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Developmental Milestones Checklist: What changes should you expect as your child grows?

This milestone chart can help you check your child's development against common milestones.


Birth to three months

baby girl laying on pink blanket

Sight develops significantly. Babies at this age focus best on items 8-12 inches away. Adult faces become a major focal point. They'll recognize you and smile at you.

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Three to six months

smiling infant girl with yellow flower in hair

Curiosity develops. Babies at this age begin to pay attention to the world around them. They hold their heads up, begin to roll around, play with their toes and react to noises.

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Six to nine months

baby boy sucking on thumb

Exploration begins. Babies at this age like to try things to find out what happens next (cause and effect). They begin to move with some skill, sitting up, crawling and even beginning to stand.

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Nine to 12 months

Toddler girl with cups

Repetition is fun. Babies at this age watch others and then repeat the actions they see. They also like to do things over and over again to understand how things work.

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12 to 15 months

Toddler boy with ball

Taking first steps. At this age, toddlers are making their first efforts at independence. They begin walking and talking. Hearing them say "It's mine" is common. Toddlers are aware of other children, but still may prefer to play alone.

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15 to 18 months

Toddler boy with toy

Becoming active. Look out! Toddlers at this age are testing out new physical skills—including walking, running, manipulating objects, and throwing balls.

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18 to 21 months

Toddler girl with blocks

Watching the world closely. At this age, toddlers are imitating others. You'll find them copying day-to-day tasks such as brushing hair, or cleaning activities. You may also find them using objects for new purposes, such as using a toothbrush as a brush for their stuffed animal.

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21 to 24 months

preschool boy with stacking blocks

Talking and listening. At this age, children are beginning to communicate their thoughts and needs, can follow and enjoy stories, and are showing a sense of humor.

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Two and a half years

Mom with toddler boy examining leaf

Testing boundaries. Children at this age are likely to insist on completing tasks without help. Expect to hear words and phrases such as "mine," "no," and "me do it." At the same time, they are becoming more social and may play more cooperatively with others.

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Three years

preschool boy with device

Language developing quickly. At this age, children can put three to four words together and may even become quite talkative. They will sing and play with other children, but still may be shy around strangers. They are also learning how to follow rules.

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Three and a half years

preschool boy holding truck

Growing independence. Children at this age are starting to do more by themselves, including some parts of getting dressed and simple household chores. At the same time, they're starting to understand more words and ideas.

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Four years

preschool girl giving high five

Learning math. At this age, children can point to numbers and count up to 10 (with the help of blocks or other visual support). They can also repeat up to four numbers back to you, match things that are related and pick out which group has "more balls" or "more cups."

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Four and a half years

Mom reading to two preschoolers

Social skills. At this age, children can understand concepts like same/different and more/less. They can make themselves understood, take turns, and enjoy telling stories and having conversations.

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Five years

two preschool age girls

Ready for school. Children at this age can talk with others, answer "how many?" and tell the difference between shapes, toys, and pictures on cards. They can tell you their birthday, name feelings, dress themselves, march in time to music and tell the difference between real and make-believe.

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Concerned about your child’s development?

Call Pennsylvania’s CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 for information about your child’s development and connecting to Early Intervention services in Pennsylvania.

Call Child Care Works Helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS (1-877-472-5437) for information about finding, paying for and other concerns related to child care.

Learn more about these Helplines