Physical and Cognitive Development Milestones

Every baby develops at his/her own pace, so it is impossible to tell exactly when your child will learn a given skill in developmental milestones. The listed milestones below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect. Do not be alarmed if your own baby’s development takes a slightly different course and/or pace.

By the end of 12 months
Cognitive Development

  • Explores object in many different ways (shaking, banging, throwing, dropping)
  • Finds hidden object easily
  • Looks at correct picture when the image is named
  • Imitates gestures
  • Begins to use objects correctly (drinking from cup, brushing hair, dialing phone, listening to receiver)

Physical Movement

  • Reaches sitting position without assistance
  • Crawls forward on belly
  • Assumes hands-and-knees position
  • Creeps on hands and knees
  • Gets from sitting to crawling or prone (lying on stomach) position
  • Pulls self up to stand
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Stands momentarily without support
  • May walk two or three steps without support

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Uses pincer grasp
  • Bangs two objects together
  • Puts object into container
  • Takes objects out of container
  • Let objects go voluntarily
  • Pokes with index finger
  • Tries to imitate scribbling

By the end of 2 years (24 months)
Cognitive Development

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Begins make-believe play

Physical Movement

  • Walk alone
  • Pulls toys behind while walking
  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking
  • Begins to run
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on to support

Hand and finger skills

  • Scribbles on his or her own
  • Turns over container to pour out contents
  • Builds tower of four blocks or more
  • Might use one hand more often than the other

By the end of 5 year (60 months)
Cognitive Development

  • Can count 10 or more objects
  • Correctly names at least four colors
  • Better understands the concept of time
  • Knows about things used every day in the home (money, food, appliances)

Physical Movement

  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Hops, somersaults
  • Swing, climbs
  • May be able to skip

Hand and finger skills

  • Copies triangle and other shapes
  • Draws person with body
  • Prints some letters
  • Dresses and undresses without help
  • Uses fork, spoon, and (sometimes) a table knife
  • Usually cares for own toilet needs