Health milestones for infants and preschoolers
Your child will go through many developmental health milestones the first year of his or her life. Knowing what to expect at each stage will help you determine if your child’s development is on track. For tips on knowing when your child should walk, talk, be potty trained, and more, check out our list of health milestones for infants and preschoolers.
The first few years of your child's life are full of exciting milestones to document in the baby book! While every child is different, however, talk to your doctor if you notice your little one is not meeting these important milestones.
Your baby should start making eye contact with you between 6 to 8 weeks, which is an important neurological milestone showing that her brain is registering and recognizing a familiar face. If she is hungry or tired, she may not be willing to meet your gaze. Talk with your doctor if she hasn't started making eye contact by the end of the third month.
Cooing and babbling
At around the eight week mark, you should hear your baby starting to babble and coo. These sweet sounds are an important start to early language skills and also ensure your baby's hearing is on track. Keep talking to your baby; the more she hears, the more she will coo and babble back.
At 6 months of age most children should be able to sit up with little to no support. They also should be rolling from front to back and back to front. Your baby will be excited that she can finally sit up and look around on her own.
And she's off! At around 9 months, your baby will start to crawl on all fours. Now that baby is more mobile, make sure you have your house babyproofed for her safety.
At around 1 year of age, many well-meaning friends and family members will probably start asking, "Has she started walking yet?" Don't worry if she doesn't walk right away at her first birthday. Most doctors expect children to be walking without support at 15 months of age.
Most children will begin talking around 12 months of age and, by 15 to 18 months, should be saying anywhere from 5 to 50 words. They also should start to understand more words, which allows them to follow simple commands.
Most kids are potty trained during the day by 3 to 4 years of age, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Don't worry if she still needs a pull-up at night. Most children are able to stay dry at night after 5 years of age.
Talking in sentences
Most three-year-olds should be able to talk in sentences of 5 or 6 words, and should have an active vocabulary of 300-plus words. They will still mispronounce words and have difficulty conveying all their emotions, which can be frustrating for an impatient three-year-old!
By age 4, most children can independently brush their teeth (although you may want to go in and do a repeat brush), and get dressed. You may not agree with him wearing swim trunks and a tank top in the middle of winter, but your preschooler will love doing things on his own.
More on your baby's development
- Developmental progress chart
- The importance of playtime for your little one: The first year
- A timeline for baby's social milestones