Developmental Milestones

Guidance from Rochester’s Leading Pediatricians

From birth to age 5, your child should reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves. Many children develop at different ages and stages, however, there are some developmental milestones that are common for most children. These milestones are vital to observe and track to ensure the healthy development of your child and identify opportunities to help.

The board-certified pediatricians at Genesis Pediatrics are expertly trained in monitoring your child’s development. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s development, call (585) 426-4100 to request an appointment at our pediatric clinic in Rochester today.

About Developmental Milestones

Developmental milestones are based on:

  • Average or median ages
  • Targets most children would be expected to achieve
  • Over 75% of children reaching these developmental markers

Benefits of Developmental Milestones include:

  • Educating parents about normal child development
  • Reassurance and clear checkmarks for babies and children
  • Resources to learn about child development
  • Ability to recognize the milestones their child should be reaching
  • Guidance about what to do if they ever become concerned
  • Ability to identify developmental issues
  • Timing of intervention
  • Early identification of delays
  • Possible screenings
  • Revised by experts and clinical experts

How to Track Development

Well-child visits

There are milestones released by the CDC for each recommended well-child visit. This means that as you stay up-to-date on your doctor checkups you can be educated about proper development and suggested milestones. If you have questions or concerns, your doctor can address these while your child is there. It is a great way to establish trust with your doctor. If there is any suspicion of a delay, your doctor may suggest a follow-up visit, tests, or more information.

Conversations with child care professionals or teachers

In addition to discussing your child’s development at each doctor visit, you can also talk with child development experts, child care professionals, or teachers if you suspect delays with your child. Often, these individuals have a wealth of experience working with a wide range of children. They may be able to talk with you openly and honestly about your child and any areas that may be of concern.

CDC’s Developmental Milestone app 

Another way to track development on your own is through the CDC’s free Milestone Tracker App. This app incorporates checklists with the aim of helping parents track developments in the play, learning, speaking and movement of children up to 5 years old. The app alerts parents to missed milestones with a prompt to talk to their pediatrician about any concerns. There are fun activities and engaging images to help you as you observe the growth of your child.

Get to know your child

Parents should also trust their own knowledge about their child. Often, milestones are crucial to development but parents often know what seems out of the norm for a child, especially if there are common delays with siblings or within the family genetics. Parents can be educated about milestones while also trusting their own judgment in helping their child grow and develop in a healthy way.

Developmental Milestones by age from the CDC

There are developmental milestones for the following ages, as recommended by the CDC.

For each age, there are:

  • Social/Emotional Milestones
  • Language/Communication Milestones
  • Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
  • Movement/Physical Development Milestones
  • as well as things you can discuss with your doctor and activities you and your child may enjoy together

Please click the links below to see some common milestones for each age from the CDC:

Changes to Developmental Milestones

In early 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines for tracking childhood development.

One important change was instead of using 50th percentile milestones, meaning only half of children were expected to achieve the milestone at a given age, the revised checklists will now inquire about milestones 75 percent or more of children can be expected to achieve at a given age.

For more information about these changes, view this article and video summary from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Learn the Signs. Act Early

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program for parents and healthcare providers.

This program allows you to:

  • Track and share milestones
  • Get tips and activities
  • Learn when to act early

Click here to download resources, printables, posters, community education materials, or to find out more.

Healthcare professionals also have a portal for resources and more information about how to help identify children with developmental concerns and developmental screening.

Working Together for Every Child

Each child is unique. He or she has gifts, talents, developmental achievements, and grow at different rates. Developmental milestones are not meant to set children back but to help them flourish and grow.

It is clear that these milestones aid professionals and parents to work together to ensure the growth and development of every child.

Schedule an Appointment

Monitoring your child’s development is a crucial part of their care. If you have concerns or questions about your child’s development, call (585) 426-4100 to request an appointment at our pediatric clinic in Rochester today. 


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