To see how your child should be developing at each age, please click below.

Movement is vital for a child’s development, and a problem with movement may prevent health development and could affect normal play and learning. Every child is unique and develops at different rates. However, if you have concerns about how your baby is moving or developing, please speak with your doctor or Health Visitor as soon as possible so that your baby can get the help they need.

Graphic of baby lying on back
Graphic of baby on hands and feet
Graphic of baby sitting up
Graphic of baby crawling
Graphic of baby walking to adult
Graphic of walking baby pulling a toy
Graphic of child running

0 - 3
months

3 - 6
months

6 - 9
months

9 - 12
months

12 - 18
months

18 - 24
months

2 - 3
years

Graphic of baby lying on back
Graphic of baby lying on back

By 3 Months - Learning Head Control

Typical Physical Development

Signs to watch out for in
Physical Development

  •  While lying on their tummy, baby pushes up on arms

  •  While lying on their tummy, baby lifts and holds head up

  •  When lying on back, arm and leg movements are smooth and continuous

  •  When lying on back, baby kicks legs alternately and sometimes together

  •  Makes eye contact and follows moving object with head and eyes

  •  Seeks out faces and watches own hands

  •  Makes sounds

  •  Difficulty lifting or holding head steady

  •  Stiff legs with little or no movement

  •  Keeps hands fisted and lacks arm movement

  •  Not kicking legs or moving arms and legs up when lying down

  •  Doesn’t follow moving object with head and eyes

Graphic of baby on hands and feet
Graphic of baby on hands and feet

3 - 6 Months - Learning to Roll and Reach

Typical Physical Development

Signs to watch out for in
Physical Development

  •  Uses hands to support self while sitting

  •  Rolls from tummy onto back and back to tummy

  • Can hold head strongly if pulled forward from lying on his back into a sitting position and move head from side to side

  • While standing with support, will push down through feet

  • While lying on back or on tummy, will reach for and can grasp an object with two hands

  • When lying on back, can bring both knees to tummy

  • When lying on back, can bring an object or hands to their mouth

  •  Makes eye contact and follows a moving object with head and eyes in all directions

  • Responds to sounds, laughs and makes squealing sounds

  • Rounded back

  • Does not roll from tummy onto back or back to tummy

  • Unable to lift head up or poor head control

  •  Seems very stiff or very floppy

  • Arches back and stiffens legs

  •  Difficult to bring arms forward to reach out

  • Does not respond to sounds, does not laugh or make squealing sounds

Graphic of baby sitting up
Graphic of baby sitting up

6 - 9 Months - Independent Sitting

Typical Physical Development

Signs to watch out for in
Physical Development

  • Sits and reaches for toys without falling

  • Moves from tummy or back into sitting

  •  Starts to move with alternate leg and arm movement, e.g. creeping, crawling

  •  Actively uses both hands together

  •  Transfers objects from one hand to the other

  •  Picks up objects with thumb and fingers

  •  Turns head to watch things moving while sitting

  •  Responds to own name

  •  Starting to babble

  •  Unable to sit without support

  •  Cannot take weight on legs when supported

  • Uses one hand more than the other

  • Rounded back

  •  Difficulty crawling

  • Uses only one side of body to move

  •  Inability to straighten back

  •  Does not respond to own name

  •  Does not look where you are pointing

Graphic of baby crawling
Graphic of baby crawling

9 - 12 Months - Crawling and Pulling to Standing

Typical Physical Development

Signs to watch out for in
Physical Development

  •  Crawls on hands and knees or bottom shuffles

  •  Pulls to standing and cruises along furniture

  • Stands with support and takes several independent steps

  • Can drop or throw an object

  •  Can move fingers individually and can point at objects

  • Is starting to say simple words like ‘dada’ or ‘mama’

  • Does not crawl

  •  Needs to use hand to maintain sitting position

  •  Is not able to stand when supported

  •  Only uses arms to pull up to standing

  •  Sits with weight to one side

  •  Strongly flexed or stiffly extended arms

  • Is not saying simple words

  • Is not able to copy and learn gestures such as waving or shaking head

  • Does not point to objects

  •  Loses skills once had

Graphic of baby walking to adult
Graphic of baby walking to adult

12 - 18 Months - Cruising and Walking

Typical Physical Development

Signs to watch out for in
Physical Development

  •  Stands independently for several seconds

  •  Walks while holding on and can take 2-3 steps independently

  •  Squats to pick up toy

  • Uses both hands independently to explore objects

  •  Can grasp and hold crayons, wave bye-bye and play peek-a-boo

  • Understands and carries out simple instructions, e.g., ‘give me the ball”

  •  Holds and drinks from a cup and finger feeds

  • Knows and uses 6 – 20 words and understands many more

  •  Unable to take steps independently

  • Poor standing balance, falls frequently

  • Walks on toes

  • Does not point to show things to others

  •  Does not know what familiar things are for

  • Does not copy others

  •  Does not know or use at least 6 words

  •  Does not notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns

  • Loses skills once had

Graphic of walking baby pulling a toy
Graphic of walking baby pulling a toy

18 - 24 Months - Confident Walker

Typical Physical Development

Signs to watch out for in
Physical Development

  •  Walks independently and seldom falls

  •  Stands with support

  • Can drop or throw an object

  •  Can move fingers individually and can point at objects

  •  Will point to body parts

  •  Is able to join words into simple 2 word sentences

  •  Is starting to say simple words like ‘dada’ or ‘mama’

  •  Unable to take steps independently

  •  Poor standing balance, falls frequently

  •  Walks on toes

  •  Does not walk steadily

  •  Does not use 2-word phrases (such as ‘drink milk’)

  •  Does not know what to do with common objects such as brush or spoon

  • Does not copy actions and words

  • Does not follow simple instructions

  • Loses skills once had

Graphic of child running
Graphic of child running

2 - 3 Years - Confident Walker and Starting to Run

Typical Physical Development

Signs to watch out for in
Physical Development

  •  Walks steadily, able to walk backwards, run and jump

  •  Walks up and down steps with support

  •  Bends over from standing to pick up a toy

  •  Climbs onto or down from furniture without assistance

  •  Copies simple instructions

  •  Uses both hands together and separately

  • Can throw and catch an object with both hands together

  • Carries out simple dressing tasks

  • Eats with spoon or fork

  • Joins in with actions

  •  Knows and uses at least 50 words and understands many more

  •  Unable to take steps independently

  • Poor standing balance, falls frequently

  • Walks on toes

  •  Does not walk steadily

  •  Does not use simple sentences

  •  Does not know what to do with common objects such as brush or spoon

  •  Does not copy actions and words

  • Does not follow simple instructions

  • Loses skills once had