Developmental milestones are behaviors or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop. Rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking are all considered milestones. The milestones are different for each age range.
There is a normal range in which a child may reach each milestone. For example, walking may begin as early as 8 months in some children. Others walk as late as 18 months and it is still considered normal.
One of the reasons for well-child visits to the health care provider in the early years is to follow your child’s development. Most parents also watch for different milestones. Talk to your child’s provider if you have concerns about your child’s development.
Closely watching a “checklist” or calendar of developmental milestones may trouble parents if their child is not developing normally. At the same time, milestones can help to identify a child who needs a more detailed check-up. Research has shown that the sooner the developmental services are started, the better the outcome. Examples of developmental services include: speech therapy, physical therapy, and developmental preschool.
Below is a general list of some of the things you might see children doing at different ages. These are NOT precise guidelines. There are many different normal paces and patterns of development.
Adolescent — 12 to 18 years
Adult height, weight, sexual maturity
Boys show growth of armpit, chest, and pubic hair; voice changes; and testicles/penis enlarge
Girls show growth of armpit and pubic hair; breasts develop; menstrual periods start
Peer acceptance and recognition is of vital importance
Understands abstract concepts