Developmental Milestones Checklist

Birth through 24 months

*Note: Please note that there is a range in which many of these milestones are achieved. Please do not be alarmed if your child does not meet the milestone at the exact month under which the skill is listed. However, if there is more than a 1-2 month delay, it is recommended that you contact our office to discuss the need for further assessment. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s development, please contact our office at 949-252-9946 or for a free consultation.

In addition to the developmental milestones listed below, warning signs to look for include:
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Under-responsiveness to pain
  • Difficulty tolerating a prone position (lying on tummy)
  • Dislikes baths
  • Resists being held; dislikes being cuddled
  • Picky eater
  • Shows discomfort getting hands messy
  • Appears uncomfortable with swinging
  • Dislikes rocking
  • Inability to settle down; sleep difficulties
  • Difficulty being consoled, poor self-soothing, unusually fussy
  • Dislikes car rides or becomes car sick
  • Needs to be driven in car to calm down
  • Easily startles
  • Strong need for routine, poor flexibility
  • Repetitive in play, plays the same things over and over, limited play skills
  • Failure to explore
  • Difficulty with transitions—between toys/activities, between environments

**Please also refer to the Behavioral Manifestations of Sensory Processing Problems checklist for more information.

At 4 months, typical developmental milestones include:
  • Lifts and turns head from side to side while lying on stomach
  • Holds head up and looks around when lying on stomach
  • Uses arms to raise head and chest off floor while lying on stomach
  • Brings both hands simultaneously to midline of chest or face when lying on back
  • Maintains head in midline while on tummy or back
  • No longer exhibit signs of head lag when pulled to sit
  • Watches a toy (ex. rattle) move from side to side while lying on back
  • Holds head steady when in sitting position
  • Sits up when provided with support
  • Grasps a rattle or toy when placed in hand
  • Responds to a smile with a smile
  • Makes eye contact or looks at your mouth when talking face-to-face
At 6 months, typical developmental milestones include:
  • Sits independently
  • Stands while holding hands
  • Creeps forward on tummy using arms
  • Grasps a cube
  • Opens hand in anticipation of contact with a toy or other object
  • Looks for a toy if dropped
  • Tries to get toys out of reach
  • Looks at and manipulates objects in hand
  • Smiles at own reflection in the mirror
  • Orients towards sounds
  • Responds differently to familiar individuals and strangers
At 9 months, typical developmental milestones include:
  • Comes up on all fours
  • Creeps forward on hands and knees
  • Crawls
  • Pulls self to standing
  • Transfers a cube from one hand to the other
  • Holds own bottle
  • Uses speech and/or non-crying sounds to express pleasure/displeasure
  • Babbles with long and short groups of sounds, as if “talking”
  • Plays games like peek-a-boo
  • Recognizes own name
At 12 months, typical developmental milestones include:
  • Stands up from a sitting position
  • Reaches down to retrieve a fallen toy
  • Cruises using furniture for support or walk while holding hands
  • Walks independently
  • Picks up a Cheerio (or similar item) between the thumb and index finger
  • Grasps two small items simultaneously
  • Removes pegs from a pegboard
  • Finger feeds self
  • Removes own socks
  • Holds a toy on a string
  • Corrals a ball when sitting
  • Uses one or two words, like “mama,” “dada,’ or ‘bye bye”
  • Imitates various sounds
  • Claps hands
  • Pats pictures in a book
At 18 months, typical developmental milestones include:
  • Walks up stairs with assistance (2 feet on each step)
  • Moves around a familiar room and explore the environment
  • Attempts to imitate kicking a stationary ball
  • Scribbles with crayons
  • Stacks blocks
  • Holds a toy with one hand while the other plays with it
  • Enjoys pushing or pulling toys while walking
  • Sleeps through the night
  • Spoon feeds self
  • Drinks from a cup (may spill)
  • Uses a straw
  • Cooperates with dressing and undressing
  • Uses single words or short phrases such as “more” or “all done”
  • Points to a few body parts when asked
  • Plays alone for short periods
  • Seeks reassurance or attention from parent/caregiver when playing on his/her own
At 24 months, typical developmental milestones include:
  • Carries objects while walking
  • Jumps with both feet off the floor
  • Moves in and out of various positions (ex. crawl, climb, cruise, walk) to explore and get desired objects
  • Stands on one foot briefly
  • Imitates throwing a small ball
  • Spontaneously names pictures in a book
  • Turns pages in a book
  • Inserts shapes into matching slots
  • Imitates vertical strokes
  • Uses a fork
  • Washes hands with help
  • Removes a jacket independently
  • Follows a series of related commands, such as “Pick up the ball and give it to me”
  • Helps clean up
  • Asserts independence with tasks, refuses help
  • Engages in pretend play
  • Plays with other children
  • Enjoys playing with new toys in a variety of ways


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