Developmental milestones are a way to gauge what a typically developing child will do in a certain age range, for example: gripping a cup, sitting up by themselves, holding a fork, making eye contact, or speaking words. Each of these milestones falls within an age range.
If your child is under 3 years old and not meeting the milestones described on this page, it is important to talk with your doctor about a developmental examination (an examination where your doctor compares your child against all expected milestones). You can also contact Texas Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for an assessment.
In the first year, a typically developing child changes quickly. In their first days, they might just be working to develop the ability to suck milk so they can eat, responding to light, and learning to smile. But, as time passes, they will develop physical skills like lifting their head while on their belly, rolling over, and sitting up independently; they will learn language skills like babbling or making hand signals. ECI has some detailed milestones to know where your child should be.
Contact your doctor if, by 1 year, your child:
Age 1 to 3 years can be a really fun time for parents, as a typically developing child will pick up more skills to play and talk with you.
ECI has some detailed milestones that are helpful in order to know where your child should be.
Call your doctor if, by 3 years old, your child:
Children who were born prematurely might meet their developmental milestones later than children who were full-term infants. When generally looking at development, parents and physicians should use an adjusted age for a child who was a premature infant.
To get your child’s adjusted age, begin counting their age from their actual due date, rather than their birth date. For example, if a child who was born 5 weeks early is now 6 months old, the adjusted age would be just under 5 months old, and he or she should be compared to 5-month milestones instead.