You are here

Developmental Stages of Young Children

If you are concerned

Sometimes children do not reach milestones in the normal age range. When that happens parents worry. Visit the Utah Act Early website for more information.

Developmental Milestones

Download Printable PDF

Social and Emotional Feeding and Nutrition Child's Age Motor (Movement) Understanding and Talking
  • At ease away from home for part of day
  • Shows likes and dislikes for friends, TV, activities, etc.
  • Works together with friends and in groups
  • Knows right from wrong
  • Can accept short time-outs
  • May still be afraid of some things, like the dark
  • Eats a variety of foods
  • Needs 3 meals and 1-2 snacks daily
  • Acts appropriately at table; mealtime 15-20 min.

5 Years

  • Stands on 1 foot 10 secs.
  • Jumps 10” hurdle
  • Bounces and catches a ball
  • Skips
  • Drop kicks a ball
  • Walks on balance beam
  • Wants to be like adults; helps with simple kitchen tasks
  • Copies four-letter words
  • Builds a six-block design
  • Buttons, zips, and ties
  • Says all sounds correctly except perhaps r, s, and th
  • Hears and understands most speech in the home
  • Can answer questions about past, present, and future events
  • May not like being away from caregivers
  • Will play side by side with peers
  • Starting to work together during play
  • Successful toilet training
  • Uses objects for comfort (blanket, teddy bear, etc.)
  • More dreams and nightmares
  • Follows basic rules
  • Able to chew most raw foods; could choke
  • Feeds self with fork and spoon
  • Growth slows; appetite may decrease
  • Drinks from a straw

2 1/2 - 4 Years

  • Jumps
  • Stands on 1 foot
  • Hops
  • Catches a ball
  • Rides a tricycle
  • Uses scissors
  • Unbuttons
  • Likes to use one hand more than the other
  • Laces
  • Copies shapes in drawing
  • Says most sounds, except perhaps r, s, th, l, and blends
  • Can repeat sentences made up of 12 syllables
  • Uses 200-300 words
  • Uses 2-3 word sentences
  • Asks lots of “why” and “what” questions
  • Uses the sound p, b, t, d, w, h, n, m, and ya correctly
  • Says “no” and responds to “no”
  • Plays alone with small objects
  • Explores with greater distance from caregivers
  • Requires an adult to watch for safety
  • May show independence through food
  • Eats most table foods
  • May go through picky stages
  • Uses cup; scoops with spoon; begins fork
  • Drinks from cup/glass without help

1 1/2 - 2 Years

  • Crawls or walks up and down stairs
  • Runs
  • Kicks and throws ball
  • Begins to climb
  • Stacks toys or cubes
  • Puts shapes in shape sorter
  • Scribbles
  • Has 10-15 words at 18 months
  • Uses 1-2 word questions (“Where kitty? Go bye-bye?, More?”)
  • Puts 2 words together (“More cookie”)
  • Plays peek-a-boo and back and forth games with mother
  • Looks for and moves familiar objects
  • Explores more
  • Pays more attention and interacts with caregivers
  • Enjoys parents’ voice during reading
  • Uses cup 1-2 sips at a time
  • Finger feeds using thumb and forefinger
  • Eats more food with texture (chopped goods, mashed table foods)
  • May prefer to feed self

9 Months - 1 Year

  • Crawls
  • Claps hands
  • Takes toys out of a box
  • Pulls to stand
  • Walks along furniture
  • Walks with hands held
  • Pokes finger into holes
  • Can grab and hold cheerios
  • Begins to put toys in or on containers
  • Says 2-3 words by age 1
  • Uses jargon (babbling that sounds like real speech)
  • Enjoys listening to people talking
  • Listens to simple commands
  • Stops an activity when “no no” is said
  • Waves goodbye
  • Points to objects
  • Back and forth sharing of sounds
  • Begins to tell between caregivers
  • Becomes upset when separated from caregivers
  • Tries to feed self
  • Puts objects in mouth a lot
  • Can sit without help
  • Spoon-feeds foods that have been put through a strainer
  • Up and down jaw movement
  • Opens mouth to anticipate spoon
  • Puts toys in mouth

6 Months

  • Stands with full weight on feet with hands held
  • Belly-crawls
  • Sits alone using hands for support
  • Transfers toy hand to hand
  • Shakes and bangs toys
  • Grasps toes
  • Rolls
  • Makes lots of different sounds
  • Responds to name
  • Notices and looks around when hearing new sounds
  • Turns head toward the side where the sound is coming from
  • Plays and smiles with caregivers
  • Can sleep through the night
  • Grasps with hands
  • Responds to light and sounds
  • Can imitate faces
  • Mature sucking pattern
  • May bite nipple with gums
  • Usually less fussy, intestines going through development
  • May be ready for spoon by 4-6 months

3 Months

  • While on tummy, pushes up on forearms
  • Rolls from back to side
  • Reaches and grasps toys, blanket
  • Sits with support
  • Smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to know caregiver’s voice
  • Cries differently for different needs
  • Repeats the same sound a lot
  • Likes to get attention by crying
  • Quiets when picked up
  • Looks at faces of others
  • Begins to wiggle around
  • Instinctive feeds and sucking
  • Breast milk or formula is total diet
  • Needs to feed every 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Stomach and intestines immature; can’t handle other foods

Birth

  • Lifts head and turns to both sides laying on tummy
  • Can hold head up briefly
  • Stiffens legs to stand on feet
  • Grasps briefly
  • Brings hands to head and face
  • Startles or cries at noises
  • Awakens at loud sounds
  • Makes cooing and throaty “gu” sounds
  • Makes sucking sounds
  • Makes pleasure sounds which consist of soft vowels

 

Utah Department of Health

alt=""