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It’s time to change how we view a child’s growth.
From CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD: BIRTH TO AGE 5 by Steven Shelov, Robert E. Hannermann, © 1991, 1993, 1998, 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
As they grow, children are always learning new things. These are just some of the things you should be looking for as your child grows. Because every child develops at his or her own pace, your child may reach these milestones slightly before or after other children the same age. Use this as a guide, and if you have any concerns, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse.
By the end of 7 months, many children are able to:
- turn head when name is called
- smile back at another person
- respond to sound with sounds
- enjoy social play (such as peek-a-boo)
By the end of 1 year (12 months), many children are able to:
- use simple gestures (waving “bye-bye”)
- make sounds such as “ma” and “da”
- imitate actions in their play (clap when you clap)
- respond when told “no”
By the end of 11/2 years (18 months), many children are able to:
- do simple pretend play (“talk” on a toy phone)
- point to interesting objects
- look at object when you point at it and tell them to “look!”*
- use several single words unprompted
By the end of 2 years (24 months), many children are able to:
- use 2- to 4-word phrases
- follow simple instructions
- become more interested in other children
- point to object or picture when named
By the end of 3 years (36 months), many children are able to:
- show affection for playmates
- use 4- to 5-word sentences
- imitate adults and playmates (run when other children run)
- play make-believe with dolls, animals, and people (“feed” a teddy bear)
By the end of 4 years (48 months), many children are able to:
- use 5- to 6-word sentences
- follow 3-step commands (“Get dressed. Comb your hair, and wash your face.”)
- cooperate with other children
Questions to ask your child’s doctor or nurse:
- What can I do to keep track of my child’s development?
- What should I do if I’m worried about my child’s progress?
- Where can I go to get more information?
- Can you refer me to a specialist for more information?
* Baird, G., Charman, T., Baron-Cohen, S., Cox, A., Swettenham, J., Wheelwright, S., and Drew, A. (2000), A Screening Instrument for Autism at 18 Months of Age: A 6-Year Follow-up Study. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 39:694-702.