Developmental Milestones From Birth to Age 3

dad and baby

The milestones listed below are typical for young children. Most developmental differences are nothing to worry about, but in some children, the differences can signal the need for special help. Please remember that every child is unique— growing and developing at different rates.

If you have concerns about your child’s development, simply contact your local Child & Family Connections (CFC) office or call 1-800-323-4769

At age 1 month, most children can . . .

  • Raise their heads slightly when lying on their stomachs
  • Briefly watch objects
  • Make “noise in throat” sounds
  • Pull away from a cloth or blanket on their faces

At age 3 months, most children can . . .

  • Lift their heads and chests when lying on their stomachs
  • Show vigorous body movement
  • Follow a moving person with their eyes
  • Recognize a bottle or breast
  • Smile when someone speaks to them

At age 6 months, most children can . . .

  • Sit with minimal support
  • Roll from their backs to their stomachs
  • Turn to locate and identify sounds
  • Transfer objects from hand to hand and from hand to mouth
  • Respond to friendly speech with a smile or coo

At age 12 months, most children can . . .

  • Pull themselves up to stand and may step with support
  • Pick things up with a thumb and one finger
  • Nod their heads to signal “yes”
  • Give affection
  • Say two or three words

At age 2, most children can . . .

  • Hand over toys upon request
  • Kick a large ball
  • Turn pages in a book (two or three at a time)
  • Ask for items by name
  • Recognize a familiar picture and know if it is upside down
  • Use two or three words together, such as “more juice”

At age 3, most children can . . .

  • Walk up stairs while holding the railing
  • Stand momentarily on one foot
  • Open doors
  • Unbutton large buttons
  • Verbalize toilet needs
  • Stack objects of different sizes

Source: Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Early Intervention

See also:

For additional milestones resources in Arabic, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Somali, Vietnamese, and Korean, please visit the CDC’s Act Early page.