From Birth to 5, a Guide to Your Child’s Milestones and Development

We did it!

Those three words reflect a successful partnership between you and your child, who began a remarkably complex developmental journey at birth. The cool thing about that journey is that it follows a series of predictable milestones that your child will reach during these first, formative years.

Your many roles—nurturer in chief, mentor, first teacher, cheerleader, and keen observer—are essential to your child’s meeting those milestones.

What are milestones?

Think of ParentPal Milestones as an interactive road map, allowing you to look back on your child’s accomplishments, and peek into the future to learn what to expect in the days and months ahead. They’ll even help explain your child’s behavior right now.

The 180 social, language, reasoning, and physical milestones—brief, descriptive statements about a child’s behavior—may seem simplistic or even obvious…but there’s far more to them than meets the eye. In fact, they are the result of many years of research.

Thanks to the earlier works of Arnold Gesell, the father of developmental pediatrics, and Dr. Harold “Harry” Ireton, a developmental psychologist from the University of Minnesota who identified these milestones and age-rated them based on extensive research, you have at your fingertips a systematic way to follow and appreciate your child’s progress.

Types of milestones

ParentPal Milestones help you appreciate 180 developmental achievements by your child across various skill areas.

The 34 social milestones include interaction with parents, children and other adults.

The 28 self help milestones include eating, dressing, bathing, independence and responsibility.

The 31 fine motor milestones include eye-hand coordination, from picking up objects to scribbling and drawing.

The 33 gross motor milestones include walking, running, climbing, jumping, riding, balance, and coordination.

The 26 expressive language milestones reflect gains in expressive communication, from simple gestures to complex language.

The 16 language comprehension milestones reflect simple to complex language understanding.

After age 3, two new skills are added to the inventory.

The five letters milestones include knowledge of letters and words, printing and early reading.

Lastly, the seven numbers milestones include knowledge of quantity and written numbers, from counting to simple problems.

Age-rating of milestones

Each milestone appears in the age range (in months) where at least 75 percent of children in Dr. Ireton’s research group achieved that milestone. For example, in Harry’s research, parents reported that 75 percent of babies said “ma-ma” or “da-da” at age 8 months, so you’ll find that particular milestone in the “8-9 mo” group.

It’s not a race

Remember, all children progress at their own pace, so being behind the “average month” in some areas and ahead in other areas is normal and to be expected. The milestones are helpful guideposts, not race markers, and provide general time periods during which you can expect to see a particular skill emerge.

Following milestones in ParentPal

During the first three years, milestones can be followed monthly, providing timely insights into your child’s rapid growth and development. Swipe left to see what happened in past months and swipe right to learn to expect in future months. Then, simply check off any milestones you observe your child meeting. Easy peasy.

Remember, Milestones are practical guideposts designed to help you identify and celebrate your child’s accomplishments. From birth to 5, ParentPal’s 180 research-based milestones provide you with thoroughly vetted information, giving you a wonderful way to anticipate, encourage, and celebrate your little one’s developments.