Developmental milestones

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Developmental milestones

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Developmental milestones are tasks most children learn, or physical developments, that commonly appear in certain age ranges. For example:

  • Ability to lift and control the orientation of the head (Neck control) is attained at about 3 months
  • Crawling begins at about 7 months
  • Walking unsupported is attained at about 12 months
  • Speech begins
  • Voice lowers in pitch (especially noticeable in boys)
  • Pubic hair appears
  • Genitals and reproductive organs mature
  • Menses begin (females)
  • Body hair and facial hair appears

"Normal" age ranges for many milestones are broad (a factor of 1.5 - 2 from bottom to top is possible). For this and other reasons, a single delayed milestone, especially task-related, is rarely in itself a basis for diagnosing a problem.

Note: the Tanner stages can be used to approximately judge a child's age based on physical development.

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