Your Baby at Two Months What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Begins to smile at people
Can briefly calm himself (may bring hands to mouth and suck on hand) Tries to look at parent

Language/Communication
Coos, makes gurgling sounds
Turns head toward sounds

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Pays attention to faces
Begins to follow things with eyes and recognize people at a distance
Begins to act bored (cries, fussy) if activity doesn’t change

Movement/Physical Development
Can hold head up and begins to push up when lying on tummy
Makes smoother movements with arms and legs

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Doesn’t respond to loud sounds
  • Doesn’t watch things as they move
  • Doesn’t smile at people
  • Doesn’t bring hands to mouth
  • Can’t hold head up when pushing up when on tummy

Important Milestones: Your Baby at Four Months
What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Smiles spontaneously, especially at people
Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops
Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning

Language/Communication
Begins to babble
Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears
Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Lets you know if she is happy or sad
Responds to affection
Reaches for toy with one hand
Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it
Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
Watches faces closely
Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance

Movement/Physical Development
Holds head steady, unsupported
Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface
May be able to roll over from tummy to back
Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys
Brings hands to mouth
When lying on stomach, pushes up to elbows

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Doesn’t watch things as they move
  • Doesn’t smile at people
  • Can’t hold head steady
  • Doesn’t coo or make sounds
  • Doesn’t bring things to mouth
  • Doesn’t push down with legs when feet are placed on a hard surface
  • Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions

Important Milestones: Your Baby at Six Months
What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger
Likes to play with others, especially parents
Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy
Likes to look at self in a mirror

Language/Communication
Responds to sounds by making sounds
Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”) and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds
Responds to own name
Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Looks around at things nearby
Brings things to mouth
Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach
Begins to pass things from one hand to the other

Movement/Physical Development
Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front)
Begins to sit without support
When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce
Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
Doesn’t try to get things that are in reach
Shows no affection for caregivers
Doesn’t respond to sounds around him
Has difficulty getting things to mouth
Doesn’t make vowel sounds (“ah”, “eh”, “oh”)
Doesn’t roll over in either direction
Doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds
Seems very stiff, with tight muscles
Seems very floppy, like a rag doll

Important Milestones: Your Baby at Nine Months
What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
May be afraid of strangers
May be clingy with familiar adults
Has favorite toys

Language/Communication
Understands “no”
Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”
Copies sounds and gestures of others
Uses fingers to point at things

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Watches the path of something as it falls
Looks for things he sees you hide
Plays peek-a-boo
Puts things in her mouth
Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other
Picks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and index finger

Movement/Physical Development
Stands, holding on
Can get into sitting position
Sits without support
Pulls to stand
Crawls

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
Doesn’t bear weight on legs with support
Doesn’t sit with help
Doesn’t babble (“mama”, “baba”, “dada”)
Doesn’t play any games involving back-and-forth play
Doesn’t respond to own name
Doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people
Doesn’t look where you point
Doesn’t transfer toys from one hand to the other

Important Milestones: Your Child at One Year
What most children do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Is shy or nervous with strangers
Cries when mom or dad leaves
Has favorite things and people
Shows fear in some situations
Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story
Repeats sounds or actions to get attention
Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”

Language/Communication
Responds to simple spoken requests
Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”
Tries to say words you say

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing
Finds hidden things easily
Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
Copies gestures
Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair
Bangs two things together
Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
Lets things go without help
Pokes with index (pointer) finger
Follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”

Movement/Physical Development
Gets to a sitting position without help
Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”)
May take a few steps without holding on
May stand alone

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
Doesn’t crawl
Can’t stand when supported
Doesn’t search for things that she sees you hide
Doesn’t say single words like “mama” or “dada”
Doesn’t learn gestures like waving or shaking head
Doesn’t point to things
Loses skills he once had

Important Milestones: Your Baby at 18 months 
What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Likes to hand things to others as play
May have temper tantrums
May be afraid of strangers
Shows affection to familiar people
Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
May cling to caregivers in new situations
Points to show others something interesting
Explores alone but with parent close by

Language/Communication
Says several single words
Says and shakes head “no”
Points to show someone what he wants

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
Points to get the attention of others
Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed
Points to one body part
Scribbles on his own
Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”

Movement/Physical Development
Walks alone
May walk up steps and run
Pulls toys while walking
Can help undress herself
Drinks from a cup
Eats with a spoon

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
Doesn’t point to show things to others
Can’t walk
Doesn’t know what familiar things are for
Doesn’t copy others
Doesn’t gain new words
Doesn’t have at least 6 words
Doesn’t notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns
Loses skills he once had

Important Milestones: Your Baby at two years
What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Copies others, especially adults and older children
Gets excited when with other children
Shows more and more independence
Shows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to)
Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games

Language/Communication
Points to things or pictures when they are named
Knows names of familiar people and body parts
Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
Follows simple instructions
Repeats words overheard in conversation
Points to things in a book

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers
Begins to sort shapes and colors
Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
Plays simple make-believe games
Builds towers of 4 or more blocks
Might use one hand more than the other
Follows two-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog

Movement/Physical Development
Stands on tiptoe
Kicks a ball
Begins to run
Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
Walks up and down stairs holding on
Throws ball overhand
Makes or copies straight lines and circles

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
Doesn’t use 2-word phrases (for example, “drink milk”)
Doesn’t know what to do with common things, like a brush, phone, fork, spoon
Doesn’t copy actions and words
Doesn’t follow simple instructions
Doesn’t walk steadily
Loses skills she once had

Important Milestones: Your Baby at three years
What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Copies adults and friends
Shows affection for friends without prompting
Takes turns in games
Shows concern for crying friend
Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”
Shows a wide range of emotions
Separates easily from mom and dad
May get upset with major changes in routine
Dresses and undresses self

Language/Communication
Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps
Can name most familiar things
Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
Says first name, age, and sex
Names a friend
Says words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time
Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces
Understands what “two” means
Copies a circle with pencil or crayon
Turns book pages one at a time
Builds towers of more than 6 blocks
Screws and unscrews jar lids or turns door handle

Movement/Physical Development
Climbs well
Runs easily
Pedals a tricycle (3-wheel bike)
Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
Falls down a lot or has trouble with stairs
Drools or has very unclear speech
Can’t work simple toys (such as peg boards, simple puzzles, turning handle)
Doesn’t speak in sentences
Doesn’t understand simple instructions
Doesn’t play pretend or make-believe
Doesn’t want to play with other children or with toys
Doesn’t make eye contact
Loses skills he once had

Important Milestones: Your Baby at four years
What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Enjoys doing new things
Plays “Mom” and “Dad”
Is more and more creative with make-believe play
Would rather play with other children than by himself
Cooperates with other children
Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in

Language/Communication
Knows some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she”
Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “Wheels on the Bus”
Tells stories
Can say first and last name

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Names some colors and some numbers
Understands the idea of counting
Starts to understand time
Remembers parts of a story
Understands the idea of “same” and “different”
Draws a person with 2 to 4 body parts
Uses scissors
Starts to copy some capital letters
Plays board or card games
Tells you what he thinks is going to happen next in a book

Movement/Physical Development
Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds
Catches a bounced ball most of the time
Pours, cuts with supervision, and mashes own food

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
Can’t jump in place
Has trouble scribbling
Shows no interest in interactive games or make-believe
Ignores other children or doesn’t respond to people outside the family
Resists dressing, sleeping, and using the toilet
Can’t retell a favorite story
Doesn’t follow 3-part commands
Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
Doesn’t use “me” and “you” correctly
Speaks unclearly
Loses skills he once had

Important Milestones: Your Baby at five years
What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional
Wants to please friends
Wants to be like friends
More likely to agree with rules
Likes to sing, dance, and act
Shows concern and sympathy for others
Is aware of gender
Can tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
Shows more independence (for example, may visit a next-door neighbor by himself [adult supervision is still needed])
Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative

Language/Communication
Speaks very clearly
Tells a simple story using full sentences
Uses future tense; for example, “Grandma will be here.”
Says name and address

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Counts 10 or more things
Can draw a person with at least 6 body parts
Can print some letters or numbers
Copies a triangle and other geometric shapes
Knows about things used every day, like money and food

Movement/Physical Development
Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
Hops; may be able to skip
Can do a somersault
Uses a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife
Can use the toilet on her own
Swings and climbs

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
Shows extreme behavior (unusually fearful, aggressive, shy or sad)
Unusually withdrawn and not active
Is easily distracted, has trouble focusing on one activity for more than 5 minutes
Doesn’t respond to people, or responds only superficially
Can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
Doesn’t play a variety of games and activities
Can’t give first and last name
Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly
Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
Doesn’t draw pictures
Can’t brush teeth, wash and dry hands, or get undressed without help
Loses skills he once had