Development milestones

Child development from birth to 5 years of age

Skills development in infants and young children is very fast. The brain grows rapidly, the child begins to speak, the ability to think becomes pronounced, and social and emotional skills allow more interaction with other people.
Take a look at the information on this page if you want, how and when which skills are developed in the early years of life.
Child development baby picture toy
Milestones in Child Development
From birth to 1 year old

Babies develop their skills very quickly, especially in the first year of life. It can therefore be difficult to know if development is progressing optimally. In the first year babies develop new ways of thinking, communicating and solving problems (so-called cognitive skills). You develop physically and learn to interact with other people. If you're not entirely sure which skills are typical for the first year of life, check out this list of child development milestones.

Always keep in mind that babies develop at different speeds. So don't panic if your baby has not yet reached one or more of the milestones. If you are unsure, you can always ask your pediatrician for advice.

Milestones in child development: birth to 1 year old

Babies develop their skills very quickly, especially in the first year of life. It can therefore be difficult to know if development is progressing optimally. In the first year babies develop new ways of thinking, communicating and solving problems (so-called cognitive skills). You develop physically and learn to interact with other people. If you're not entirely sure which skills are typical for the first year of life, check out this list of child development milestones.

Physical milestones

  • Performs reflex movements such as sucking and twitching
  • Moves arms and legs jerkily and uncontrollably

Cognitive milestones

  • Learn by feeling, smelling, hearing or looking at things
  • Starts with repetitive movements to support brain growth and memory

Social and emotional milestones

  • Begins to be comforted by caregivers
  • Begins to develop a bond with caregivers

Physical milestones

  • Leans on the arms when lying on the stomach
  • Holds the head for a short time without support
  • Follows an object with your eyes from one side to the middle, but not yet to the other side

Cognitive milestones

  • Begins to carefully look, observe and recognize faces
  • Detects known people from a distance
  • Shows signs of boredom if it does the same for too long
  • Use eyes and hands together and act with a plan, for example, see a toy and reach for it

Social and emotional milestones

  • Smiles spontaneously
  • Likes to play with people
  • Brabbelt and gargles
  • Develops different types of wine for different needs (hunger, fatigue, wet)
  • Responds to love and affection
  • Shows happiness and sadness
  • Sometimes imitates facial expressions

Physical milestones

  • Reaches for objects
  • Weighs back and forth on his stomach. Can sometimes turn from stomach to back
  • Distributes weight on the legs when the feet are flat on the floor
  • Moves things from one hand to another

Cognitive and linguistic milestones

  • Looks at new things and is curious about objects out of reach
  • Examines objects by putting them in your mouth
  • Responds to conversations by making sounds
  • Recognizes and responds to your own name

Social and emotional milestones

  • Starts to recognize strangers and react to them
  • Tries to get caregivers to play (stick out tongue, caress toys, etc.)

Physical milestones

  • Rolls from your stomach to your back and back
  • Sits without help
  • Do "pushups" and try to move forward

Cognitive and linguistic milestones

  • Learns to "speak" alternately in "conversation" with caregivers
  • Brabbelt with vowel combinations (eh, ah, oh) and begins to use sounds like b and m
  • Starts to recognize cause and effect, for example when shaking a toy

Social and emotional milestones

  • Is interested in looking in the mirror
  • Use sounds to express happiness, sadness, or anger

Physical milestones

  • Can take up and give up sitting position
  • Starts to crawl or crawl
  • Can stand with help
  • Picks up small objects with thumb and fingers (tweezers handle)
  • Follow falling objects with your eyes
  • Searches for hidden objects, but only if it sees how they were hidden
  • Plays simple hide-and-seek and action games
  • Starts to understand "no"
  • Generates vowel-consonant sounds (mama, baba)
  • Points to things and people and copies other gestures

Social and emotional milestones

  • Begins to be afraid of strangers
  • Upset when separated from caregivers
  • Has favorite objects or toys

Physical milestones

  • It can be done by holding onto hands or walls
  • Can stand alone
  • Can take a few steps alone
  • Can let go of objects without help
  • Shows

Cognitive and linguistic milestones

  • Finds hidden objects
  • Points to a picture or looks at it when you say its name
  • Throws, shakes, or bangs things to see what happens
  • Detects everyday objects, both in the right way (drinking from a mug) and the wrong way (putting toys in a mug)
  • Follow simple instructions
  • Tries to repeat words

Social and emotional milestones

  • Uses emphasis and pauses to create sounds that sound like speech
  • Uses simple words like "mom"
  • has preferred people
  • responds to your own name
  • is a bit afraid of new things
  • Use gestures around sounds to get your attention

Physical milestones

One of the physical milestones for 1-year-olds is gross motor skills, i.e. using the large, long muscles to move the body. The same applies to fine motor skills, which describe the use of small, short muscles, for example for moving fingers and toes.

Gross motor skills

Most 1 year olds can:

  • sit without leaning or being held
  • crawling and crawling on stomach, hands and feet
  • pull yourself up into the stand and move by holding onto objects

Between 12 and 24 months, children can usually:

  • stand alone and walk by the hand
  • Extend your arms, legs and feet to make moving easier
  • go without help
  • start going up stairs

Fine motor skills

As they approach the age of 2, children can usually:

  • drink from a sippy cup (or with the help of a normal cup)
  • use a spoon - awkward - for eating
  • Pick up small objects like buttons or raisins with your thumb and forefinger (known as "tweezer handles")
  • show, nudge and possibly pinch
  • Put things in a bucket and get them out
  • scribble with a thick felt pen or wax crayon

Cognitive milestones

Your child's cognitive milestones include the skills to learn, think, discover, and solve new problems. An average child between 12 and 24 months:
  • Knows the benefits of everyday objects such as spoons, toothbrushes or telephones
  • Can follow simple instructions such as "give me a kiss" or "sit down"
  • Starts to imagine things while playing, such as how a soft toy feeds them
  • Points to its own head, eyes, ears, nose or mouth
  • Connects a spoken word to an image in a book
  • Responds to popular songs and stories
  • Starts to understand cause and effect, for example what happens when he throws a mug on the floor

Language milestones

At this point, language development is not just about what your child makes. It's also about how much it understands what you're saying and how it expresses its needs to you. A typical child between 12 and 24 months:
  • Brabbelt as if it wanted to speak and tries to "talk" to people
  • Recognizes family member names and words for everyday objects (mug, ball, shoe)
  • Raise his arms when he wants to be lifted up. Points to things he wants and shakes his head to say no
  • Understands basic instructions such as "stop"
  • Say "no", "mom" and some other words
  • Expresses happiness, hunger, anger and other things with different sounds or cries

Social and emotional milestones

1-year-olds have limited social interaction with other children. Nevertheless, your child can learn many social skills and ways of expressing his emotions this year. A typical 1 year old child:
  • Smiles and laughs in response to people or while playing
  • explores a room when a person is present
  • shows familiar people towards affection
  • has minor tantrums when frustrated
  • Is nervous in the presence of strangers and clings to his caregiver

Always keep in mind that babies develop at different speeds. So, don't panic if your baby hasn't reached one or more of the milestones yet. If you are unsure, you can always ask your pediatrician for advice.

Milestones in Child Development
Typical 2 year olds

As soon as your child is 2 years old, it is officially a toddler. And it can be difficult not to compare it to the other tots around it.

If you're not entirely sure which skills are typical for this age, check out this list of child development milestones. This will give you an overview of what to expect from a 2-year-old child.

Always keep in mind that babies develop at different speeds. So, don't panic if your baby hasn't reached one or more of the milestones yet. If you are unsure, you can always ask your pediatrician for advice.

Milestones in child development for typical 2-year-olds

As soon as your child is 2 years old, it is officially a toddler. And it can be difficult not to compare it to the other tots around it.

If you're not entirely sure which skills are typical for this age, check out this list of child development milestones. This will give you an overview of what to expect from a 2-year-old child.

Physical milestones

In this year of life, children not only grow very quickly, they also learn very quickly! Above all, the muscles and their use develop strongly, both on a large scale (gross motor skills) and on a small scale (fine motor skills).

Most 2 year olds learn things like these by the end of the year:

Gross motor skills

  • Walk, run, and jump with both feet
  • Pull or carry toys while walking
  • Throw or kick a ball and try to catch both slopes
  • Stand on tiptoe or balance on one foot
  • Climb on furniture or playground equipment
  • Go up the stairs while holding the railing. Sometimes it takes one foot per step

Fine motor skills

  • Brush your own teeth or brush your hair yourself
  • Pull pants up and down yourself
  • Turn on the tap and wash your hands yourself
  • Build a tower of at least 4 blocks
  • Close a zipper (if you start)
  • Objects such as pens are held with the fingers and not with the fist, but the grip can still be faulty.

Cognitive milestones

Children begin to think in new ways, learn new skills, and find new techniques to solve problems. At the end of this year, children can usually:
  • Play more advanced with your imagination and imagine things, for example that a box is a spaceship or that a game partner represents a certain person
  • Remember and talk about things from the past by understanding and using phrases like "yesterday" or "a long time ago"
  • Solve 3 to 4 piece puzzle
  • Sort toys by type, color or size
  • Recite favorite books and rhymes together
  • Follow two-step instructions such as "Take off your jacket and hang it up"

Language milestones

At the end of the third year, children understand a lot of what is said to them. They also talk more. In this phase, children can usually:
  • Understand words for familiar objects, everyday objects or body parts
  • Use a selection of different words when they are approximately 18 months old and form sentences with two to four words when they are approximately 24 months old. Combines sounds with words ("Mama Essen") At around 36 months, they have a vocabulary of 200+ words
  • Repeat words you hear
  • Start asking "what is it" and "why"
  • Use the plural and simple pronouns (me, you)

Social and emotional milestones

2 year olds start to be more independent and more interested in other children. Not finding the words to express yourself can be frustrating. At the end of the year, your child does things like this:
  • It imitates what other children and adults do or say and how they do or say it.
  • It is happy to play near or with other children
  • It is beginning to realize that it can do things without help
  • It obeys less than before and does things it shouldn't to see what happens
  • It has tantrums when it's frustrated
  • At about 18 months, she shows increased separation anxiety, which usually resolves by the 24th month. It becomes increasingly independent and is self-aware between 24 and 36 months.

Always keep in mind that children develop at different speeds. So don't panic if your child has not yet reached one or more of the child development milestones. If you are unsure, you can always ask your pediatrician for advice. Early medical intervention can often help prevent or mitigate developmental disorders

Milestones in Child Development
Typical 3 year olds

It can be difficult not to compare your 3 year old child to others. It is often even more difficult not to listen when other people tell you what your child should be able to do at that age.

If you're not entirely sure which skills are typical for this age, check out this list of child development milestones. This will give you an overview of what to expect from a 3-year-old child.

Always keep in mind that children develop at different speeds. So, don't panic if your child has not yet reached one or more of the child development milestones.

Milestones in child development for typical 3-year-olds

It can be difficult not to compare your 3 year old child to others. It is often even more difficult not to listen when other people tell you what your child should be able to do at that age.

If you're not entirely sure which skills are typical for this age, check out this list of child development milestones. This will give you an overview of what to expect from a 3 year old child. You will also find out which problem areas are present in your child's development and can discuss these with your pediatrician.

Physical milestones

In this year of life, the child works on further developing the fine and gross motor skills developed in the second year of life. But they also learn new things. By the end of their fourth year, children usually learn:

Gross motor skills

  • Run and walk without falling off your feet
  • Jump, hop and stand on one leg
  • Walk backwards and climb stairs with one foot per step
  • Kick or throw a small ball; catch a big ball on most attempts
  • Climbing
  • Operate the pedals of a bicycle or tricycle

Fine motor skills

  • Draw a circle with wax or felt-tip pen
  • Play with toys that have small, moving parts or buttons
  • Turn the pages of a book individually
  • Build a tower with six or more blocks
  • Use door handles and unscrew screw caps on bottles

Cognitive milestones

This year your child will learn a lot of new things about the world. Creative approaches to problems and tasks often come up with ideas. Children who reach all milestones can usually do the following at the end of their fourth year:
  • Name the colors of pens (red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple, brown, black)
  • Say numbers up to 10 and count things
  • Starts to understand time, e.g. morning, evening, or days of the week
  • Remember your favorite stories and retell them
  • Understand that things are "same" or "different" and talk about them
  • Follow simple, three-step instructions ("Brush your teeth, wash your face, and put on your pajamas")

Language milestones

At the end of this year, 3-year-olds usually have a lot to say. They also understand more of what you tell him - but don't always follow your instructions. Typical 3 year olds use language like this:
  • They use the basic rules of grammar, but make mistakes with words that do not follow the rules (eg "eleven, twelve, three")
  • They speak well enough that strangers understand what they are saying
  • Use five to six words per sentence and can have conversations with two to three sentences
  • Can tell you your name, the name of at least one friend, and the names of most everyday items
  • You understand prepositions like "in", "on", "behind" or "next to"
  • They ask w-questions like "why" when they don't know or don't understand things

Social and emotional milestones

3-year-olds display an interesting mix of independent, playful and fearful. At the end of the fourth year of life, most 3-year-olds can usually:
  • Be interested but hesitate to explore new places and learn new things
  • Play with other children, not side by side
  • Consoling a sad friend or expressing concern about him without being asked.
  • Play alternately (even if you don't like it)
  • Re-enact "real life" with toys, eg "cook" something in the kitchen
  • Find easy ways to resolve disagreements and disagreements
  • Show emotions that go beyond happy, sad or angry, but cannot necessarily name them

Always keep in mind that children develop at different speeds. So, don't panic if your child hasn't reached one or more of the milestones yet. If you are unsure, you can always ask your pediatrician for advice. Early medical intervention can often help prevent or reduce developmental disorders.

Milestones in Child Development
Typical 4 year olds

What are the typical skills of a 4 year old? Many skills are quickly developed in this year of life. Find out in this list what you can expect from your 4-year-old until the end of the year. This can also help you identify problem areas and discuss them with a pediatrician.

Milestones in child development for typical 4-year-olds

What are the typical skills of a 4 year old? Many skills are quickly developed in this year of life. Find out in this list what you can expect from your 4-year-old until the end of the year. This can also help you identify problem areas and discuss them with a pediatrician.

Physical milestones

Children can gain up to 4 kg this year and grow up to 14 cm. The view improves more and more and so does the coordination. At the end of this year, most children can:

Gross motor skills

  • Control movements more easily; start running, stop, take curves and avoid obstacles while running
  • Turn, roll forward, hop and trot
  • Get dressed with little help (zippers, Velcro and buttons could still be difficult)
  • Throw a ball and let it jump
  • Jump over objects and climb ladders on the playground
  • Drive and steer a tricycle or bicycle

Fine motor skills

  • (Ab) drawing shapes and figures
  • write first letters
  • Use scissors wisely
  • Build a tower with 10 or more blocks
  • Combine pearls or O-shaped cornflakes into a necklace
  • Form clay or plasticine into a recognizable object

Cognitive milestones

In this year of life, the child's ability to think and learn goes beyond the direct environment. It begins to understand things that it can neither see nor touch. You will experience that your child develops various interesting ideas. Most children of this age develop the following skills;
  • Understand the difference between reality and imagination
  • Understand that pictures and symbols represent real things
  • Discover relationships between ideas and express them using words such as "if" or "if"
  • Start thinking in logical steps, what does that mean "how" and the consequences of an action
  • Understand abstract terms like "bigger", "less", "later", "then" and "soon"
  • Sort things by order, for example from largest to smallest
  • Perform an activity for at least 10 to 15 minutes

Language milestones

Language development seems to be exploding this year. This includes expanding the vocabulary to more than 1000 words and using complicated sentences that contain more than one thought. Children ask W-questions like What? When? or why? and sometimes even answer them yourself. At the end of the year, most children can do these things:
  • Sing silly songs, invent funny words and rhyme
  • Carry out simple instructions without any further context ("Find your shoes and pick up the toys")
  • Change the conversation behavior depending on the interlocutor, e.g. talk in short sentences with a younger sibling
  • Make most sounds correctly, but there may still be problems with s, w, and r sounds
  • Ask for the definition of unknown words
  • Invent stories and talk about what you're thinking
  • Arguing, even if the arguments are not logical

Social and emotional milestones

Your child is slowly starting to develop its own personality. Little by little it gets along better with its friends and solves problems in a playful way. Most children can also:
  • Share, collaborate, help and take turns
  • Start to look bossy or gossipy
  • Telling your own silly jokes and finding things funny
  • Tell little lies to avoid anger, even though it knows it's wrong
  • Saying or doing things that you shouldn't, just to see the reaction
  • Have imaginary friends and play with these games in your imagination

Always keep in mind that children develop at different speeds. So, don't panic if your child has not yet reached one or more of the child development milestones. If you are unsure, you can always ask your pediatrician for advice. Early medical intervention can often help prevent or mitigate developmental disorders.