Developmental Milestones

Developmental Milestones: Prenatal to Three Years Old

As a child develops, there are many typical steps for parents and professionals to look for as age appropriate guidelines in their development.

Prenatal Development

Weeks 1-8: develop heart, upper limbs, lower limbs, and start to develop many other organs
Week 9-16: develop palate and ears, continue to develop other organs
Week 17-38: develop central nervous system, eyes, teeth, and external genitalia

Risks During Pregnancy

Week 1-2: Prenatal death
Week 3-7: Major morphological abnormality
Week 8-38: Functional defects and minor morphological abnormality

At Birth

Heart Rate: Should be over 100 beats per minute
Skin Color: Should be completely pink
Reflex Responses: Should be vigorously crying
Respiration: Should be good, crying
Muscle Tone: Should have active movement
Skills Developed within the First 6 Months

Developmental Milestones

Skills Developed within the First 6 Months

  • Turn head when name is called
  • Play social games, such as peek-a-boo
  • Moves head actively in supported sit
  • Reaches and grasps objects
  • Respond to sound with sound
  • Smile back at you

Skills Developed by the End of 2 Years

  • Use 2-4 word phrases
  • Follows simple directions
  • Begin make-believe play
  • Become more excited about other children
  • Draw circles and vertical strokes
  • Walk up and downstairs with one hand held
  • Identify six body parts
  • Remove shoes and starting to help put on shoes

Skills Developed by the End of 3 Years (36 months)

  • Show affection for playmates
  • Use 4-5 word phrases
  • Imitate adults and playmates, run when other children run
  • Play more complex make-believe
  • Use expressive vocabulary 300-1,000 words
  • Sort animals, shapes, and colors
  • Climbs jungle gyms and ladders
  • Shows independence

Following the Developmental Milestones

These steps in development, as well as, those that follow in the years after are important. The developmental milestones are a guide in helping us understand if a child is staying on track developmentally. As children demonstrate these skills, they also demonstrate their cognitive and physical strengths. If you suspect that a child is falling behind, contact your local developmental pediatrician for an assessment that can provide more insight into the delay and help to rule out specific disabilities.

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