Physical developmental milestones mark many occasions of celebration during the first few years of life. Some kiddos seem to match the developmental milestones just as expected, and some develop at their own pace or in a different sequence. Delayed developmental milestones can impact a child’s future development; not only on the soccer field, but in the classroom, job site, and home as well.
Infants learn how to move their bodies before they learn to speak, self-regulate, make friends, or write. As their little bodies are learning how to move they are simultaneously creating neuropathways that develop important communication routes within the brain. If you notice that your child is or was delayed in developing any of these milestones, consider the support of a physical therapist. Even if your child was late to acquire some of these skills, though eventually did, you may observe residual effects in their current motor coordination, behavior, or learning habits. It’s never too late to seek the opinion of a physical therapist to see if services would help benefit the challenges you currently experience.
Move and Play Development
These are the ranges for expected development. If your child developed these skills after the ranges listed, call us for an evaluation today.
- Turns head to each side equally when on back.
- Holds head up 45 degrees when on tummy.
- Random body movements.
- Lifts chest from surfaces when on stomach.
- Pushes up on straight elbows on stomach.
- Rolls stomach to back.
- Sits with slight support or independently for brief moments.
- Pivots on stomach.
- Actively moves head in supported sitting.
- Head control in all positions.
- Sits independently.
- Rolls back to stomach.
- Laying on back, lifts head off ground.
- During tummy time, supports weight on 1 hand to play with toy.
- Maintains hands and knees position.
- In supported standing, sustains weight and bounces.
- Belly crawls.
- Pulls to stand.
- Cruises along furniture.
- Creeps on hands and knees.
- Walks with hands held.
- Lowers to sit without falling.
- Stands alone without support.
- Kneels without support.
- Walks without support.
- Crawls upstairs and downstairs.
- Walks with feet closer together.
- Walk backwards.
- Walk upstairs with hand held.
- Walks downstairs while holding hand.
- Walks sideways.
- Squats to play without losing balance.
36 months (3 years):
- Ride a tricycle.
- Balance on one foot for 3 seconds.
- Alternate stepping going up stairs without holding on.
- Balance on toes and heels.
48 months (4 years):
- Hop on one foot 4-6 times.
- Alternate stepping going down stairs without holding on.
60 months (5 years):
- Stand on one foot 10 seconds.
- Ride a bike.
- Walk on balance beam in all directions.
These “red flags” are motor patterns that signify a need for physical therapy. Readjusting these motor patterns just might unlock improved coordination, confidence, and academic ability.
- Frequently falling/tripping for no apparent reason
- “Walking” their hands up to achieve standing position.
- Unusual crawling patterns.
- Only walking on their toes, not on the bottoms of their feet.
- Displaying uncoordinated or jerky movements when doing activities.
- Walking with toes in (“pigeon toed”) at or after two years of age.
- Uses one side of his or her body more than the other.
- Any known medical diagnosis that impacts physical abilities: Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Congenital Heart Conditions, etc.)