Children develop in certain predictable ways, called developmental milestones.  Milestones help you understand how your child learns and grows. While the timing of these is unique for each child, you can watch for these developmental milestones and refer a child for help if there are any concerns.

Developmental Milestones

tracking your child's development

Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, relate with others, and move (crawling, walking, etc.).  Use the milestones listed below to see whether your child is meeting the typical developmental milestones for his or her age.  Parents, grandparents, childcare providers, physicians, and other caregivers can use this information to monitor a child's development.

how to ask for help 

Missed milestones could be a sign of a problem.  If you notice that your child is not meeting milestones or is exhibiting one or more of the red flags of development listed below, you can speak with your physician and request a more formal developmental screening to take a closer look at how your child is developing.  You can also call the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program or complete the online referral to request a developmental evaluation.

Click on the age of your child
to see the milestones

Use the brief guidelines below to help you decide if you should request a more in-depth developmental screening or evaluation.  Remember, if your child is at higher risk for developmental problems due to preterm birth, low birthweight, environmental risks like lead exposure, or other factors, you can make a referral to the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program even if your child's development appears to be on track. 

3 Months

* Turns toward bright colors and lights
* Follows moving toys or faces with their eyes
* Recognizes the bottle or breast
* Responds to loud or new sounds
* Wiggles and kicks with legs and arms
* Lifts head and shoulders up while on stomach
* Becomes soothed by a familiar voice
* Vocalizes back and forth with parents

6 Months

* Reaches for toys and picks them up
* Rolls over front-to-back and back-to-front
* Knows faces of family members
* Responds to sounds by making sounds
* Responds when you say baby's name
* Enjoys rattles and other toys that make sounds
* Turns toward voices
* Shows curiosity; tries to get things that are out of reach

9 Months

* Copies sounds or gestures
* Reaches for crumbs or other small things with their thumb and fingers
* Moves toys from one hand to the other hand
* Sits unassisted
* Responds to quiet talking
* Has favorite toys
* Understands "no"
* Makes lots of different sounds like "mamamama" and "bababababa"

12 Months

* Responds to name
* May be scared of strangers
* Crawls on hands and knees
* Pulls up to a standing position
* Walks by holding on to furniture
* Says 1 to 2 words
* Can point and look at familiar people or objects when asked 
* Uses voice to get your attention
* Imitates words you say
* Enjoys music

15 Months

* Uses gestures (like waving "bye")
* Likes to look at pictures in a book
* Can hold a crayon in a fist
* Can walk alone without help
* Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
* Plays games like "peek-a-boo"
* Pokes with index finger
* Follows simple directions like "pick up the toy"

18 Months

* Likes to hand things to others as play
* Shows affection for familiar people
* Explores alone but with parent close by
* Says and shakes head "no"
* Points to show what s/he wants
* Points to one body part
* May walk up steps
* Pulls toys while walking

20 Months

* Can name two objects
* Likes to pretend play
* Can throw a ball
* Likes to play alone with toys for a short time
* Says "No" a lot
* Feeds self with a spoon and drinks with a cup
* Shows interest in other children
* Turns pages in a book

24 Months

* Uses 2 to 3 words together, like "No, Mommy" or "More cookies"
* Says names of toys and people
* Turns one page at a time
* Runs short distances without falling
* Copies others, especially adults and older children
* Repeats words overheard in conversation
* Begins to sort things by shape and color
* Stands on tiptoes
* Kicks a ball
* Begins to play with other chilren, as in chasing one another

33 Months

* Separates easily from parent in a familiar environment
* Follows simple rules
* Understands concepts like "mine" and "his/hers"
* Can stand on one foot for a few seconds
* Understands cause and effect ("If this, then that")
* Listens and participates in group activities, with adult supervision
* Uses 4-6 word phrases

Publish your website to a local drive, FTP or host on Amazon S3, Google Drive, Github. Don't limit yourself to just one platform or service provider. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Laboriosam, nisi, ea. Excepturi dolores, laborum ipsum soluta aliquid, ullam repellat ratione iste harum voluptatem? Alias id blanditiis, sequi possimus dolorem dolorum.

Publish your website to a local drive, FTP or host on Amazon S3, Google Drive, Github. Don't limit yourself to just one platform or service provider. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Laboriosam, nisi, ea. Excepturi dolores, laborum ipsum soluta aliquid, ullam repellat ratione iste harum voluptatem? Alias id blanditiis, sequi possimus dolorem dolorum.

Publish your website to a local drive, FTP or host on Amazon S3, Google Drive, Github. Don't limit yourself to just one platform or service provider. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Laboriosam, nisi, ea. Excepturi dolores, laborum ipsum soluta aliquid, ullam repellat ratione iste harum voluptatem? Alias id blanditiis, sequi possimus dolorem dolorum.

BOOTSTRAP BUILDER

Create a responsive, touch-swipe slideshow with Mobirise bootstrap slider. Add images, text, buttons to slides, set autoplay, full-screen, full-width or boxed layout. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Unde sunt, illo quo ipsa. Laboriosam voluptatem sunt nisi velit incidunt labore, sapiente pariatur ipsam fugiat doloremque asperiores eos ipsum, eveniet cum.

BOOTSTRAP BUILDER

Create a responsive, touch-swipe slideshow with Mobirise bootstrap slider. Add images, text, buttons to slides, set autoplay, full-screen, full-width or boxed layout. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Unde sunt, illo quo ipsa. Laboriosam voluptatem sunt nisi velit incidunt labore, sapiente pariatur ipsam fugiat doloremque asperiores eos ipsum, eveniet cum.

BOOTSTRAP BUILDER

Create a responsive, touch-swipe slideshow with Mobirise bootstrap slider. Add images, text, buttons to slides, set autoplay, full-screen, full-width or boxed layout. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Unde sunt, illo quo ipsa. Laboriosam voluptatem sunt nisi velit incidunt labore, sapiente pariatur ipsam fugiat doloremque asperiores eos ipsum, eveniet cum.

TRENDY WEBSITE BLOCKS

Easily add subscribe and contact forms without any server-side integration. Just link your email to form and get submissions instantly. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Accusantium id perspiciatis, sint odit error animi veniam omnis cupiditate distinctio, a quidem deleniti laborum maiores optio laudantium earum vel! Sint, rerum.

TRENDY WEBSITE BLOCKS

Easily add subscribe and contact forms without any server-side integration. Just link your email to form and get submissions instantly. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Accusantium id perspiciatis, sint odit error animi veniam omnis cupiditate distinctio, a quidem deleniti laborum maiores optio laudantium earum vel! Sint, rerum.

TRENDY WEBSITE BLOCKS

Easily add subscribe and contact forms without any server-side integration. Just link your email to form and get submissions instantly. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Accusantium id perspiciatis, sint odit error animi veniam omnis cupiditate distinctio, a quidem deleniti laborum maiores optio laudantium earum vel! Sint, rerum.

Many children with developmental delays or behavior concerns are not identified as early as possible. If you have concerns about your child's development, complete an online referral today.

Red Flags of Development

There may be red flags in a child's development that can compromise their ability to interact with others, learn, and/or gain independence. If you notice any of these red flags, make a referral to the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program right away.

* Cannot bend arms or legs
* Does not smile, move or look at you when you talk or play with him or her
* Does not want to be held
* Does not make sounds by age 3 months
* Does not babble by age 6 months
* Shows no affection for caregivers
* Seems very floppy, like a rag doll
* Doesn't respond to sounds around him or her

* Experiences temper tantrums that last 20 minutes or longer
* Hurts or bites other people
* Does not look at you when you call his or her name
* Does not play with toys
* Flaps hands, rocks, or sways over and over
* Does not point at objects s/he wants
* Doesn't gain new words
* Doesn't walk steadily

* Is fussy or cries a lot, even when not tired or hungry
* Has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
* Does not notice people
* Is unhappy most of the time
* Stops using words he used to know
* Loses skills she once had

Publish your website to a local drive, FTP or host on Amazon S3, Google Drive, Github. Don't limit yourself to just one platform or service provider. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Laboriosam, nisi, ea. Excepturi dolores, laborum ipsum soluta aliquid, ullam repellat ratione iste harum voluptatem? Alias id blanditiis, sequi possimus dolorem dolorum.

Create a responsive, touch-swipe slideshow with Mobirise bootstrap slider. Add images, text, buttons to slides, set autoplay, full-screen, full-width or boxed layout. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Unde sunt, illo quo ipsa. Laboriosam voluptatem sunt nisi velit incidunt labore, sapiente pariatur ipsam fugiat doloremque asperiores eos ipsum, eveniet cum.

Additional Resources

These resources include print, video, and online information for families and professionals about early childhood development, developmental milestones, screening and evaluation, and strategies for supporting healthy development.

Track your child's milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with CDC's easy-to-use app on iOs and Android devices in English and Spanish.  With the app, you can enter and save information about one or more children; keep track of your child's doctors' appointments; get a summary of your child's milestones to view and to share with your physician and other important care providers; and receive tips and activities to support your child's development. 

The Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns  is a free, online training course that helps child care providers identify children who might need extra help in their development.  The 1-hour, 4-module course provides tools and best practices for monitoring the development of children in their care and for talking about it with parents.  The course offers 0.1 CEUs.

Key websites for learning about early childhood development:


* Maryland Healthy Beginnings
* Zero to Three
* Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! 
* Make the First Five Count 

Ready to Submit a Referral?