what the names of various objects are and asking him to identify them by pointing. 

Motor development

Their grip will be much stronger now, and they will be able to swing and move toys. In between 4 and 5 months, your child will be able to pick up objects or roll back on the stomach. After 6-7 months of age, a baby can sit with the support of cushions and also try crawling by dragging his torso. The best thing? They can now wave hello and goodbye every morning!

What are the milestones from 0 to 12 months? 

If you are wondering about milestones of child development from 0 to 12 months of age, then read on.

1 Month

  • Lifts head during tummy time
  • Reacts to voices and sounds
  • Focuses on faces
  • When feeding, stares at the mother
  • Follows items with the eyes
  • Uses ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ when speaking
  • Can detect patterns in black and white

2 Months 

  • Coos and Gurgles
  • Follows objects as they move across their range of view
  • Attempts to put hands in their mouth
  • Able to briefly support their head up
  • Grins and giggles
  • Holds the head at a 45° angle.
  • Makes smoother motions/ lesser jerky movements

3 months

  • Recognises parents by face and smell
  • Holds the head still
  • Eyes purposefully track moving objects
  • Intentionally starts gurgling and cooing
  • Blows bubbles
  • Identifies the mother’s voice
  • Perform mini push ups

4 Months 

  • Grins and laughs 
  • Able to hold weight when standing on legs
  • Coos when addressed
  • Able to hold a rattle or toy
  • Rolls from the stomach to the back

5 Months 

  • Distinguishes between vibrant colours
  • Plays with feet and hands
  • Knows their own name
  • Turns to face new noises
  • Rolls over either ways

6 months

  • Turns to face the noises and voices
  • Mimics the noises
  • Rolls over either ways
  • Able to eat solid food
  • Can sit without support
  • Passes objects from hand to hand

7 months

  • Sits unaided and independently
  • Drags items in their direction
  • Leaps forward or starts crawling
  • Jabbers with syllables

Starts feeling anxious around strangers

8 months 

  • Addresses parents as “Mama” and “Dada” ( non-specific)
  • Passes items from hand to hand
  • Stands with support
  • Crawls
  • Points at things
  • Looks for hidden objects

9 months 

  • Stands while holding onto something
  • Blends syllables to create word-like sounds
  • Object permanence
  • Cruise around furniture
  • Bangs objects
  • Eats finger food

10 months 

  • Waves goodbye
  • Uses index finger and thumb to pick things up
  • Crawls with belly off the ground 
  • Says “mama” and “dada” to the appropriate parent
  • Indicates with gestures

11 months

  • Claps and plays peek-a-boo
  • Stands still for a few moments
  • Understands “No” and other easy commands
  • Places items in containers

12 months 

  • Imitates others
  • Indicates with gestures
  • Makes easy movements
  • Utters a single word other than “mama” or “dada”

What are the milestones for 1 to 2 year olds?

Emotional and communication milestones 

By the age of 1 year, a kid starts transitioning from an infant to a toddler. They have finally gotten to know people close to them and can be shy and clingy when they meet new people. Don’t be surprised if your baby turns his head away from seeing a new person! They might also cry when you put away their toys or refuse to play with them. Speech development differs from one child to the next. However, most kids start uttering broken sounds and imitating words spoken to them when they are over a year old. You might be surprised if they unexpectedly call out Mom or Dad!

Motor development 

By 12 months, a baby can properly sit without the help of cushions and crawl when they want to. During this period, kids are prone to trying to stand up, so keep an eye out for them. They also learn to use force and throw away things they don’t like. 

What are the milestones for 2 to 3 year olds?

Development Milestones for age 2 to 3-year-olds

Emotional and communication milestones 

Your baby will be able to say words aloud when they are 2–3 years old. While some kids use only words, other kids can form broken sentences consisting of 3–4 words. A 3-year-old toddler openly repeats behaviour shown to him, including affection. Did you know there is a psychological behaviour where toddlers react depending on the faces of their parents? If you fuss when they fall, they are more likely to cry than if you pretend nothing happened. A 3-year-old baby can also speak in complete sentences and recite their name and age when prompted. 

Motor development 

Motor development peaks between the ages of 2-3 years. Not only do they learn how to walk by this time, but they will also learn how to run. Toddlers also learn how to write, paint, and play with building blocks by the age of 3.

A child is a blank slate, and thus, their behaviour reflects the parenting they are exposed to. Tracking development milestones not only gives you a glimpse of how quickly your child is growing but also serves as an indicator of any developmental or learning disabilities. For more parenting guides, you can visit our website.

Checklist for Child Development Milestones

Below is a checklist consisting of all the typical child development milestones across various faculties from ages 0–3 years. 

Speech and Language

Birth to 3 Months

  • Responds to loud noises
  • Smiles or relaxes while you talk to them and calms down while crying when they hear your voice
  • Responds to sound by sucking or stopping during feeding
  • Coos and makes happy sounds
  • Cries differently for various requirements
  • Smiles when they see you

4 to 6 Months

  • Follows the source of sound with eyes
  • Reacts to change in your voice
  • Notices toys with sounds such as rattles
  • Observe music
  • Uses a variety of noises, including those that start with p, b, and m, and babbles in a speech like manner
  • Laughs and babbles when joyful or upset
  • Makes gurgling noises when playing with others or alone

7 Months to 1 Year

  • plays games such as peek-a-boo and pat -a-cake
  • Turns to face the sound
  • Understands terms for everyday objects like “cup,” “shoe,” or “juice” 
  • Responds to commands such as “Come here”
  • Babbles using lengthy and short sets of sounds (“baba, tata, mama”) 
  • Babbles to get and hold your attention
  • Uses hand movements to communicate, such as waving or raising an arm
  • Mimics various speaking sounds
  • By the age of one, speaks one or two words (such as “hi,” “dog,” “dada,” or “mama”)

1 to 2 Years

  • Recognises some parts of the body and names when requested
  • Understands and follows simple instructions like “Roll the ball,” “Where’s your shoe?”
  • Likes listening to nursery rhymes, short stories, and music
  • Points to images in books when they are mentioned
  • Often picks up new words
  • Uses a few one- or two-word inquiries (for instance, “Where puppy?” 
  • Combines two words “More banana”
  • Uses variety of consonant sounds to start words

2 to 3 Years

  • Acquires a name for nearly everything
  • Uses two- or three-word sentences to describe and request things
  • Uses the sounds k, g, f, t, d, and n
  • Speaks in a manner that family members understand
  • Identifies things so that you can ask for them or draw attention to them

Dressing Skills

One year old   

  • Pushes arms through sleeves and legs through pant openings to assist in dressing
  • Take off or put on a loose fitting cap
  • Removes socks

Two years old

  • Puts simple clothes like front open shirts or jackets without buttoning or zipping
  • Unbuttons a big button
  • Tries to put on socks
  • Once a shirt is over their head, they can find and push their arms through the shirt opening
  • Removes easy clothes such as pulling socks or pushing down pants
  • Removes shoes

Three years old

  • Unzips or zips a jacket when shank is connected
  • Buttons big front buttons
  • Pulls simple clothing with elastic bands independently
  • Put on socks with a little assistance to ensure correct heel orientation
  • Puts on shoes with or without proper orientations
  • Puts on a t-shirt with little assistance

Fine Motor and Visual Motor Skills

0-6 months

  • Extends a hand to grab an item
  • Masters controlled reach
  • Exhibits reflexive grasp when an item is placed in the hand
  • Holds an item in one or both palms
  • Recovers a fallen item by hearing, feeling, or reaching out to get it

6-12 months

  • Reaches out and grabs things to mouth
  • Demonstrates controlled discharge of items
  • Uses thumb and one other finger to pick up small items
  • Moves things from one hand to the other
  • Bangs two cubes held in hand from mid-body
  • Uses the index finger to prod and point
  • Recovers a fallen item by hearing, feeling, or reaching out to get it

1-2 years

  • Constructs a skyscraper 3 blocks tall
  • Puts rings on a stick
  • Turns 2-3 pages of a book at a time
  • Turns knobs
  • Deploys full arm movements to create painting strokes
  • Eats with little help
  • Uses gestures to communicate
  • Puts spoon in the mouth
  • Holds cup and sips from it
  • Uses thumb and a finger to pick up small items
  • Inserts forms into a shape sorter without assistance

2-3 years

  • Turns individual book pages
  • Cuts with scissors
  • Completes insert puzzles
  • Uses thumb and fingers to hold a crayon
  • Uses one hand exclusively for the majority of tasks
  • Mimics circular, vertical, and horizontal motions
  • Eats independently
  • Constructs a three to five-block tall skyscraper
  • Uses the thumb and one finger to grasp small items
  • Replicates a straight line of coloured blocks stacked in a tower
  • Strings 3 to 4 big beads

Visual motor skills

0-5 Months

  • Locates a rattle when lying on the back
  • Follows a moving object with eyes, starting at the midline and moving in either direction
  • Follows things in a circular motion with eyes
  • Tries to each for an item after looking at it (visually directed reaching)
  • Touches fingers together
  • Begins reaching out with both hands simultaneously
  • Looks at their hands
  • Follows a ball as it moves right to left and vice versa
  • Rolls over on their back and follows a rattle from side to side
  • Touches both hands at once while lying on the back
  • Reaches to the midline for a toy or item while lying on the back

6-11 months

  • Stretches out the hands while lying on the back to grab a toy
  • Eyes your mouth when you speak
  • Uses either hand to grasp anything
  • Uses a raking grasp to pick up little things involving all the fingers simultaneously
  • Shakes the rattle
  • Moves items from one hand to the other
  • Initiates eye contact
  • Plays peek-a-boo games
  • Grabs a block or toy with both hands while supported on an adult’s lap
  • Picks up little things with inferior pincer grasp
  • Improves hand-eye coordination by crawling
  • Claps hand
  • Gives an object when requested
  • Takes out big pegs out of a pegboard
  • Finds a small item after watching it get hidden
  • Follows a dropping item with eyes
  • Eats finger foods by self

12-17 months

  • Assesses distance to throw an object
  • Starts scribbling with a crayon on paper
  • Puts items in a large or medium box
  • Takes off the socks
  • Turns pages of a board book
  • Mimics spoon-stirring motions
  • Looks where the ball is rolled
  • Takes something out of a container or throws it out
  • Points at things with a finger
  • Puts small items in a small container
  • Recognises a body part on self
  • Imitates a 2-3 blocks high tower
  • Mimics vertical lines or scribbles
  • Touches or pats pictures

18-23 months 

  • Builds 4-6 blocks high tower
  • Draws circles on paper
  • Creates seemingly vertical line
  • Drops, drags or pushes things
  • Flips pages of a few books with heavier covers
  • Pours, pulls, or pushes stuff out
  • Turns an upside-down picture the right way
  • Identifies 3 body parts on self
  • Compares actual items to their photographs
  • Steps into the ball or swings their leg at it in an attempt to kick it (they may miss the ball)
  • Throws a small ball a short distance while standing
  • Uses a scoop to transport food between containers
  • Feeds self without spilling much

24-29 months

  • Removes a twist-and-screw cover
  • Looks at a book and turn one page at a time
  • Erects towers of up to 8 blocks
  • Wraps a length of thread around four huge beads
  • Classifies items with different colours when provided an example
  • Mimics the horizontal lines on paper
  • Mimics a train with chimney of 2-4 blocks
  • Starts mimicking one circle
  • Identifies 4 body parts 
  • Relates images of actual items
  • Turns anything upside-down
  • Kicks a ball forward alone with one foot
  • Hurls a big ball.
  • Dress themselves without assistance except for zippers and pullover garments

30-36 months 

  • Mimics the form of a single circle
  • Uses child-safe scissors to cut paper
  • Constructs a 10 blocks tall structure
  • Uses child-safe scissors to cut paper in two
  • Matches items’ colours by blue, red, and yellow
  • Matches basic, identical photos
  • Assembles a three-piece puzzle
  • Grabs a huge ball that has been tossed close to them
  • Uses scissors to cut tiny, straight lines
  • Dresses with assistance for fasteners

Grooming Skills

1 -2 years  

  • Allows nose-wiping
  • Tries to bring a comb to hair
  • Attempts to blow nose
  • Holds a toothbrush  
  • Permits tooth brushing

2 -3 years  

  • Brushes hair
  • Wipes nose when requested
  • Brushes teeth improperly

What are normal milestones for babies?

Normal development milestones for babies are those milestones that are achieved in the normal or typical age range by your baby. As mentioned above, there are several milestones in child development and you must keep track of your baby’s growth and development milestones. Make sure to use the above-mentioned child development milestones checklist.

If you liked this, you might also like…

10 best practices learning online

Online Learning 101: All You Need to Know About

The Importance Of Art Creativity In Your Child’s Growth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter