Expert Health Articles

Milestones Matter: Keeping Track of a Child's Development

Ailing Chen, MD

Caughman Health Center

The most fulfilling part of being a mom and a pediatrician for me is witnessing my own child and other little ones under my care attain new skill levels in their growth journey. Those initial grins or giggles followed by those hesitant first steps are especially precious moments both for children and parents.

It is important for a child’s cognitive, social, and physical growth to reach developmental milestones appropriate for their age. However, every child develops at their own pace, and some may need a little more time to reach certain milestones. As a parent, you know your child best. Trust your instincts and consult with your pediatrician or primary care provider for guidance and support.

Common Milestones

Common milestones for a child include smiling socially by two months old, focusing and making noise to get attention by four months old, and looking at a mirror, rolling over, passing toys from one hand to the other by six months old. By nine months old, babies can sit alone without any support and make various sounds. They also start looking at you when called by their names. By two years old, most children can say two words together in phrases and start jumping off the ground.

Stay on Track with Well-child Visits

It is important to nurture your child's growth and development by staying on top of their milestones and scheduling routine well-child visits with their pediatrician. These appointments allow the doctor to evaluate your child's progress in areas such as communication skills, motor skills, and social abilities, enabling early detection and addressing any potential delays.

Early Identification and Intervention

Early identification of developmental delays is crucial as it allows for timely intervention and support, such as speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. With appropriate support and early intervention, children with developmental delays can make significant progress in their cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Working as a team, we can help children with developmental delays grow and thrive beyond expectations.