Milestones are scientifically supported behavioral or physical checkpoints seen in infants and children as they grow and develop. All of our developmental milestones are validated by American Academy of Pediatrics findings.


Abilities are additional skills your child should be developing. When reviewing abilities, look at your child’s overall behavior to gauge their progress.

It’s Important to Remember:

Be sure to adjust for prematurity.  If your child is missing milestones, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider.

Missing one or two abilities should not cause alarm, as every child develops differently. However, if they are missing multiple abilities, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider.

Use our checklists to track your baby’s development and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.

Learn about Early Detection & Early Intervention

Make Sure Your Baby Has Met Prev. Milestones



Key Milestones

By 30 months:

  • Consistently uses 2-3 word phrases
  • Uses “in” and “on”
  • At least 50% of speech is understood by caregiver
  • Follows 2-step unrelated directions, e.g. “Give me the ball and go get your coat”
  • Understands basic nouns and pronouns
  • Understands “mine” and “yours”

By 36 months:

  • Asks “what” and “where” questions
  • Uses plurals, e.g. “dogs”
  • Most speech is understood by caregiver
  • Simple understanding of concepts including color, space, and time
  • Understands “why” questions
  • Understands most simple sentences

2-3 Years Old - Communication Milestones to Look For

The 2-3 year communication milestones video shows parents and caregivers examples of communication milestones children should reach by 3 years old.

See More Videos

Play and Social Skills


Key Abilities

  • Is able to participate in small groups with other children
  • Is interested, aware, and able to maintain eye contact with others
  • Turns head in response to name being called
  • Explores varied environments, such as a new playground
  • Enjoys swinging on playground swings
  • Is able to play in social situations after a transition time
  • Enjoys swinging, being thrown in air, and roughhousing
  • Enjoys playing with a variety of toys and textures
  • Is able to locate objects of interest
  • Is able to locate objects you are pointing to
  • Enjoys playing with musical toys
  • Enjoys playing with new toys in varied ways
  • Usually plays with toys without mouthing them
  • Enjoys sitting to listen or look at book
  • Is able to participate in messy activities that result in dirty hands



Key Abilities

  • Enjoys and seeks out various ways to move and play
  • Has adequate endurance and strength to play with peers
  • Uses hands to help move from one position to another
  • Coordinates movements needed to play and explore
  • Usually walks with heel toe pattern and not primarily on toes
  • Can maintain balance to catch ball or when gently bumped by peers
  • Is able to walk and maintain balance over uneven surfaces
  • Walks through a new room without bumping into objects and people
  • Only leans on furniture, walls, or people and sits slumped over when tired
  • Is able to throw and attempt to catch ball without losing balance
  • Coordinates both hands to play, such as swinging a bat or opening a container
  • Uses both hands equally to play and explore toys
  • Coordinates hand and fingers

Daily Activities


Key Abilities

  • Enjoys bath time
  • Is able to self calm in car rides when not tired or hungry
  • Tolerates diaper changes without crying
  • Is not fearful of tipping head back
  • Is able to use fingertips to pick up small objects, such as small pieces of food
  • Eats an increasing variety of food
  • Has an established sleep schedule
  • Is usually able to self calm to fall asleep
  • Is able to tolerate and wear new and varied textures of clothes
  • Is able to take appropriate bites of food, does not always stuff mouth
  • Is aware of sensations such as a wet diaper or underpants
  • Is able to tolerate and stay calm during haircuts
  • Is able to adapt to changes in routine



Key Abilities

  • Is generally happy when not hungry or tired
  • Is able to calm with experiences, such as rocking, touch, and calm sounds
  • Has grown accustomed to everyday sounds and is usually not startled by them
  • Has an established and reliable sleeping schedule
  • Does not require an excessive routine to calm
  • Is able to enjoy a wide variety of touch, noise, and smells
  • Cries and notices when hurt
  • Is able to self-soothe when upset
  • Enjoys various textures, such as grass or sand, after multiple exposures
  • Is able to transition to new environment or activity
  • Is able to be away from parents when with supportive and familiar people
  • Enjoys playing near peers
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