Milestones in Childhood Development

Toddler sitting on floor playing with blocks.

Childhood is a time of tremendous growth and development. The term “milestones” is used to describe skills a child achieves over time. You can expect to see specific milestones of development at certain stages of life. If you have any questions about your child’s progress, be sure to bring them up during routine visits with your health care provider.

Babies: The First Year

It’s tempting to compare babies, but children are unique individuals from birth. No two babies develop at the same rate. It’s reassuring to know that babies usually roll over within 2 to 4-1/2 months, sit up from 5 to 8 months, and take their first steps at 10 to 15 months. If you have concerns, check with your health care provider.

Preschoolers: The Early Years

This is the age of exploration. Preschoolers tend to get into everything — including trouble! Tired parents may wonder why their preschoolers are mischievous and energetic. Their improving strength and coordination turn them into walking, climbing explorers. It’s all part of growing up. If you have concerns about this or any other milestone, check with your health care provider.

School Agers

School, with its new people and ideas, bridges the gap between home and the outside world. Playing with others helps teach your child to be both cooperative and competitive. Prevent anxieties by staying involved in your child’s school activities and performance. School agers often develop faster in some areas than in others, raising issues you may want to discuss with your provider.


Up to the very end of childhood, growth patterns vary. For girls, puberty can begin anywhere from age 8-1/2 to 14. For boys, puberty can begin between age 10 to 16. Encourage your child to talk freely to you and the health care provider about any health concerns.


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