Developmental Milestones

The changes babies and toddlers go through are made up of different skills, like walking and talking. These skills, or developmental milestones, usually happen by certain ages. Although each child is unique and develops at his or her own pace, watching to see when a child reaches these milestones can help a parent know how their child is developing.

If there are concerns about how a child is growing and learning, consult with the child’s doctor or contact the DARS Division for Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECI) by calling the DARS Inquiries Line at 1-800-628-5115.

To review the developmental milestones for age 3 months to age 36 months, select from the links below

Age in Months:   3-6 | 6-9 | 9-12 | 12-15 | 15-18 | 18-21 | 21-24 | 24-30 | 30-36

3 – 6 Month Old Babies

  • follow moving toys or faces with their eyes
  • startle at loud or new sounds
  • wiggle and kick with legs and arms
  • lift head and shoulders while on stomach
  • smile back at parents or other family members
  • make sounds, like gurgling, cooing or sucking sounds

6 – 9 Month Old Babies

  • explore toys with hands and mouth
  • roll over front-to-back and back-to-front
  • squeal and babble different sounds
  • sit by leaning on their hands
  • turn their heads to voices and respond to their names
  • know family members and seek their attention
  • enjoy playing "peek-a-boo"

9 – 12 Month Old Babies

  • copy hand movements like “patty cake,” or “bye-bye”
  • pick up crumbs or other small things with their thumb and a finger
  • move toys from one hand to the other hand
  • crawl on hands and knees
  • sit without help
  • repeat sounds like “baba,” “dada,” “mama”
  • cry when mother or father leaves

12 – 15 Month Old Babies

  • pull themselves up to a standing position
  • walk by holding onto furniture
  • drink from a cup with your help
  • wave bye-bye
  • say “mama” and “dada” and one other word
  • point to objects they want
  • can find a toy hidden under a cloth

15 – 18 Month Old Babies

  • use at least three words besides “mama” and “dada”
  • like to look at pictures in a book
  • hold a crayon in a fist
  • hand toys to you when asked
  • point to pictures or objects you name
  • walk without help
  • dump contents out of a box

18 – 21 Month Old Toddlers

  • like to pull and push things while walking
  • use pointing and words together to tell what they want
  • pull off shoes and socks
  • feed themselves with their fingers
  • can point to one body part when asked
  • use at least 10 words and repeat words you say

21 – 24 Month Old Toddlers

  • point and use words to get your attention
  • like to pretend-play (talk on toy phone)
  • put together a 2 or 3 piece picture puzzle
  • like to throw balls
  • like to play alone with toys for a short time
  • say “No” a lot
  • like to copy what others do

24 – 30 Month Old Toddlers

  • use 2 to 3 words together, like “No, Mommy” or “More cookies”
  • use and understand at least 50 words
  • feed themselves with a spoon
  • enjoy being around and watching other toddlers
  • show affection to family members and pets
  • run short distances without falling
  • pretend play with more than one step (Feed a doll, then pat and hug it.)
  • show lots of feelings (joy, anger, sadness)

30 – 36 Month Old Toddlers

  • throw a ball overhand
  • comfort another child who is crying
  • can walk on tiptoes
  • combine 2 ideas in a sentence (“I want an apple and a banana.”)
  • help to clean up
  • ask for help when needed
  • combine 2 toys in pretend play (Uses a stuffed bear as the driver of a toy car.)
  • use at least 100 words