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Every child develops at his or her own pace. (The following information is taken from the CDC guidelines) The following information is meant to serve as a guide. If you are concerned about your child’s development, please consult your child’s physician or contact Therapedia, LLC at 817-562-3111 to schedule an evaluation or screening.

2 month old infant

2 MONTHS

Social/Emotional

  • Begins to smile at people
  • Can briefly calm himself (may bring hands to mouth and suck on hand)
  • Tries to look at parent

Language/Communication

  • Coos, makes gurgling sounds
  • Turns head toward sounds Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
  • Pays attention to faces
  • Begins to follow things with eyes and recognize people at a distance
  • Begins to act bored (cries, fussy) if the activity doesn’t change

Movement/Physical Development

  • Can hold head up and begins to push up when lying on tummy
  • Makes smoother movements with arms and legs

4 MONTHS

Social/Emotional

  • Smiles spontaneously, especially at people
  • Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops
  • Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning

Language/Communication

  • Begins to babble
  • Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Lets you know if she is happy or sad
  • Responds to affection
  • Reaches for a toy with one hand
  • Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it
  • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
  • Watches faces closely
  • Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance

Movement/Physical Development

  • Holds head steady, unsupported
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface
  • May be able to roll over from tummy to back
  • Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • When lying on stomach, pushes up to elbows
6 month old baby

6 MONTHS

Social/Emotional

  • Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger
  • Likes to play with others, especially parents
  • Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy
  • Likes to look at self in a mirror

Language/Communication

  • Responds to sounds by making sounds
    • Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”) and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds
    • Responds to own name
    • Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
    • Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Looks around at things nearby
    • Brings things to mouth
    • Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach
    • Begins to pass things from one hand to the other

Movement/Physical Development

  • Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front)
    • Begins to sit without support
    • When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce
    • Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward

9 MONTHS

Social/Emotional

  • May be afraid of strangers
    • May be clingy with familiar adults
    • Has favorite toys

Language/Communication

  • Understands “no”
    • Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”
    • Copies sounds and gestures of others
    • Uses fingers to point at things

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Watches the path of something as it falls
    • Looks for things he sees you hide
    • Plays peek-a-boo
    • Puts things in her mouth
    • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other
    • Picks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and index finger

Movement/Physical Development

  • Stands, holding on
    • Can get into sitting position
    • Sits without support
    • Pulls to stand
    • Crawls

1 YEAR OLD

Social/Emotional

  • Is shy or nervous with strangers
    • Cries when mom or dad leaves
    • Has favorite things and people
    • Shows fear in some situations
    • Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story
    • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention
    • Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
    • Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”

Language/Communication

  • Responds to simple spoken requests
    • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
    • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
    • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”
    • Tries to say words you say

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing
    • Finds hidden things easily
    • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
    • Copies gestures
    • Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair
    • Bangs two things together
    • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
    • Lets things go without help
    • Pokes with index (pointer) finger
    • Follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”

Movement/Physical Development

  • Gets to a sitting position without help
    • Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”)
    • May take a few steps without holding on (expected age for walking 11-15 months)
    • May stand alone

18 MONTHS

Social/Emotional

  • Likes to hand things to others as play
    • May have temper tantrums
    • May be afraid of strangers
    • Shows affection to familiar people
    • Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
    • May cling to caregivers in new situations
    • Points to show others something interesting
    • Explores alone but with a parent close by

Language/Communication

  • Says several single words
    • Says and shakes head “no”
    • Points to show someone what he wants

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
    • Points to get the attention of others
    • Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed
    • Points to one body part
    • Scribbles on his own
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”

Movement/Physical Development

  • Walks alone
    • May walk up steps and run
    • Pulls toys while walking
    • Can help undress herself
    • Drinks from a cup
    • Eats with a spoon

2 YEARS OLD

Social/Emotional

  • Copies others, especially adults and older children
    • Gets excited when with other children
    • Shows more and more independence
    • Shows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to)
  • Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games

Language/Communication

  • Points to things or pictures when they are named
    • Knows names of familiar people and body parts
    • Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
    • Follows simple instructions
    • Repeats words overheard in conversation
    • Points to things in a book

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers
    • Begins to sort shapes and colors
    • Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
    • Plays simple make-believe games
    • Builds towers of 4 or more blocks
    • Might use one hand more than the other
    • Follows two-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
    • Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog

Movement/Physical Development

  • Stands on tiptoe
    • Kicks a ball
    • Begins to run
    • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
    • Walks up and down stairs holding on
    • Throws ball overhand
    • Makes or copies straight lines and circles
3 year old boy

3 YEARS OLD

Social/Emotional

  • Copies adults and friends
    • Shows affection for friends without prompting
    • Takes turns in games
    • Shows concern for a crying friend
    • Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”
    • Shows a wide range of emotions
    • Separates easily from mom and dad
    • May get upset with major changes in routine
    • Dresses and undresses self

Language/Communication

  • Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps
    • Can name most familiar things
    • Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
    • Says their first name, age, and sex
    • Names a friend
    • Says words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
    • Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time
    • Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
    • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
    • Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces
    • Understands what “two” means
    • Copies a circle with a pencil or crayon
    • Turns book pages one at a time
    • Builds towers of more than 6 blocks
    • Screws and unscrews jar lids or turns the door handle

Movement/Physical Development

  • Climbs well
    • Runs easily
    • Pedals a tricycle (3-wheel bike)
    • Walks up and down the stairs, one foot on each step

4 YEARS OLD

Social/Emotional

  • Enjoys doing new things
    • Plays “Mom” and “Dad”
    • Is more and more creative with make-believe play
    • Would rather play with other children than by himself
    • Cooperates with other children
    • Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
    • Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in

Language/Communication

  • Knows some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she”
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “Wheels on the Bus”
    • Tells stories
    • Can say first and last name

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Names some colors and some numbers
    • Understands the idea of counting
    • Starts to understand time
    • Remembers parts of a story
    • Understands the idea of “same” and “different”
    • Draws a person with 2 to 4 body parts
    • Uses scissors
    • Starts to copy some capital letters
    • Plays board or card games
    • Tells you what he thinks is going to happen next in a book

Movement/Physical Development

  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds
    • Catches a bounced ball most of the time
    • Pours, cuts with supervision and mashes own food

5 YEARS OLD

Social/Emotional

  • Wants to please friends
    • Wants to be like friends
    • More likely to agree with rules
    • Likes to sing, dance, and act
    • Is aware of gender
    • Can tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Shows more independence (for example, may visit a next-door neighbor by himself [adult supervision is still needed])
    • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative

Language/Communication

  • Speaks very clearly
    • Tells a simple story using full sentences
    • Uses future tense; for example, “Grandma will be here.”
    • Says name and address

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Counts 10 or more things
    • Can draw a person with at least 6 body parts
    • Can print some letters or numbers
    • Copies a triangle and other geometric shapes
    • Knows about things used every day, like money and food

Movement/Physical Development

  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
    • Hops; may be able to skip
    • Can do a somersault
    • Uses a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife
    • Can use the toilet on her own
    • Swings and climbs