Milestones of Physical Development
As your baby explores and gains control over her body and uses her senses, you can support her achievements by understanding the developmental stage she is in and preparing for the stage she will reach next. For instance, when she sits up at six to eight months, you can be confident that she is progressing typically. Begin taking a second look at your home environment to make sure it is safe and conducive to her next move of pulling herself up to standing.
- She visually follows a moving object and discriminates among different shapes.
- She responds to sounds.
- She holds up her head, has body control, and opens and closes her hands.
- She moves her arms purposefully and actively kicks her legs.
- She sleeps more soundly.
- She tracks objects due to increased eye-muscle control.
- She sees objects with very little color contrast.
- She is not afraid of everyday sounds.
- Her birth weight doubles (usually by four or five months).
- She sits unsupported, rolls over, and lifts her head and chest when lying on her stomach.
- She waves her hands in the air.
- She drools and anticipates the bottle or breast before feeding.
- She enjoys playing with musical toys and toys of varied textures.
- She maintains eye contact.
- She enjoys various types of movement.
- She mouths her toys.
- Her birth weight triples (usually by 9 to 12 months).
- Her height has increased by 10 inches by her first birthday.
- She sits unsupported and walks while holding onto furniture.
- She moves around, crawls, points, touches, and pokes.
- She enjoys banging and playing with musical instruments.
- She sits unsupported.
- She crawls, pulls up to stand, and begins to walk.
- She loses baby fat as she becomes more active.
- She may sleep from 11 to 13 hours a night.
- She eats solid foods.
- She turns her head when someone calls her name.
- She points to objects of interest.
- She enjoys swinging and movement.
- She is very active physically and has increased coordination.
- She kicks, throws, and climbs.
- By two years of age, she weighs twice as much as at five months. However, her growth rate has slowed to 3 to 5 pounds and 3 to 5 inches in her second year.
- She is interested and aware, and she can maintain eye contact.
- She walks up and down steps.
- She runs and jumps in place.
- She climbs on ladders, slides, and play equipment.
- She peddles a tricycle.
- Her dexterity increases.
*These guidelines for physical development are just that: guidelines. Because development often builds on the completion of previous stages, earlier and faster development is not necessarily better. Each child moves at her own pace; no two children have the same physical growth patterns. However, as a parent, knowledge about the typical timing and sequence of physical development empowers you to assess whether your child is within a healthy range and to seek professional advice if you see that she is not.