Developmental Milestones

The milestones in this section were developed by the My Child Without Limits Advisory Committee and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). If your child is having trouble with some of these milestones talk to your doctor. Remember every child does new things at different times.


2 months

4 months

6 months

  • Turns heads toward bright colors and lights
  • Recognize bottle or breast
  • Respond to their parent’s voice
  • Makes cooing sounds
  • Brings hands together
  • Wiggles and kicks with arms and legs
  • Lifts head when on stomach
  • Becomes quiet in response to sound, especially to speech
  • Makes sounds with expression as if trying to talk
  • Attempts to imitate sounds when engaged in vocal play with parent
  • Follows moving objects with their eyes from side to side
  • Holds head steady
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface
  • Recognize familiar people and things at a distance
  • Lets you know if they are happy or sad
  • Shows some response when name is called
  • Turns toward the source of sounds
  • Reaches for objects and picks them up
  • Plays with their feet when laying on back
  • Helps hold the bottle during feeding
  • Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger
  • Attempts to imitate speech sounds
  • Rolls over
CDC Milestones for 2 Months (pdf) CDC Milestones for 4 Months (pdf) CDC Milestones for 6 Months (pdf)

9 months

1 year

18 months

  • Has favorite toys
  • Shows some ability to understand the word “no”
  • Uses fingers to point at things
  • May be afraid of strangers
  • Can sit without support
  • Crawls
  • Copy sounds and gestures of others
  • Get to a sitting position
  • Stand briefly without support
  • Imitate adults using a cup or telephone
  • Play peek-a-boo and patty cake
  • Wave bye-bye
  • Puts objects in a container
  • Makes “ma-ma” or “da-da” sounds
  • Likes to push and pull objects
  • Says at least six words
  • Follows simple directions
  • Pulls off shoes, socks, and mittens
  • Can point to a picture that you name in a book
  • Feeds themselves
  • Makes marks on paper with crayons
  • Walks without help
  • Walks backwards
  • Points to things they want and tries to use words to ask for things
 CDC Milestones for 9 Months (pdf) CDC Milestones for 1 Year (pdf) CDC Milestones for 18 Months (pdf)

2 years

3 years

4 years

  • Creates and uses two word phrases
  • Says more words that you can easily count
  • Recognizes familiar pictures
  • Kicks a ball forward
  • Feed themselves with a spoon to feed themselves (not necessarily neatly)
  • Demands a lot of your attention
  • When playing with a book, turns pages, although may turn two or three pages together
  • Identifies central body parts such as belly, eyes, ears and nose by pointing
  • Shows affection
  • Throws a ball overhand
  • Rides a tricycle
  • Can put on their shoes
  • Opens doors in the home
  • When playing with a book, can turn one page at a time
  • Plays with other children for a few minutes
  • Repeats common rhymes
  • Able to use small sentences when speaking
  • Name at least one color correctly
  • Sometimes uses five to six-word sentences when talking
  • Throws a ball overhand
  • Understand the concept of counting and may know a few numbers (e.g understands ‘you can only have one’)
  • Attempts to draw a person resulting in a drawing with at least two body parts
  • Recalls and is able to tell parts of stories
  • Begin to have a clearer sense of time
  • Understand the concepts of “same” and “different”
  • Has imagination and shows fantasy elements in play (e.g may be afraid of “monsters”, may like to dress up)
CDC Milestones for 2 Years (pdf) CDC Milestones for 3 Years (pdf) CDC Milestones for 4 Years (pdf)

5 years


  • Sometimes uses five to six-word sentences when talking
  • Fantasy play
  • Understands gender (e.g knows they are a boy or girl, knows mommy is a girl and daddy is a boy)
  • Can count 10 or more objects
  • Tells longer stories
  • Says name and address (if taught address)
  • Hops, somersaults, swings, climbs
  • Attempts to draw a person has a two-dimensional body (e.g a circle instead of a stick for a body)
  • Can print some letters (if taught)
  • Can dress and undress without help
  • Use fork, spoon and (sometimes) a table knife

CDC Milestones for 5 Years (pdf)

 Babies develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when your child will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones here will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect.

If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, or acts, talk to your child’s doctor and share your concerns. Don’t wait.

Click here for more information on developmental milestones