Baby Milestones

There’s tons of these charts on the web, better than mine… but here’s a start, from a developmental disabilities institution…


  • Sees simple patterns, follows slow objects
  • Likes faces
  • Has automatic reflexes, especially hand to mouth; can also grip hard
  • Cries because he has needs that need attention
  • Likes soft, high pitched voices
  • Gentle touching, holding, rocking all soothe him
  • Becomes tense when caregivers are tense

Two Months

  • Tracks you moving across the room
  • Can lift head while on stomach, sometimes looking like she wants to crawl
  • Uses entire body to hit toys or mobile
  • Sucks fingers, circles hands
  • Gurgles and cooing sounds (oooh, uunhh)
  • Smiles
  • turns to familiar voices
  • more interested in toys or things outside of self

Four months

  • can keep head steady while propped up, looks around
  • many enjoy being pulled to standing position
  • may start teething; drooling
  • watches his own fingers and plays with them
  • Looks at each hand separately, grabbing them and pulling apart
  • Reaches for toys
  • can laugh out loud
  • More kinds of baby sounds (aahh, hunh)
  • can have different tones or voices
  • loves to be played with
  • enjoys being pulled up to sit up (probably outgrown bouncy seat)
  • fusses to make you come
  • lets you know he wants to be picked up
  • can tell the difference between family members
  • may have favorite toys

Seven months

  • Can sit up unattended for a short time
  • Has begun to crawl
  • may be able to pull up to stand while holding on
  • can pick up and drop things
  • holds her own toys, may want to feed herself
  • imitates sounds, talks to self in mirror
  • squeaks, squeals, more vowel sounds
  • watches your mouth when you talk
  • tries to follow you when you leave the room
  • enjoys other children but also plays alone
  • enjoys baths
  • bonding is very important (loves quality time with you)

Ten months

  •  Continues to practice crawling, racing, climbing
  • may try walking
  • likes to eat with fingers
  • may show hand dominance
  • understands common words like no and bye-bye
  • may say dada, mama, hi, etc.
  • may practice going away from you and coming back
  • may have special toys he carries with him
  • has fun helping with dressing and undressing (extends arms or feet)
  • seems to understand people’s moods more

Twelve months

  • may totter with legs wide apart
  • likes to climb up
  • gestures for up or when desiring something
  • points
  • untying shoes, may help wash himself
  • likes spoons, can put it into his bowl or cup
  • fitting one thing inside another is a favorite maneuver
  • can play simple games of ball, grasping it, letting go, maybe rolling
  • using a couple words
  • can probably let you know what he wants
  • loves an audience; enjoys applause and will repeat things to get it; may clap for himself
  • showing more complex emotions like jealousy, frustration, affection, sympathy
  • developing a sense of humor
  • loves rhythms, books
  • becoming an imitator

Fifteen Months

  • walking better, feet more parallel
  • can pick things up while walking without falling
  • loves to throw things, can let go
  • can stack blocks into a short tower without knocking it over
  • can put things into containers
  • adds gestures to language, nursery songs
  • baby talk (“ta ta” for Thank you)
  • More interested and aware about surrounding
  • all over the place and loves trash cans
  • likes music and dances
  • will look at books with help
  • starts testing, may refuse foods

Eighteen months

  • full of energy, running into nooks and corners, up and down stairs
  • walks with feet still wide apart, runs stiffly
  • uses whole arm when he plays ball
  • loves to lug, tug, dump, push, pull, bang
  • tries to eat with spoon and fork himself
  • takes off hat, shoes, socks
  • likes to close doors, flush toilets, and hand things to you
  • adding some pronouns to speech
  • may not say ending consonants (“boo” instead of “book”)
  • Favorite words may be “all gone” and “thank you”
  • Understands most directions
  • Desire for independence is stronger

Twenty-four months

  • cutting last of the baby teeth
  • still doesn’t walk erect; knees and elbows are slightly bent, shoulders hunched, arms held out and back
  • Leans forward during running but likes going up and down stairs
  • kicks a ball
  • handles a spoon and fork well
  • can turn a doorknob and draw on paper
  • likes to take things apart and put them back together
  • uses some sentences, baby talk is lessening
  • likes to talk to herself, repeating words and combining them with actions
  • typical vocabulary is diverse: anywhere from six to 1000 words.
  • Busy identifying the world around her
  • enjoys “helping”
  • can clean up after self
  • is into “No,” even when she doesn’t mean it

Thirty-six months

  • eats mainly at mealtimes, enjoys family meals, eating what adults eat
  • can be toilet-trained without too many accidents
  • imagination is growing, engaging in pretend play
  • loves the company of others
  • can play alone
  • climbing, digging, throwing are still favorite pasttimes (Sandbox, water tables, etc)
  • Not afraid to venture out of immediate surroundings
  • Makes friends and has rivals
  • explores body and is curious about others’ during dress, diapers
  • Can dress himself more, wash himself
  • Can clean up his own room
  • Enjoys storytime, TV, and mechanical toys
  • doesn’t say No as much, becomes more cooperative (if you’re lucky!!)

Remember, just like with all charts, take them with a grain of salt.  Allow yourself 1-2 months before you get worried that something isn’t emerging.  And take into account the personality and birth order of the child.


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