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Developmental Milestones: 9 months to 3 years

Developmental Milestones: 9 months to 3 years

This development milestones chart highlights cognitive, motor, communication, and social skills to look for in your child—and when you might expect to see them as your baby approaches toddlerhood and beyond.

Your little one will do things at their own pace, but you can watch for certain developments around certain times. Here is a rough guide of developmental milestones to celebrate with your child as they learn and grow.

Developmental Milestones: 9 Months

Cognitive

  • Recognizes people and objects at a distance
  • Recognizes and responds to familiar words

Motor

  • Holds an object in each hand
  • Scoots or begins to crawl

Communication

  • Looks for and reacts to sounds outside line of vision
  • Babbles echo actual words with vowels & consonants

Social

  • Distinguishes between strangers and family
  • Shows frustration when limits are set and tests limits

Developmental Milestones: 10 Months

Cognitive

  • Understands how to use many objects
  • Expanding attention span, from two to three minutes at eight months / 15 minutes at 12 months

Motor

  • Rolls over quickly and suddenly
  • Crawls
  • Sits up unsupported for long periods
  • May stand

Communication

  • Recognizes own name
  • Shakes head or frowns to express “no”

Social

  • Accurately mimics expressions and sounds
  • Enjoys being around other babies (but can’t yet play)

Developmental Milestones: 11 Months

Cognitive

  • Understands that objects have names
  • Attracted to new toys and objects

Motor

  • Points and pokes with index finger
  • May briefly stand on their own

Communication

  • Gestures to communicate
  • Understands many things said to them

Social

  • Imitates actions of adults and other children
  • Waves good-bye

Developmental Milestones: 12 Months

Cognitive

  • Looks and listens simultaneously
  • Follows one-step commands, “Lift your arm”

Motor

  • Crawls up stairs
  • May take first steps or walk

Communication

  • Responds to simple questions and one-step commands
  • May use “Mama” and “Dada” to refer to parents

Social

  • Shows separation anxiety when you leave the room
  • Shows increased affection with family

Developmental Milestones: 12-15 Months

Cognitive

  • Actively explores objects by touching and moving
  • Points to objects you name (nose, pictures in a book)

Motor

  • Takes first solo steps or may even walk fairly well
  • Climbs stairs and scoots down

Communication

  • Uses at least one to two words around first birthday
  • Responds to questions and requests

Social

  • Shows preferences for certain people and things
  • May say “no” to express frustration

Developmental Milestones: 15-18 Months

Cognitive

  • Puts objects in and takes them out of containers
  • Imitates real life in play, like feeding a doll or talking on the phone

Motor

  • Climbs on furniture
  • Removes some clothing; helps when being dressed

Communication

  • Uses a single word as a sentence. Ex: Juice
  • Understands concepts of up, down, off, and hot

Social

  • Easily frustrated
  • Increasingly understands that they are a separate person from you with their own preferences, feelings, and ideas

Developmental Milestones: 18-21 Months

Cognitive

  • Knows how household items are used, like a spoon to eat
  • Points to at least one body part when asked

Motor

  • Jumps in place or from a bottom step to the floor
  • Walks

Communication

  • May say up to 30 words by 18 months
  • Tries longer, multi‐syllable words

Social

  • May have tantrums when upset, however tantrums peak between 18 and 24 months
  • May have quick emotional shifts

Developmental Milestones: 21-24 Months

Cognitive

  • Names simple objects in a book
  • Follows two‐step requests

Motor

  • Walks with balance along curbs or logs
  • Able to turn knobs, push buttons and turn pages

Communication

  • Uses simple phrases or puts words together, like “All gone"
  • May refer to self by name instead of saying “I“

Social

  • Makes broad, often quick emotional shifts
  • Becomes more interested in playing with other children

Developmental Milestones: 24-36 Months

Cognitive

  • Figures out simple mechanical toys
  • Completes puzzles of three or four pieces

Motor

  • Runs with more coordination
  • Jumps
  • Learns to kick a ball

Communication

  • Uses pronouns: I, we, you
  • Says name, age, and gender

Social

  • Plays with other children rather than just side‐by‐side
  • Understands the concept of possessives like mine, hers

From rolling over to running around and talking, their developmental milestones are worth celebrating at every turn.