Infant | Baby Milestones | Emma's Diary India

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Baby milestones


Your child's development milestones from baby to 4 years

Children develop at their own unique pace, determined by the interaction of genes and environment, so some may sit and crawl relatively early, while others have earlier manual dexterity.

There is a broad range of what is considered normal development, and these developmental milestones act as a general guide to how your child is developing.

Most parents fret at one time or another about whether their child is on track; other children at playgroup might be more skilled at colouring, or comparisons are made with older siblings who started to walk earlier.

Usually there is nothing to worry about and children soon catch up. However, if there is a developmental concern, identifying this early on is important, as early intervention can be hugely beneficial.

It’s worth familiarising yourself with the usual pace of development, charted in this milestones guide, so that you can keep a general check on your toddler’s progress.

From 6–12 months your child:

  • rolls from back to front and front to back.
  • sits more securely from 7 months without using hands for support.
  • starts to crawl, or bottom shuffle, from around seven months.
  • pulls up to standing from around nine months and start to cruise around furniture, and by 11 months, manages to sit back down with greater to control.
  • may take her first steps, although this could be several weeks or months away yet.
  • develops a pincer grip with thumb and forefinger from nine months.
  • starts to point at objects from nine months.
  • passes objects from one hand to another.
  • from 10 months can release an object at will and drops objects on purpose.
  • searches for a hidden toy.
  • starts to self-feed with a spoon towards the end of the year, although often misses her mouth.
  • babbles more fluently and says first her word around 9–10 months, such as “dada” or “mama”.
  • uses gestures to indicate her needs.
  • starts to respond to her name from around nine months.
  • becomes shy around strangers, and from about eight months, increasingly anxious when away from you.
  • learns to kiss from about 11 months.
  • understands simple requests, and shakes her head for ‘no’.

From 1–2 years your child:

  • starts to pull herself onto low furniture.
  • starts to walk, at first with feet flat and wide apart, then gradually with straighter legs and better balance.
  • will enjoy a push-along toy.
  • climbs stairs on all fours from about 15 months and comes down on her bottom.
  • tries to run, although often topples at first as she learns how to stop.
  • can build a tower of two to three blocks.
  • holds a crayon and manages first scribbles.
  • starts to walk down the stairs holding your hand from about 18 months.
  • learns to throw a ball, and may start to kick a large ball around 18 months when shown how.
  • can take off her shoes, and from 18 months may try to put on socks and shoes.
  • chats constantly, mixing words, babble and expression.
  • makes good eye contact and carries out simple requests.
  • has a vocabulary of around 5-20 words by about 18 months.
  • starts to engage in pretend play around 15 months.
  • may say a two-word sentence.
  • has become increasingly social and enjoys the company of other babies.

From 2–3 years your child:

  • learns to squat down to pick up an object.
  • can run without falling over when she stops or turns corners, and may walk on tiptoe.
  • may start to use a tricycle with her feet on the ground.
  • may be ready to start potty training.
  • jumps with both feet.
  • turns the pages of a book with greater control.
  • can draw a straight line.
  • can build at least six blocks.
  • starts to dress herself and can wash her hands with help.
  • has a vocabulary of around 150-300 words.
  • can recite nursery rhymes.
  • is more wilful and often says “no”
  • engages in imaginative role-play with toys.
  • can say a five-word sentence.

From 3–4 years your child:

  • walks up and down stairs unaided.
  • can push the pedals on a tricycle.
  • kicks a ball with greater coordination and force.
  • eats with a spoon and fork.
  • interacts with other children.
  • starts to learn to share.
  • is able to show more empathy.
  • talks clearly enough for strangers to understand.
  • uses pronouns correctly.
  • starts to ask “why?”

When to get help

Children’s development is often down to their own personality. So, if your child is a keen explorer, she may develop motor skills relatively quickly, while another child may be busy working on language and communication skills, and spending less time concentrating on mobility.

In these cases missing a milestone shouldn’t alarm parents as the child is clearly making progress in other areas.

However, if a child is consistently missing milestones across several areas, or is especially late in one area, then it’s worth seeking advice. Talk to your doctor or paediatrician who can observe your child’s development and seek a referral if there is a cause for concern.

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