Even though each child develops differently, the variations in certain development denominators may often be a cause for concern. The best way to steer clear of any possible trouble is to monitor a baby’s developmental milestones and take the precautionary steps required.

Monitoring a child’s development pattern helps parents and physicians understand the progress a child makes in various areas. Given below are the normal characteristics of a healthy growth pattern. If a child’s growth shows deviations from these, it should be brought to the attention of a physician.

Up To 2 Months: A 2-month-old baby is normally reflexive, moves the body parts and responds to high-pitch sounds.

At 4 Months: Responding to sounds, smiling back when smiled at and reacting to movement & bright colors are the signs of a healthy baby. There will be difference in the way a baby responds to speech than he does to general sounds, coos and laughs.

At 6 Months: When 6-month-old, a baby cries when unhappy, smiles at you quite often, babbles when happy,  relates to you with joy and rolls in one direction.

At 9 Months:  A baby would make rapid progress at this stage, frequently exchanging smiles, actions and gestures.  The baby is also able to sit without support, crawls, claps and imitates sounds.

At 12 Months: A year old baby starts talking in monosyllables, plays games like peek-a-boo and reacts to his name. Also, the baby would now stand, climb and uncover toys you may have hidden.

At 15 Months: Smiles, actions and gestures (to draw the attention of others to something of interest) come in a row at this stage. The baby starts talking at least 3 words like mama, daddy and bye apart from starting to walk. Also, a sense of humor and long-term memory starts showing up. He understands the uses of common household objects such as a comb, a spoon and a toothbrush.

At 18 Months: As an 18-month-old, a baby starts using combinations of words and gestures to meet his needs. He uses and understands at least 10 full words and indicates that he knows the names of familiar people or body parts by pointing them out when named. The baby also tries to hold a pen/pencil and scribbles.

At 24 Months: A 2-year-old baby does pretend play like feeding a doll and putting it to sleep. He uses at least two consecutive words that make sense like “want milk”. Also, he enjoys playing with same age children.

At 36 Months: A 3-year-old baby uses thoughts and actions together to make someone understand of what he is trying to communicate. He pretends to play different characters with you and likes socializing with other children.

These milestones are merely pointers and it might vary with every child. It is always better to monitor the milestones as a baby grows through his diaper days!

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