What is typical child development by age?

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1 to 3 months:
  • Intermittently holds head in supported sitting
  • When on belly raises head and chest, may support self on forearms
  • Actively holds rattle placed in hands
  • Follows dangling object from side past midline with eyes
  • Smiles/laughs and uses other vocal expressions of pleasure
4 to 6 months:
  • Rolling from belly to back and back to belly
  • Holds head up independently in supported sitting
  • Bears weight on forearms when on belly (chest/head up)
  • Plays with feet when lying on back
  • Reaching and grasping for objects
  • Bringing toys to mouth for oral exploration
  • Can use eyes to track an object without moving head
  • Expresses anger/displeasure with vocal patterns other than crying
  • Smiles at self in mirror
  • Bangs/mouths objects during play
  • Often uses sounds like “p”, “b”, “m”
6 to 8 months
  • Pivoting when on belly
  • Sits unsupported (hands free to play)
  • Props and reaches across body in sitting
  • Gets onto hands and knees
  • Transfers object from one hand to other
  • Reaches outspread fingers towards small object, raking grasp
  • Bangs two objects together
  • Feeds self a cracker
  • Responds to gesture “up”, “come here”, and “no”
  • Frequent 2-syllable babbling
9 months
  • Gets in and out of sitting
  • Crawls on hands and knees
  • Pulls to standing
  • Picks up small objects with thumb and index finger
  • Pokes with index finger
  • Waves bye-bye
  • Gives object upon verbal request
  • Says first words (e.g. dada or mama)
10 to 12 months
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Stands momentarily without support
  • Takes objects in and out of container
  • Functional play emerges (e.g. roll ball, brush to head, phone to ear)
  • Holds crayon and scribbles
  • Holds cup and drinks from it
  • Feeds self finger foods
  • Identifying 1-2 body parts on self
  • Repeats performance if laughed at
  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Understands “give it to me”
12 to 15 months
  • Walks unassisted forward, sideways and backwards
  • Squats to play or retrieve toy without support
  • Gets to feet without help
  • Builds tower of two small blocks
  • Scribbles spontaneously
  • Turns pages in book two or three at once
  • Uses spoon in feeding
  • Actively participates in self-care (e.g. holds hands out for washing)
  • Consistently follows 1-step commands
  • Shakes head “no”
  • Attempts to sing along with music
  • Uses expressive vocabulary (1-3 words)
15 to 18 months
  • Walks fast, runs stiffly
  • Up and down stairs with one hand held, two feet to each step
  • Throws ball forward in standing
  • Stacks 3 to 4 small blocks
  • Correctly places shapes in foam board
  • Takes off untied shoes
  • Coordinated cup drinking
  • Uses 7 or more (up to 20) single words
  • Names a few familiar objects
  • Understands two related requests
18 to 24 months
  • Kicks large ball
  • Walks and runs fairly well
  • Upstairs without support, two feet to each step
  • Jumps up clearing both feet
  • Skilled dissociation (one hand manipulates while other hand stabilizes)
  • Dumps pellets from bottle purposefully
  • Uses 10-20 single words
  • Starting to say 2-3 words in phrases
  • Points to several body parts on request (e.g. nose, mouth, hair)
  • Understands and identifies most common objects
  • Turn taking during conversation present
24 to 36 months
  • Stands on one foot for one second
  • Walks upstairs with alternating feet without support
  • Jumps from bottom step with both feet without support
  • Builds tower of 6 to 7 small blocks
  • Imitates vertical line/crude circle
  • Strings beads
  • Dresses with assistance
  • Brushes teeth but not thoroughly
  • Refers to self by name and can state gender
  • Uses simple sentences and phrases (2 to 3 words)
  • Starting to name colors
  • Understands size concept (big and little)
  • Demonstrates parallel play
  • Uses most toys appropriately
36 to 48 months
  • Walks down stairs alternating feet without support
  • Balance on each foot 3-5 seconds
  • Rides tricycle using pedals
  • Catches large ball
  • Reaches on tip toes
  • Jumps forward 6 to 12 inches with 2-foot take off
  • Holds marker with fingers in tripod position
  • Copies a cross
  • Cuts along one inch line with scissors
  • Completes 4 piece puzzle
  • Unbuttons, unties, and unzips
  • Feeds self with little spilling, using fork
  • Counts to three
  • Follows a three step unrelated command
  • Attention span 2 to 4 minutes
4 years
  • Hops on each foot 3-5 seconds
  • Walks on a line without stepping off
  • Rolls forward (somersaults)
  • Throws ball overhand 5-10 feet
  • Places 10 pennies in small bottle one at a time
  • Pours liquid from pitcher or carton
  • Buttons and unbuttons
  • Speech is 80% intelligible
  • Recognizes 3 colors
  • Counts to 10 by rote
  • Uses sentences of 4 to 8 words
5 years
  • Skips 8 to 10 steps
  • Walks heel to toe on a line
  • Stands on each foot with eyes open 5 to 10 seconds
  • Can rapidly touch each finger to thumb after demonstration
  • Connects dots with straight lines
  • Brushes teeth independently
  • Uses knife to spread
  • Sequentially names days of week
  • Asks “how” questions
  • Names six colors and shapes

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