Developmental milestones are behaviors or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop. Rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking are all considered milestones. The milestones are different for each age range.
For every developmental milestone, there is a normal range in which a child may reach that milestone. For example, walking may begin as early as 8 months or as late as 18 months and be considered normal.
One of the reasons for well-child visits to the health care provider in the early years is to follow your child's development. Most parents also closely watch their children for different milestones. If you are worried about your child's development, call the child's primary care provider.
Closely watching a "checklist" or calendar of developmental milestones may trouble parents whose child is not developing normally. At the same time, following these milestones is important to identify a child who needs a more detailed check-up.
Identifying children with delayed milestones early is important because research has shown that the sooner the developmental services are started, the better the outcome. Examples of developmental services include: speech therapy, physical therapy and developmental preschool.
Below is a general list of some of the things you might see children doing at different ages, but these are NOT precise guidelines. There are many different normal paces and patterns of development. This article provides just one example.
Infant -- birth to 1 year
Toddler -- 1 to 3 years
Preschooler -- 3 to 6 years
School-age child -- 6 to 12 years
Adolescent -- 12 to 18 years
Growth milestones for children; Normal childhood growth milestones; Childhood growth milestones
Glascoe FP, Marks KP. Developmental-behavioral screening and surveillance. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th Ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 14.
Updated by: Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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