Developmental milestones matter

Skills, such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye,” are called developmental milestones. From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves.

Parents and caregivers can use Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Learn the Signs, Act Early” tools to track developmental milestones from as early as two months to help better understand children’s abilities and stay in tune with their developmental health.

You can track your child’s milestones with CDC’s free Milestone Tracker mobile app, available in both English and Spanish. Interactive checklists with photos and videos of developmental milestones help you know what to look for in your child. Use the app to complete a checklist for your child’s age, share a summary with your child’s healthcare provider, and get tips for encouraging your child’s development.

The app has many easy-to-use features including Illustrated milestone checklists for two months through 5 years of age, summary of your child’s milestones to share, activities to help your child’s development, tips for what to do if you become concerned, and reminders for appointments and developmental screening.

Print resources are also available at

Making sure all children have the help and support they need to overcome challenges, find their strengths and reach their full potential starts early. You know your child best.

If your child is missing milestones for his or her age or you have concerns about your child’s development, talk with your child’s doctor, share your concerns and ask about developmental screening. If you or the doctor is still concerned, ask the doctor for a referral to a specialist. Don’t wait. Acting early can make a real difference!

Nancy Nelson36 Posts

Nancy Nelson is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of family and child development.

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