• Physical development
• Communication and intellectual development
• Social, emotional and behavioural development
All children are unique and develop at their own rate. However there are key milestones we expect most children to reach during childhood. The table below summarises some of these milestones from birth to 19 years.
Age Physical development
(gross and fine motor) Social and emotional development Cognitive and language development
Birth – 1 year Turns head in response to sounds and sights.
Gradually develops ability to hold up own head.
Makes movements with arms and legs which gradually become more controlled.
Rolls over from front to back, from back to front.
When lying on tummy becomes able to lift first head and then chest, supporting self with forearms and then straight arms.
Watches and explores hands and feet, e.g. when lying on back lifts legs into vertical position and grasps feet.
Reaches out for, touches and begins to hold objects.
Explores objects with mouth, often picking up an object and holding it to the mouth. Enjoys the company of others and seeks contact with others from birth.
Gazes at faces and copies facial movements. e.g. sticking out tongue, opening mouth and widening eyes.
Responds when talked to, for example, moves arms and legs, changes facial expression, moves body and makes mouth movements.
Recognises and is most responsive to main carer’s voice: face brightens, activity increases when familiar carer appears.
Responds to what carer is paying attention to, e.g. following their gaze.
Likes cuddles and being held: calms, snuggles in, smiles, gazes at carer’s face or strokes carer’s skin. Turns toward a familiar sound then locates range of sounds with accuracy.
Listens to, distinguishes and responds to intonations and sounds of voices.
Quietens or alerts to the sound of speech.