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   Normal Child Development   


A Checklist of Your Child's Growth from Birth to Five

Every Step Counts

When you are a busy parent, it's a challenge to keep all the facts straight. You find yourself asking questions like, "Now when is she supposed to be walking?" or "Should he be talking more by now?"

Questions are good. In fact, if you have a child under five, now is the time to be asking those questions about your child's learning and growth. And now is the time to have their development checked on a regular basis.

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The way your child develops and learns today is key to his or her future. Every step counts - especially during those all-important first five years of life.

That is why it is important for you to know how your child should be learning and growing...and that is why we have created this checklist. Between visits to your doctor, use it as a guide to watching your child's changes. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk with your doctor. You can also check with your local school district to find out when developmental screenings are being offered in your community.

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Look for These Changes in Your Growing Child

3 Months

  • lifts head regularly when on tummy
  • makes cooing noise
  • quiets when spoken to
  • grasps objects placed in hand
  • begins to bat at objects

6 Months

  • sits with light support
  • babbles when alone or with someone
  • reaches for objects
  • holds objects with either hand
  • turns eyes and head toward sounds or voices
  • begins to crawl (moves around other than on hands and knees)

9 Months

  • sits without support
  • begins creeping (up on hands and knees)
  • imitates cough, bye-bye, hand clap, ma-ma
  • drops and looks for objects
  • can find toy hidden under cloth
  • likes to dump out and pick up things

1 Year

  • pulls up to a standing position and cruises around furniture
  • begins to say ma-ma and da-da to refer to parents
  • finger feeds self solid foods
  • follows a simple direction like "bring me the ball"
  • points to object she knows when asked "where is it?"
  • begins to use a spoon and hold a cup

1 1/2 Years

  • walks well and runs by 18 months
  • can push, pull, carry and lift objects
  • names some objects
  • can point to simple pictures
  • brings you an object he knows when asked

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2 Years

  • walks up and down stairs, two feet on each step
  • can name more than three body parts
  • scribbles
  • stacks two to four objects
  • uses two-word sentences
  • enjoys doing things for herself
  • gets easily frustrated
  • uses objects as they should be used

3 Years

  • uses three- to five-word sentences
  • sings simple songs
  • can jump in place
  • begins to ask questions
  • enjoys "pretend" play (for instance, pretending to be mom, dad, brothers and sisters)
  • can help brush teeth, wash hands, undress, etc.

4 Years

  • can use the toilet (with few accidents)
  • can balance on one foot, then the other
  • can name up to three colors
  • can retell parts of a familiar story
  • begins to play with other children rather than alongside them

5 Years

  • likes playground challenges
  • dresses self completely, including the buttons, is beginning to zip, tie
  • can play cooperatively with a small group of children
  • draws people in two parts - head and arms or legs
  • can tell parents something that happened while they were gone
  • says number words to ten

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Remember...ask your doctor or call your local school district if you have questions about your child's development!

If you have concerns, call:
      Arizona Children's Information Center
      (800) 232-1676
      Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP)
      (602) 532-9960 or toll free in Arizona at (888) 439-5609

No Two Are Alike

As you use this checklist, keep in mind that the changes under each age are only a guide for you. They are based on the typical ages at which many children learn certain skills.

Each child is one of a kind - no two are alike. They differ in appearance, in the ways they feel about things and in the way they learn. They also differ in the ways they move and even in the speed of their development. Your child may learn and grow more quickly or more slowly in certain areas than other children of the same age.

Remember...Questions Are Good!

When you know just how your child should be growing and learning, you can improve your skills as a parent. You can also see or even prevent possible problems. And...you can help to make your child's first exciting years count for a lifetime!

Remember...as parents, you know your child best. And you are in charge of guiding your child and seeking help when needed. So please don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any concern about your child's development. For more information, ask your doctor or call your local school district.



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