Here's an oldie but goodie – a succinct checklist of essential milestones from birth to first birthday, from the doctors who created one of today’s standard developmental tests for babies and young children.
compiled by Parent USA City staff
The steps that a baby should take during the first year are stripped down to the essentials by William Frankenburg, M.D. and Josiah Dodds, Ph.D. in the classic checklist Your Child's Growth: Developmental Milestones, originally published in 1990 as a brochure for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In 1973, the two doctors were the developers of the Denver Developmental Screening Test, used to encourage early identification by health professionals of children with developmental problems. In its 1992 revision as the Denver II, the test remains a standard and “has been used to screen millions of children and achieve early diagnosis and treatment of developmental delays,” according to a 2009 article in AAP News.
Drs. Frankenburg and Dodds recommend that parents observe their baby over a month-long stretch of time at each of the age markers, because just like older children and adults, babies act differently on different days.
A "no" answer to any of the questions does not mean that there is a problem, since every child develops at his or her own pace. The milestones are pointers, however, that it's time to talk to your pediatrician during the next office visit if you notice major differences between the baby's development and the milestones, or if the baby does not do most of the things usually done at his or her age.
Here's the basic checklist from Drs. Frankenburg and Dodds for child parenting during that important first year:
- When your baby is lying on his back, does he move each of his arms equally well? The answer is "no" only if he makes jerky or uncoordinated movements with one or both of his arms and legs, or uses only one arm all the time.
- Does your child make sounds such as gurgling, cooing, babbling, or other noises besides crying?
- Does your baby respond to your voice?
- Are your child's hands frequently open?
- When you hold your child in the upright position, can he support his head for more than a moment?
- Have you seen your baby play with her hands by touching them together?
- Does your child turn his head to sounds that originate out of his immediate area?
- Has your baby rolled over from her stomach to her back or from back to stomach?
- When you hold your baby under his arms, can he bear some weight on his legs? The answer is "yes" only if he tries to stand on his feet and supports some of his weight.
- When your child is on his stomach, can he support his weight on outstretched hands?
- Does your baby see small objects such as crumbs?
- When your child is playing and you come up quietly behind him, does he sometimes turn his head as though he hears you? (Loud sounds do not count.) The answer is "yes" only if you have seen him respond to quiet sounds or whispers.
- Can your child sit without support and without holding up her body with her hands?
- Does your baby crawl or creep on her hands and knees?
- Does your baby hold his bottle?
- When you hide behind something or around a corner and then reappear again, does your baby look for you or eagerly plan for you to reappear?
- Does your baby make "ma-ma" or "da-da" sounds? The answer is "yes" if she makes either sound.
- Does your baby pull up to stand?
- Does your baby say at least one word?
- Does your baby walk holding on to furniture?
- Is your baby able to locate sounds by turning her head?
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