Meaningful Milestones

The range of development is wide. Every child is unique in their stengths and weakness in their development. It is of little significance if one or two areas are delayed. Professional opinion should be sort after if there is a delay in a number of areas such as a lack on comprehension, absence of play and no interest in the environment.

At 1 year

  • Understand what the word “NO” means and regularly obeys it
  • Understand his/her name and turns head or makes eye contact when it is used.
  • Babbles in a foreign language
  • Understands “Give to mummy/daddy” when it is accompanied by a gesture.
  • Uses one or two words with meaning and says “Da da”.
  • Is able to wave “bye-bye” and enjoys playing Peek-a-boo

Seek expert advice if:

  • If there is no babbling
  • It appears as if the child cannot hear.
  • Disinterest in the environment
  • The child is not developing to the brother and sister at the same age.

At 18 months

  • Talks to himself/herself in his/her own language
  • Use 6-20 appropriate words (appropriate words doe not include repeating what mommy or daddy has said)
  • Is able to point to feet, nose, shoes and hair when requested to do so.
  • Can follow one word verbal command
  • Is able to point to pictures in a book e.g. banana
  • This is not the age to reason with them. They do not know what they want.

At 24 months/ 2 years

  • Loves looking at picture books
  • 50 words in vocabulary and understands many more
  • Occasionally uses 2-3 word sentences
  • Call himself/herself by Name
  • Sings along in nursery rhymes and song
  • Is able to deliver short messages such as “Mummy give”
  • Says when wants to use the potty
  • Plays beside and not directly with others 

Seek expert advice if:

  • There is very little speech or no speech at all
  • Mouthing of toys still occurs
  • Toys are thrown in an unlikely way
  • If play is repetitive
  • There is a disinterest in the environment
  • Body language is absent
  • Strange irritability

At 28 months/ 2 years 6 months

  • Makes use of 200 words and more
  • Makes use of “I”, “Me” and “You”.
  • Knows his name and surname
  • Stuttering may occur due to eagerness to speak
  • Play next to other children and not with them.
  • Does not understand the concept of sharing
  • Cannot wait for things, expects everything immediately

At 3 years

  • Stranger is able to understand the child
  • Use plurals correctly e.g. dogs, cats etc
  • Will volunteer to give name, surname and sex
  • Talks to himself/herself while playing
  • In a simple but reliable manner able to describe an event.
  • Starts asking question like “what?’, “why?”
  • Enjoys listening to stories and loves hearing a favourite story told over and over again.
  • Recites nursery rhymes
  • Can count to 10 in rote.

Seek Professional Advice if:

  • He/she she is unable to communicate using speech
  • Poor body language
  • Shows little imagination and makes use of repetitive play
  • Behaviour is similar to that of a 18 month old e.g. refuses to share and senseless behaviour.

At 4 years

  • Is able to name 4 primary colours
  • Grammar and speech is used correctly
  • A sounds are pronounced incorrectly e.g. the /r/ sound is produced as a /w/. He or she may /wabbit/ instead of /rabbit/
  • Is able describe an event accurately and logically
  • Can provide address and age
  • Constantly asking question: What? Where? What? How?
  • Enjoys listening to stories
  • Confuses facts and fiction when telling stories
  • Understands today, yesterday and tomorrow
  • Enjoys listening to joke.
  • Is able to count en rote till 20 and is able to count till 5 objects meaningfully.

Reference: Children’s Developmental Progress, Mary Sheridan (N.F.E.R. Publishing Co.,UK)

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