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Developmental Milestones

Below is a list of Developmental Milestones your child should be exhibiting based on their age.

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By 3 Months

Social and emotional

  • Begins to develop a social smile
  • Enjoys playing with other people and may cry when playing stops
  • Becomes more expressive and communicates more with face and body
  • Imitates some movements and facial expressions

Movement

  • Raises head and chest when lying on stomach
  • Supports upper body with arms when lying on stomach
  • Stretches legs out and kicks when lying on stomach or back
  • Opens and shuts hands
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are placed on a firm surface
  • Brings hand to mouth
  • Takes swipes at dangling objects with hands
  • Grasps and shakes hand toys

Vision

  • Watches faces intently
  • Follows moving objects
  • Recognizes familiar objects and people at a distance
  • Starts using hands and eyes in coordination

Hearing and Speech

  • Smiles at the sound of your voice
  • Begins to babble
  • Begins to imitate some sounds
  • Turns head toward direction of sound
By 7 Months

Social and emotional

  • Enjoys social play
  • Interested in mirror images
  • Responds to other people's expressions of emotion

Cognitive

  • Finds partially hidden object
  • Explores with hands and mouth
  • Struggles to get objects that are out of reach

Language

  • Responds to own name
  • Begins to respond to "no"
  • Can tell emotions by tone of voice
  • Responds to sound by making sounds
  • Uses voice to express joy and displeasure
  • Babbles chains of sounds

Movement

  • Rolls both ways (front to back, back to front)
  • Sits with, and then without, support on hands
  • Supports whole weight on legs
  • Reaches with one hand
  • Transfers object from hand to hand
  • Uses hand to rake objects

Vision

  • Develops full color vision
  • Distance vision
  • Ability to track moving objects improves and appears joyful often
By 1 Year

Social and emotional

  • Shy or anxious with strangers
  • Cries when mother or father leaves
  • Enjoys imitating people in play
  • Shows specific preferences for certain people and toys
  • Tests parental responses to actions during feedings
  • Tests parental responses to behavior
  • May be fearful in some situations
  • Prefers mother and/or regular caregiver over all others
  • Repeats sounds or gestures for attention
  • Finger-feeds self
  • Extends arm or leg to help when being dressed

Cognitive

  • Explores objects in many different ways (shaking, banging, throwing, dropping)
  • Finds hidden objects easily
  • Looks at correct posture when the image is named
  • Imitates gestures
  • Begins to use objects correctly (drinking from cup, brushing hair, dialing phone)

Language

  • Pays increasing attention to speech
  • Responds to simple verbal requests
  • Responds to "no"
  • Uses simple gestures suck as shaking head for "no"
  • Babbles with inflection (changes in tone)
  • Says "dada" and "mama"
  • Uses exclamations, such as "Oh-oh!"
  • Tries to imitate words
By 2 Years

Social and Emotional

  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children
  • More aware of themselves as separate from others
  • More excited about company of other children

Emotional

  • Demonstrates increasing independence
  • Begins to show defiant behavior
  • Separation anxiety increases toward midyear then fades

Cognitive

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Begins to make-believe play

Language

  • Points to object or picture when it's named for him
  • Recognizes names of familiar people, objects, and body parts
  • Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months)
  • Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months)
  • Uses 2 to 4 word sentences
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation

Movement

  • Walks alone
  • Pulls toys behind themselves while walking
  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking
  • Begins to run
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
  • Walks up and down stairs holding onto support

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Scribbles on their own
  • Turns over container to pour out contents
  • Builds tower of four blocks or more
  • Might use one hand more often than the other
By 3 Years

Social and Emotional

  • Imitates adults and playmates
  • Spontaneously shows affection for familiar playmates
  • Can take turns in games
  • Understands concept of "mine" and "his/hers"

Emotional

  • Expresses affection openly
  • Expresses a wide range of emotions
  • By 3 years, separates easily from parents
  • Objects to major changes in routine

Cognitive

  • Makes mechanical toys work
  • Matches an object in her hand or room to picture in a book
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
  • Sorts objects by shapes and color
  • Completes puzzles with three or four pieces
  • Understands concept of "two"

Language

  • Follows a two or three part command
  • Recognizes and identifies almost all common objects and pictures
  • Understands most sentences
  • Understands placement in space ("on", "in", "under")
  • Uses 4 to 5 word sentences
  • Can say name, age and sex
  • Uses pronouns (I, you, me, we, they) and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
  • Strangers can understand most of her words

Movement

  • Climbs well
  • Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet (one foot per stair step)
  • Kicks ball
  • Runs easily
  • Pedals tricycle
  • Bends over easily without failing

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Makes up-and-down, side-to-side and circular lines with pencil or crayon
  • Turns book pages one at a time
  • Builds a tower of more than six blocks
  • Holds a pencil in writing position
  • Screws and unscrews jar lids, nuts and bolts
  • Turns rotating handles
By 4 Years

Social and Emotional

  • Interested in new experiences
  • Cooperates with other children
  • Plays "mom" or "dad"
  • Increasingly inventive in fantasy play
  • Dresses and undresses
  • Negotiates solutions to conflicts
  • More independent

Emotional

  • Imagines that many unfamiliar images may be "monsters"
  • Views self as a whole person involving body, mind and feelings
  • Often cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality

Cognitive

  • Correctly names some colors
  • Understands the concept of counting and may know a few numbers
  • Tries to solve problems from a single point of view
  • Begins to have a clearer sense of time
  • Follows three-part commands
  • Recalls parts of a story
  • Understands the concepts of "same" and "different"
  • Engages in fantasy play

Language

  • Has mastered some basic rules of grammar
  • Speaks in sentences of five to six words
  • Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
  • Tells stories

Movement

  • Hops and stands on one foot up to five seconds
  • Goes upstairs and downstairs without support
  • Kicks ball forward
  • Throws ball overhand
  • Catches bounced ball most of the time
  • Moves forward and backward with agility

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Copies square shapes
  • Draws a person with two to four body parts
  • Uses scissors
  • Draws circles and squares
  • Begins to copy some capital letters
By 5 Years

Social and Emotional

  • Wants to please friends
  • Wants to be like their friends
  • More likely to agree to rules
  • Likes to sing, dance and act
  • Shows more independence and may even visit next-door neighbors by themselves

Emotional

  • Aware of gender
  • Able to distinguish fantasy from reality
  • Sometimes demanding, sometimes eagerly cooperative

Cognitive

  • Can count 10 or more objects
  • Correctly names at least four colors
  • Better understands the concept of time
  • Knows about things used every day in the home (money, food, appliances)

Language

  • Recalls part of a story
  • Speaks sentences of more than five words
  • Uses future tense
  • Tells longer stories
  • Says name and address

Movement

  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Hops, somersaults
  • Swings, climbs
  • May be able to skip

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Copies triangle and other shapes
  • Draws person with body
  • Prints some letters
  • Dresses and undresses without help
  • Uses fork, spoon and (sometimes) a table knife
  • Usually cares for own toilet needs

See what others have to say...

    review rating 5  My experience with BDI in both the Aurora and Orland location has been incredible. I am a Chicago area Orthotist specializing in pediatrics. I work with many out patient facilities and BDI is always my top recommendation to families looking for services. The therapists are hand chosen for their specific skills, and they are continuously building on their knowledge and equipment. BDI offers children and their families so much, it is truly the full package. Things like aqua therapy, serial casting, and gait clinic are not available at most pediatric facilities. I am speaking not only as a medical professional who works with the therapists and office staff at BDI, but also as a mother who has had their child treated there. From insurance authorization help to complete satisfaction on therapeutic treatment of my child. Thank you BDI for all that you do!

    thumb Gwen Ansier
    12/28/2019

    review rating 5  Ms. Keishla is our sons physical therapist. She is always so nice, patient, understanding, and professional. We brought our son to BDI since was 7 weeks old for Torticollis. He has improved greatly from PT. She gave great evidenced based recommendations to apply at home and answered many of our questions. We also took sign language with Ms. Amy and she was wonderful too. Highly recommended!

    thumb Irene Cheung
    10/04/2019

    review rating 5  My daughter has been going to BDI for years. The therapists and staff there are wonderful! My daughter has made incredible progress over the years, undoubtedly due to the hard work and dedication of her talented therapists. We couldn't be happier with our experience at BDI!

    thumb Brent Hotsinpiller
    9/21/2017