Discover A Handy & Very Useful New Baby Milestone Rule Of Thumb

Baby Milestones: Discover A Handy, New Rule Of Thumb

Here we'll be looking at the baby milestone and physical abilities and skills your baby typically develop at specific ages. But first...


Simple milestone exercises such as this, or simply sticking feet in his mouth are essential to prepare the pelvic area for crawling... and eventually walking.

What I like about using milestones is it gives me a Measuring Tool to understand how well a baby develops – compared to scientifically accepted standards. And it gives me the ability to know what skills my child should be developing at a specific age.


I also know that Nature helps me and my baby to learn and master a specific skill much faster if s/he learns it at the right time.

So, by using this information I only have to choose the right activities and toys to encourage and improve those skills that my baby should be learning right now.

What Makes Milestones So Useful?

2 Things make baby milestones useful, namely...

  • They tell you what skills your baby should master, and…

  • The specific age (weeks or months) by when your child should be able to do these things

So, milestones are scientifically standardized records of baby development. They are used as a measuring tool… measuring baby development and progress. But what they can also be used for is to tell you what skill your baby should next master. And by when this must be achieved. It’s a kind of “look ahead”.

In short, you can quickly and accurate use this tool to tell how your baby develops. It’s a way of visually measuring and checking your child’s progress.

Another visual aid to measure your baby's progress, is thebaby development chart.

Also keep in mind, it's much easier for you to see that your child cannot, say, walk than it is to know that her hearing ability may be impaired. And in many cases the inability to master a specific noticeable skill also highlights the need for stimulation and attention in another more subtle area... should there be one.

What Are The Major Physical Baby Milestones?

Everybody usually talks about only 4 major physical development milestones, namely sitting, crawling, standing and walking. But I’ve been using 2 more milestones which are very clear “first targets” for your child’s development. These 2 are head control and rolling.

The 6 major milestones every baby simply MUST reach, are...

  • Develops head controls at around 3 months

  • Masters rolling at 4 months

  • Learns to sit at roughly 6 months

  • Begins crawling at 7-11 months

  • Stand alone for short periods at 13 months, and...

  • Starts walking around 13-15 months

Of course, there are many other skills babies must master, but these 6 are the main easily noticeable ones.


For more information on what exactly your child should be doing month-by-month, please go to http://www.babydevelopmentnews/1styeardevelopment.html, or alternatively,click here for a more detailed baby milestone resource.

Why Milestones Are Important for Future Success

Many parents see milestones just as a few clear indications for a baby’s development. Or they have a number ofother erroneous beliefs. What most do not realize is that development of your child’s future physical, emotional, social and perceptual skills build on the ones developed now and in the past.

Let’s look at a sketch to illustrate this:

This baby development milestone sketch can also be used as a quick guide for focusing child activities. Your child of 2 years is more likely to be interested in running, climbing and moving around than in coloring pictures or learning about numbers, colors and shapes.

During your child’s first 2 years, most noticeable development is in the area of gross motor skills like walking, standing, crawling and running.


During the next 2 years (from 2-4 years old), most of the gross motor development and skills should already have been mastered. So, the next main noticeable area of development is that of fine motor (hands and fingers) and perceptual (insight) skills.


From about 4 years on most noticeable development now takes place learning the skills to read, write and do mathematics.


Another important part of this sketch is that skills build on previously mastered skills. Like fine motor skills typically develop after gross motor skills have been mastered. What this means is that there is little point in stimulating and encouraging your child to master activities such as stringing beads while s/he can't yet walk or stand properly. At this age the main focus should rather be encouraging development of the gross motor baby milestones.


Let’s look at a typical example:

Many parents believe their child will progress faster and eventually be more skilled if they’re given complicated and advanced toys and playthings at a very early age. It’s almost like giving a 12 month baby a fancy construction toy like Lego in the hope of speeding up his development.

Now, giving a baby of 12 months a construction toy, like Lego, means that we’re hoping to stimulate fine motor and perceptual skills – which is what Lego is great for.

But since our baby has not developed all the gross motor skills, s/he would gain more benefit learning to develop activities like standing and walking rather that focusing on fine motor activities. Of course, this does not mean that fine motor development should not be done... only that the main aim is to

First Master The Most Needed Skills Right Now

Also, your baby will most likely gain very little learning benefit playing with this toy rather than with a more age appropriate toy. In short, Lego at this age is just too complicated for the skills level of our baby.

At this stage our baby needs different toys to encourage the skills that matter most – right now!

Easy-To-Use Baby Development Patterns

There is a pattern to baby development and therefore also baby milestones. Here is a handy "rule of thumb".

The direction of development starts from your baby's head downwards to her feet. And from her midline to finger tips.


Here is how this rule of thumb works and how to apply it to baby milestones:

  • Your baby first develops head control (plus, of course, hearing, vision, etc.)

  • Further noticeable development is her upper body, learning how to roll

  • Next is development in the lower body areas learning how to sit and crawl

  • Also, only once skills in the center body area are mastered will fine motor skills really be developed

  • Last noticeable development is in the lower limb areas, learning how to stand, walk and run

In the graphic Baby MilesTM shows that during the first 3 months (yellow) the main baby milestones are in the head-neck area. During the next 3 months a lot of development takes place in the upper body area (blue), followed by the lower body area during months 6-9.

A lot of fine motor skills develop during months 6-12, while learning to stand, walk and run takes place from about 9-18 months.

The Baby MilesTM development pattern gives you a quick visual means of checking baby milestones and other development. But the real value and power of this visual aid comes in when choosing age appropriate toys for any baby. Just check out the baby learning toys mentioned, and see how this can be used not only to check your child's development, but also to select the most suitable toys for her age.

For more baby milestone information on this site, simply type what you're looking for, then press Search.

Other useful articles related to baby milestones

What Baby Milestone Topics Interest You?

Do you have great advice or something that bothers you about baby milestones? Let's hear it!

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