Our children grow in many ways. Starting from early childhood, babies develop control over their five senses (sensory milestones), they develop motor skills (motor milestones), and their cognitive abilities (speech and analytical thinking milestones) grow along the way. Each new thing that a child learns is vital in the process of growth and development. This is why pediatric specialists have developed a list of ‘ Growth milestones’ that help parents track their child’s growth.
This article brings together the list of age-appropriate milestones that your child needs to accomplish and the importance that the milestone track holds.
At the age of two months:
By the age of 2 months, your baby would most likely be able to smile, make cooing sounds, move their head to a side, follow objects with their eyes, smoothly move their limbs, and recognize YOU! Tummy time should also be fun at this time as your child would now be able to hold their head up. Your baby may also start to develop a sense of boredom at this point.
At the age of four months:
At this stage, your baby’s hand-eye coordination is improving. Babies typically start to move their hands towards an object of interest. Smiling, playing, and babbling are now becoming spontaneous acts. Your baby would also begin to recognize people at a distance.
Babies communicate through crying when they are this young, but now your baby will adopt different crying patterns to share with you.
A 4-month-old baby should typically hold its head up independently. 4-month-olds should ideally be holding themselves up on their elbows during tummy time. Though they’re still unable to walk, babies this old begin to press down on their feet when placed in a standing position.
At the age of six months:
Your six-month-old baby will now be reacting to strangers. Playtime with parents will become one of their favorite activities. At this age, your baby will be beginning to sit independently or with little support. Though still unable to stand on their own, balancing on their feet while bouncing will be their new favorite activity. Most babies develop a jolly personality at this age.
Communication is getting stronger, with your baby being able to make sounds similar to ‘ma’ and ba.’ As the cognitive abilities grow, your baby will begin to pass objects between hands and occasionally bring things to their mouth. Your baby will now be able to roll over in bed. Babies that are six months old will also begin holding the crawling position.
At the age of nine months:
Brace yourselves for the clingy version of your baby. A favorite toy is also a new learned phenomenon. Your nine-month-old can now point at objects with their fingers. The pincer grip is also beginning to develop at this age. Children of this age also start to enjoy games like peek-a-boo and dropping things intentionally. Crawling, standing with support, and getting up to sit are abilities your nine-month-old has mastered.
At the age of one year:
Your year-old baby is beginning to walk a couple of steps or can walk while holding one hand or both. At this age, your baby understands most of the communication you make with them and can also mimic sounds. They can spot items that are named and can make the gesture of waving bye. Fear is also beginning to set foot in your child’s conscious mind; the child would start to cry when a parent goes out of sight.
At this age, your baby will be learning the purpose of objects like hairbrushes, makeup, or a flask; the baby may also mimic the use of such things.
At this age, stacking toys and playing with a bucket (adding toys and then flipping the bucket over) might be your baby’s definition of play.
At age 18 months:
At 18 months old, your baby will be beginning to become more and more independent, walking by themselves, also occasionally running. 18-month-olds can carry toys as they walk, follow small verbal commands, love to scribble, begin to pretend-play, and develop a temper.
At the age of two years:
Your baby will now be developing social skills and would begin to enjoy the company of other children. They will directly be copying you and remembering the names of familiar people and objects. 2-year-old toddlers are independently moving around and can communicate with short-fragmented sentences. Color and shape recognition are newly learned skills.
At the age of three years:
Your child has developed increased social bonding with friends and family members. Ownership of objects and taking turns are newly learned skills. Children of this age can make conversation that is intelligible for strangers. Children can ride a tricycle as well. They are able to engage in play activities such as basic puzzles, playing with toys that have moving parts, and making dot-dot drawings.
At the age of four years:
The language skills of a four-year-old are improving increasingly. They can narrate stories and can sing poems entirely from their memory. The concepts of counting, time reading, numbers, and colors are starting to develop. By this age, children usually become independent eaters.
At the age of five years:
Children who are five years of age can make fluent communication and be aware of concepts like gender, tenses, and money. Singing, dancing and playing with friends are the most liked activities.
Why is it important to keep track of growth milestones?
Each milestone holds immense importance as they indicate a child’s sound growth and development; in terms of sensory development, language development, cognitive skills, or motor skills.
Keeping track of growth milestones can help you identify any underlying deficiencies in your child’s growth journey. A timely diagnosis of any growth lags can be vital in aiding the child’s ability to overcome these lags.
Few of the red flags that you should look out for: