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Infants » Newborn Development

Milestones of Development 9 Months Through 2-1/2 Years

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Move Constantly

They have 2 sides of their body to use.
They have mobility which is new and exciting freedom.
They use their eyes to guide their hands and feet.
They may pedal up and down.
They may climb, slide, jump, hop on 2 feet.
They us lateral and reciprocal movements.
They use backwards movements preceding forward motion.

So, as adults, we will let children explore, test their skills, use all parts of their bodies, and enjoy movement.


They play side by side.
They are learning to give and take (take comes first).
They are learning to pass and receive (receive comes first.)
They are learning to hide and look (looking comes first).
They are learning to put in, take out (taking out comes first).
They are learning to put on, take off (taking off comes first.)
They may dress up.
They may fight over a common toy.
They may fall apart and throw a tantrum
They may have a favorite toy or person.

So, as adults,. We will give children prompt praise and comfort, telling each child “good for you”, “I like the way you…”, and establish physical contact and eye contact so children will feel secure.


They have ability to turn an object into an idea.
They have object permanence.
They can relate use of object to object.
They can identify objects by pointing or talking.
They know objects have meaning; “ba”—bottle, “appy” –apple
They touch and handle objects and “set” those into their mind—mental muscles.

So, as adults, we will observe, give objects names, litsten, encourage toddlers to be aware, alert, involved.


They understand more than they say.
They talk in syllables, words and phrases.
They scream, whine, laugh, shriek, etc…cry…
They have body gestures and movements which tell adults what they want and need.
They make funny sounds and faces.
They may say “I”.
They may say “all gone.”
They may say, “Ma go ball.”
They may say “I go to bathroom.”

So, as adults we will make words out of sounds, repeat words and vary our tone and inflection and avoid baby talk.

Handle everything in reach in sight in sound (smell, taste, too) in range

They dump, pour, mouth.
They insert, remove
They stir, unstir.
They zip, unzip, undress.
They may try to put clothes on.
They try to help, do imitations of what they see.
They put objects in their mouths—everything!

So, as adults, we will watch children, keep them safe and clean and comfortable.

Are Emotional

They are deeply attached to their parents.
They separate carefully and briefly.
They are just realizing they are separate selves.
They are secure, when they feel secure.
They have feelings of happiness, sadness, fear, etc.
They have feelings that change rapidly.
They have short memories, attention spans.
They need prompt attention.
They need time, structure, balance in their lives.

So, as adults, we will give children experiences which enhance their feelings of independence and dependence, and give children worthwhile activities that enhance the development of healthy personalities. We care about each child—his uniqueness and his potential. We look at the whole child. We value his background and parents.

Parents are the best teachers—the first teachers.

Ask Dr. Susan