Parents often ask about activities and/or achievements generally demonstrated at a given stage of a child's development. This information is a general guide to help you determine if your child is progressing at the rate expected for his or her age. Please keep in mind that each child is unique and develops skills at their own rate.
What are developmental milestones?
Developmental milestones are skills that babies tend to develop around the same time as other babies. One of the most interesting things about babies is that their overall growth and development is somewhat predictable. There’s a HUGE range of what is considered “normal” – after all, every baby has their own personality – but developmental progress is a sign of overall infant and child well-being. Knowing what milestone skills to expect can make it fun and exciting to interact with your baby at each stage of infancy and early childhood.
Milestone skills also help doctors to be able to pick up on when development is not going according to plan. They serve as a helpful tool for tracking progress the same way that growth in tracked through measuring weight, length and head circumference over time.
How are developmental skills tracked by age?
Your pediatrician or family doctor may use a tool called a developmental checklist to screen where your baby is in four key areas of development:
How do I know if my child's development is progressing at a normal rate?
If you are concerned about a baby’s development, please note that ALL infants and toddlers (0-36 months) in Virginia are eligible to have their development checked at no cost to the family. If recommended, additional testing – which includes speech, hearing, thinking skills, motor skills and social skills – can be arranged, again at no cost to families.
For more information, contact occupational therapy at (804) 228-5818.
If you are concerned about a child or adolescent's development, a doctor or therapist may be able to assist with an evaluation.