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Child Development Guidelines

While all children develop at different rates, some guidelines to check your child's progress include:

3 Months

  • Lift head and chest when laying on stomach
  • Follow a moving object or person with my eyes
  • Grasp a rattle or finger and wiggle and kick my legs
  • Smile back at people
  • Make cooing or babbling sounds
  • Cry in different ways to tell you what I need

6 Months

  • Hold my head up and look all around
  • Recognize familiar faces and smile at you
  • Coo, giggle and make lots of sounds
  • Push up on my hands and knees
  • Roll from my back to stomach and from my stomach to back
  • Love to be held and cuddled
  • Search (look) for sounds and turn head towards sound

9 Months

  • Sit up without much help
  • Begin to pull myself up and stand with help
  • Crawl or scoot myself forward
  • Use my thumb and finger together to pick up little things
  • Recognize and look for familiar people
  • Start to imitate and make sounds like real words (momma, dada)
  • Love to dump toys or things out of containers


12 Months

  • Stand alone or walk holding on to furniture
  • Take beginning steps towards walking alone
  • Say a few meaningful words
  • Point to a few objects when asked to find them
  • Dance or bounce to music
  • Respond to own name
  • Want parents or caregivers to always be where I can see them
  • Show fear or anxiety of people I don’t know


18 Months

  • Walk without help
  • Climb up and down on things
  • Stand up and sit down without holding on
  • Like to push, pull, and take things apart
  • Begin to show a “temper” when I can’t do something I want
  • Understand simple one step directions
  • Use more meaningful single words and gestures
  • Use words together
  • “Cling” to caretakers in new situations

2 Years

  • Walk, run, and climb without help
  • Go up and down stairs without holding on
  • Love to use the word “no”
  • Have frequent temper outbursts, when I’m mad, tired, or upset
  • Put two and three words together in simple sentences
  • Use about 50 words frequently
  • Sing songs or say rhymes
  • Feed myself and drink from a cup without a lid
  • Resist sharing my toys with other children

3 Years

  • Jump up and down
  • Begin to pedal a riding toy
  • Throw a big ball and catch it
  • Match colors and shapes
  • Play with others and share toys sometimes
  • Talk in short sentences and try to tell you what I’m feeling
  • Ask what and why questions and tell stories
  • Learn to solve problems

4 Years

  • Talk with words in sentences that can mostly be understood (75% of what is said)
  • Improved drawing, building and cutting skills
  • Discovers about sizes, volumes, shapes and colors
  • Match and name 3 or 4 colors
  • Learn to count and recognize some numbers and letters
  • Climb up and down a slide by myself
  • Put together simple puzzles with 5 or 6 pieces
  • Follow simple two step directions
  • Use the toilet with just a little help
  • Play cooperatively with others

5 Years

  • Can dress and undress myself without much help
  • Run, jump, hop, skip, and climb with ease
  • Follow three step directions
  • Ask and answer who, what, when, and where questions
  • Play well with others in a group
  • Enjoy games and follow simple rules
  • Recognize my printed name
  • Draw with details
  • Name 3-6 colors
  • Can count a small group of objects
  • understand right and wrong