Child development milestones

Two months

At around two months you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • Whilst laying on tummy, baby turns their head to the side
  • Whilst laying on back, baby waves arms, legs and wiggles/squirms
  • Briefly holds a toy when you place it in their hand
  • Follows an object or person with both eyes

Communication

  • Be able to make cooing sounds such as ‘aaah’, ‘gah’, ‘ooo’
  • Baby smiles when spoken to
  • When you talk to your baby, they make sounds back to you
  • Cries when wet, hungry tired or wants to be held
  • Eye to eye contact is deliberately maintained
  • Turns to voices

Four months

At around four months you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • When laying on tummy, baby will hold their head straight up and look around
  • When in a sitting position, baby will hold their head steady, without support
  • Whilst laying on back, baby will bring hands together over the chest, touching their fingers
  • When in a sitting position, baby should start to reach for a toy close by
  • When baby has a toy in their hand, they will hold it whilst looking at it, waving it about and attempting to chew it

Communication

  • When in front of a mirror, baby should smile or ‘coo’ at themselves
  • Baby will be able to chuckle softly and/or laugh
  • After you have been out of sight, baby will smile or get excited when they see you
  • Baby will make sounds when looking at toys or people
  • Baby will be able to make high pitched squeals

Six months

At around six months you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • Baby will roll from their back to their tummy
  • Baby will be able to sit up with support
  • Baby will be able to get into a crawling position
  • Be able to grasp a toy using both hands at once
  • Reach a small object using their finger and pick it up using their thumb and all fingers
  • Be able to pick up a small toy with one hand and pass it to the other
  • Plays with feet when laying on back

Communication

  • Holds hands up to be lifted
  • Makes sounds like ‘Da’, ‘ga’, ‘ka’
  • Squeals and laughs
  • Likes to look at themselves in a mirror

 

Nine months

At around nine months you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • Sits without support
  • Can get into sitting position from lying down
  • Will pull to stand and take weight on feet
  • May crawl
  • Rolls over both ways

Communication

  • Copy simple sounds
  • Babbles making different sounds e.g. mamma
  • Baby will when asked ‘Give it to me’ or ‘Put it back’
  • Recognises family members
  • Clingy to familiar adults
  • Has a favourite toy

Twelve months

At around twelve months you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • Sits well and gets into sitting position alone
  • Pulls to stand from sitting position and can sit down again
  • Walks around furniture
  • May crawl or bottom shuffle
  • May stand alone
  • Help turn the pages of a book
  • Throw a small ball
  • Be able to pick up a piece of string with first finger and thumb

Communication

  • Points at objects
  • Responds to own name
  • When dressing, will hold out arm or foot to help
  • Makes more meaningful sounds e.g. Mamma, Dadda

Eighteen months

At around eighteen months you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • Walks well
  • Can walk upstairs holding an adults hand
  • Can stack blocks on top of each other
  • Turn the page of a book
  • Put a small in their mouth, right side up

Communication

  • Says several single words
  • Recognises and points to parts of the body
  • Enjoys nursery rhymes and tries to join in
  • Obeys simple commands, such as ‘bring me your shoes’

Two years old

At around two years old you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

 

  • Tries to kick a ball
  • Runs well
  • Jumps with both feet leaving the floor at the same time
  • Holds pencil by using thumb and first two fingers
  • Can string small items such as beads, pasta onto a string
  • Drinks from a cup with no lid

Communication

 

  • Likes to pretend and role play
  • Can name well known objects
  • Correctly uses words like ‘I’, ‘Mine’ and ‘You’
  • Will correctly put two – three words together

Three years old

At around three years old you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • Will walk on tip toes when shown
  • Walks upstairs with alternate feet, still puts both feet on each step when coming down
  • Catches a large ball
  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Climbs walls

Communication

  • Can say own name, age and sex
  • Can say numbers up to 10
  • Pretend play is more vivid
  • Plays with other children and takes turns
  • Understands and uses ‘You’, ‘Me’, ‘I’

Four years old

At around four years old you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • Walks up and down stairs using alternate feet
  • Good on a tricycle
  • Hops and stands on one foot
  • Can throw, catch and kick well
  • Draws a person with recognisable body parts eg head, arms and legs
  • Uses a fork and spoon well

 Communication

  • Knows own first and last name
  • Can sing several nursery rhymes
  • Likes to listen to longer stories and will tell own stories
  • Continues to ask lots of questions
  • Takes turns and shares
  • Shows sympathy to friends when hurt or upset

Five years old

At around five years old you can expect your child to be able to do the following:

Physical

  • Can balance and stand on one foot for about 10 seconds
  • Hops
  • Dances
  • Swings and climbs
  • Slides down a slide
  • Can now get dressed and undressed by self

Communication

  • Speech is very clear
  • Knows name, address and age
  • Likes listening and telling stories
  • May have best friend
  • Sense of humour increasing
  • Uses more imagination
  • Shows more independence

 

Who can help?

If you’re worried about your child’s development, call your health visiting team on 01525 631150 or discuss your concerns with a health professional at your next review. Find out about the schedule of childhood development reviews in Bedfordshire here.

 

Links and additional information

Health visiting in Bedfordshire

NHS birth to five development timeline

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Patient Experience