Delayed Motor Milestones

Is your baby unable to keep up with his same-age peers? Does he hate tummy time (or any other position)? Is rolling, sitting, standing, or walking a challenge for your baby?

Movement is an important part of life. It’s critical for our survival; if danger strikes, we need to RUN. But we’re not born running. First, we kick (in the womb), then we roll, later we crawl then walk; it’s a process—an important process. Delayed motor (movement) milestones strike many kids at different points of life but when should you be concerned? Perhaps you were a late walker. Perhaps you never crawled. There are several developmental milestones lists available online. These lists can be overwhelming if your child is not hitting all her age-suggested targets.

Let us show you how to help your little one achieve each targeted milestone so they come out ahead and not behind.

Typical motor milestones and reflexes:

Typical motor milestones and reflexes:
(Is your child on track?)
**Note: this is not a complete list

 0-2 months 

  • Lifts head to clear airway (nose and mouth) in tummy time
  • Demonstrates ATNR reflex (extends arm in the direction her head is turn while lying on her back)
  • Demonstrates rooting reflex (when cheek is rubbed, turns head in the direction of the stimulus as if searching for a nipple)
  • Demonstrates sucking reflex (the ability to suck a nipple, finger, or pacifier, instinctively, when a stimulus touches the roof of the baby’s mouth)

3-4 months

  • Reaches to midline (the middle of his body) with both hands
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • Visually tracks an object or person by turning his head
  • Bats (or swats) at toys
  • Initiates reach though the reaches may seem delayed and uncoordinated
  • Able to prop onto elbows during tummy time

5-6 months

  • Easily targets and grasps an object quickly
  • May initiate rolling from back to side
  • Grasp reflex integrates (should no longer be present after six months old)
  • May demonstrate sitting balance while propped on both hands for support
  • Reaches for toys during tummy time

7-8 months

  • Freely rolls from back to belly and belly to back
  • Maintains sitting balance without need for support
  • Pivots in circles during tummy time
  • May get onto hands and knees rocking back and forth

9 months

  • Able to transition into and out of sitting independently 
  • May begin creeping (better known as crawling to the rest of the world)
  • May begin pulling up on a supportive surface to stand
  • May begin cruising (side stepping along furniture or walls)

10-12 months

  • May begin walking independently

15 months

  • Walks independently
  • May enjoy climbing onto and off of furniture
  • May creep up stairs (crawls up stairs with your close supervision)

2 years

  • Walks and runs independently
  • Walks up and down steps placing two feet on each step (step-to-step foot pattern)

3 years

  • May begin walking up steps with an alternating foot pattern
  • Walks down steps placing two feet on each step (step-to-step foot pattern)
  • Jumps up and down with both feet together for takeoff and landing

4 years

  • Walks up and down steps with an alternating foot pattern (places only one foot on each step)
  • Throws a ball forward to an anticipated target
  • Kicks a moving or stationary ball
  • Jumps forward with both feet together for takeoff and landing