As your child grows up, you will see them rapidly change from a baby to a toddler to a preschooler, and so on. But how do we determine if our child is “on track” and growing at a healthy rate? Here are some milestones you can be on the lookout for in your child.
What Milestones Should I Be on the Lookout for in My Child?
There are various milestones throughout your child’s early development that you can be on the lookout for. The following milestones are according to the CDC and can be found on their website.
- Plays games with you, like pat-a-cake
- Waves “bye-bye”
- Calls a parent “mama” or “dada” or another special name
- Understands “no” (pauses briefly or stops when you say it)
- Puts something in a container, like a block in a cup
- Looks for things he sees you hide, like a toy under a blanket
- Pulls up to stand
- Walks, holding on to furniture
- Drinks from a cup without a lid, as you hold it
- Picks things up between thumb and pointer finger, like small bits of food
- Notices when others are hurt or upset, like pausing or looking sad when someone is crying
- Looks at your face to see how to react in a new situation
- Points to things in a book when you ask, like “Where is the bear?”
- Says at least two words together, like “More milk.”
- Points to at least two body parts when you ask him to show you
- Uses more gestures than just waving and pointing, like blowing a kiss or nodding yes
- Holds something in one hand while using the other hand; for example, holding a container and taking the lid off
- Tries to use switches, knobs, or buttons on a toy
- Plays with more than one toy at the same time, like putting toy food on a toy plate
- Kicks a ball
- Walks (not climbs) up a few stairs with or without help
- Eats with a spoon
- Calms down within 10 minutes after you leave her, like at a childcare drop off
- Notices other children and joins them to play
- Talks with you in conversation using at least two back-and-forth exchanges
- Asks “who,” “what,” “where,” or “why” questions, like “Where is mommy/daddy?”
- Says what action is happening in a picture or book when asked, like “running,” “eating,” or “playing”
- Says first name, when asked
- Talks well enough for others to understand, most of the time
- Draws a circle, when you show him how
- Avoids touching hot objects, like a stove, when you warn her
- Strings items together, like large beads or macaroni
- Puts on some clothes by himself, like loose pants or a jacket
- Uses a fork
The CDC has milestones lists for other ages on their website, as well as a helpful checklist you can print, so you can check each one off as your child grows. Additionally, it can be helpful to talk to your child’s physician about what you should be on the lookout for as your child develops. They know your child’s history and can help you track your child’s mental, emotional, and physical growth.
Why Do I Need to Be on the Lookout for Milestones in My Child?
Milestones help us determine if our little ones’ bodies and minds are growing and developing at a healthy rate. This helps in all areas of their childhood including their health, playtime, education, and home life. Additionally, watching for milestones helps us understand the changes our children are going through and remind us to be extra patient with them during those times of transition.
“While you don’t want to obsess over them, milestones are important because sometimes kids have delays in development. Most of the time, the earlier they get help, the more progress they can make. Milestones give you a clear set of skills to keep an eye on so you know where your child stands. They also help you know what to expect next, so you can support your child’s needs.”– WebMD
As we talk about milestones, however, it’s important to remember that every child is different. God made your little one special and unique! So just because they aren’t doing what their peers are doing doesn’t necessarily mean that something major is wrong. As a parent or caregiver, your role is to simply observe how your children are growing. If they start falling behind in one area or another, share your concerns with your child’s healthcare provider.