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Family Resources Childhood developmental milestones

Here's what you can expect your child to be doing from birth to age three.
('Early Help Makes a Difference', NY State Department of Health)

3 Months
At three months of age, most babies:
  • turn their heads toward bright colors and lights
  • move both eyes in the same direction together
  • recognize bottle or breast
  • respond to their mother’s voice
  • make cooing sounds
  • bring their hands together
  • wiggle and kick with arms and legs
  • lift head when on stomach
  • become quiet in response to sound, especially to speech
  • smile

6 Months
At six months of age, most babies:
  • follow moving objects with their eyes
  • turn toward the source of normal sound
  • reach for objects and pick them up
  • switch toys from one hand to the other
  • play with their toes
  • help hold the bottle during feeding
  • recognize familiar faces
  • imitate speech sounds
  • respond to soft sounds, especially talking
  • rollover

12 Months
At twelve months of age, most babies:
  • get to a sitting position
  • pull to a standing position
  • stand briefly without support
  • crawl
  • imitate adults using a cup or telephone
  • play peek-a-boo and patty cake
  • wave bye-bye
  • say at least one word
  • make “ma-ma” or “da-da” sounds

18 Months
At eighteen months of age, most children:
  • like to push and pull objects
  • say at least six words
  • follow simple directions (“Bring the ball”)
  • pull off shoes, socks and mittens
  • can point to a picture that you name in a book
  • feed themselves
  • make marks on paper with crayons
  • walk without help
  • walk backwards
  • point, make sounds or try to use words to ask for things
  • say “no,” shake their head or push away things they don’t want

2 Years
At two years of age, most children:
  • use two-to-three-word sentences
  • say about 50 words
  • recognize familiar pictures
  • kick a ball forward
  • feed themselves with a spoon
  • demand a lot of your attention
  • turn two or three pages together
  • like to imitate their parent
  • identify hair, eyes, ears and nose by pointing
  • build a tower of four blocks
  • show affection

3 Years
At three years of age, most children:
  • throw a ball overhand
  • ride a tricycle
  • put on their shoes
  • open the door
  • turn one page at a time
  • play with other children for a few minutes
  • repeat common rhymes
  • use three-to-five-word sentences
  • name at least one color correctly
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last updated 10/30/2010