Child Development Milestones: What To Watch For

The milestones of infant and child development are very important for parents of children with Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or any parent of a child with a brain injury. Not knowing if your child has a developmental issue can be nerve wrecking. However, knowing if your child will need help to reach their milestones is crucial in the early years. The more help, and the sooner that help comes, the better! 

Keeping in mind that all children are different to begin with and that a impaired child may take more time to reach these levels, it is good to know what a "normal" child development looks like.

There are many charts and lists out there that say where your child should be in their development at any given point in their life. I will list the milestones from the chart I was given from the "Early On" program. 

This is the child development milestone chart i am using to watch my son.

One Month Milestones: 
  • Raises head slightly off floor or bed when on stomach
  • Holds head up momentarily when supported 
  • Briefly follows and watches objects with eyes  
  • Avoids mildly annoying sensations (cloth on face) 
  • Some "noise in throat" sounds
Two Month Milestones:
  • Holds head erect/ bobbing when supported in sitting position
  • Follows moving person with eyes
  • Imitates or responds to smiling person with occasional smile
  • Vocalizes
Three Month Milestones
  • Lifts head and chest when laying on stomach
  • Vigorous body movement
  • Improved head control 
  • Recognizes bottle or breast
  • Coos / chuckles 
Four Month Milestones:
  • Good head control
  • Rolls from side to side
  • Grabs objects near hands
  • May begin reaching for objects 
  • Follows moving objects when in sitting position
  • Laughs aloud
  • Enjoys play
Six Month Milestones:
  • Sits with little help
  • Rolls from back to stomach 
  • Transfers object from hand to hand and from hand to mouth
  • Babbles (more than two sounds) 
Nine Month Milestones:
  • Sits alone
  • Changes positions without falling
  • Plays with two objects at the same time
  • Creeps or crawls
  • Says things like "Mama" or "Baba" 
One Year Milestones:
  • Pulls self to standing, may step without support
  • Picks things up with thumb and one finger
  • Stacks two blocks
  • Gives toy on request
  • Gives affection
  • Follows simple directions accompanied by gestures
  • May say 2 or 3 words
Fifteen Month Milestones:
  • May walk without support
  • Stacks 3 blocks
  • Vocalizes voice up and down - sounds like conversation
  • May use 4-5 words
  • Some self-feeding
Eighteen Month Milestones
  • Walks - may run
  • Climbs one stair 
  • Likes pull toys
  • Likes being read too
  • Makes mark on paper with crayon 
  • Partially feeds self
  • May use 5-10 words
Two Year Milestones
  • Kicks large ball
  • Turns pages (sometimes 2-3 at a time) 
  • Imitates house work
  • Recognizes familiar picture (family or friends) 
  • Asks for things by name
  • Uses 2 or 3 words together ( i.e. "more juice")
Three Year Milestones:
  • Walks up stairs
  • Stands momentarily on one foot
  • Rides tricycle
  • Feeds self
  • Opens door
  • Vocalizes toilet need
Four Year Milestones:
  • Hops in place
  • Throws and catches balls
  • Copies circle
  • Points to 6 basic colors
  • Knows own sex, age, last name
  • Begins to play with others
  • Uses proper sentences "may i go to the store?"
  • Washes hands unassisted 
Five Year Milestones:
  • Walks backwards , heel to toe, runs on tip toe
  • Prints a few capital letters
  • Recognizes own printed name
  • Cuts food with knife
  • Plays with others
  • Responds by showing penny nickle dime (not really sure what that one means...)
  • Answers to things like "hi" or "How are you?" 
  • Ties shoes

As said before, not all children are perfectly average in every aspect. Some will reach these developmental milestones before others and some may take a bit longer. 
Having a child with the possibility of developmental issues just means you have to pay more attention to these milestones to give your child the help they may need in reaching them.