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Growth Stages

0-3 months

3-6 months

Cognitive

  • Shows interest in objects and human faces
  • Recognizes familiar faces
  • May get bored with repeated activities
  • Turns head toward music
  • Responds to signs of love + affection

Social + Emotional

  • Tries to look at you or other people
  • Responds to facial expressions
  • Starts to smile at people
  • Enjoys playing with people
  • Responds differently to different voice tones

Language

  • Begins to coo and make vowel sounds
  • Begins to babble and imitate sounds
  • Becomes calm when spoken to
  • Laughs
  • Cries differently for different needs

Movement + Physical

  • Turns toward sounds
  • Sees things and reaches for them
  • Follows objects with eyes
  • Pushes up with arms when on tummy
  • Grasps objects
  • Might be able to roll over
  • Gradually lifts head for longer periods of time

6-9 months

9-12 months

Cognitive

  • Brings hands up to mouth
  • Watches things fall
  • Passes things from one hand to the other
  • Looks for hidden things

Social + Emotional

  • Enjoys mirrors
  • May be clingy or prefer familiar people
  • Knows when a stranger is present

Language

  • Responds to hearing their name
  • Points
  • May add consonant to sounds and vowels
  • Knows what "no" means
  • May communicate with gestures
  • Imitates sounds and gestures

Movement + Physical

  • Starts sitting up without support
  • Pulls up into standing position
  • May bounce when held in standing position
  • Crawls
  • Rolls in both directions

12-18 months

18-24 months

Cognitive

  • Has learned how to use some basic things like spoons
  • May identify familiar things in picture books
  • Can point to named body parts
  • Knows what common objects do
  • Follows single-step requests like "please sit down"

Social + Emotional

  • May engage in simple pretend games
  • Enjoys play dates
  • May have tantrums
  • Plays beside children + may start playing with them
  • May cry around strangers
  • May defy directions like "sit down" or "come back here"

Language

  • Knows how to say several words
  • May ask simple questions
  • Says no
  • Can name many things
  • Wave bye-bye
  • Uses simple two-word phrases like "more milk"
  • Says names of familiar people

Movement + Physical

  • Walks holding onto surfaces
  • Runs
  • Stands alone
  • Jumps up and down
  • May climb a step or two
  • Stands on tip-toes
  • May drink from a cup
  • Can draw lines and round shapes
  • Throws balls
  • May climb stairs using rails to hold on to

24-36 months

36+ months

Cognitive

  • Builds towers from blocks
  • Can put together a 3-4 part puzzle
  • May follow simple 2-part instructions
  • Can walk while pulling a tow
  • Groups shapes + colors together
  • Can turn door knobs
  • Plays pretend games
  • Can turn book pages

Social + Emotional

  • Enjoys play dates
  • Shows empathy for hurt or crying children
  • Plays with other children
  • Offers affection
  • May defy instructions or directions
  • Understands mine + yours
  • May get upset if routines are changed
  • Can get dressed
  • Knows how to take turns

Language

  • Knows several words
  • Talks using 2-3 sentences at a time
  • Follows simple directions
  • Has the words to name many things used daily
  • Likes hearing short stories or songs
  • Can be understood by family
  • Understands terms like in, on and under

Movement + Physical

  • Can help in getting dressed
  • Can walk up and down steps with one foot on each stair
  • Begins to run
  • Runs and jumps with ease
  • Drinks well from a cup
  • Catches a ball
  • Eats with a spoon
  • Can slide down a slide
  • Can walk while pulling a tow
  • Dances
  • Gets seated in a chair