Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Growth and Development Milestones - Topic Overview

What are growth and development milestones?

Growth and development milestones help you see how your child is doing compared with other children the same age. The milestones tell you what you should expect from your child in five areas:

  • Physical growth
  • Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)
  • Emotional and social development
  • Language development
  • Sensory and motor development

If your child is meeting the milestones, his or her development is on track. If your child continually misses milestones or reaches a milestone but then loses that new ability, he or she may need extra help from your doctor or a specialist.

Recommended Related to Children

Actor Anthony Edwards Builds a Hospital

When the producers of NBC’s Emmy award–winning series ER tapped original cast member Anthony Edwards to reprise the role of Dr. Mark Greene one final time for the show’s last season, he agreed, on one condition: His episode salary -- $125,000, to be exact -- would be donated directly to Shoe4Africa, a nonprofit organization that is building a 250-bed children’s hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. The powers that be at ER quickly agreed. Then director Steven Spielberg, whose company is involved in...

Read the Actor Anthony Edwards Builds a Hospital article > >

Your child's doctor will check for certain milestones at routine checkups. But it's also important for you to learn what milestones to watch for. Look for sources of information and support nearby, such as public health clinics, parent groups, or child development programs. Or ask your child's doctor.

Children usually move in a natural and predictable way from one milestone to the next. But each child grows and gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area, such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor development.

What are the milestones for ages 1 through 10?

What are the milestones for older children and teens?

When should you call the doctor?

Call your doctor if you are concerned that your child or teen is not growing adequately or is not reaching major developmental milestones in any area.

It is also a good idea to call your doctor if your child or teen:

  • Shows delays in several developmental areas.
  • Successfully reaches a developmental milestone but then loses the new ability.

Sometimes there is a reason that a child is not meeting a milestone. Things like having an existing health problem, trouble hearing, or an emotional life change may cause a mild and temporary delay in reaching a milestone. For example, a young child may have a language delay because of trouble hearing or because of a developmental disorder such as autism.

Although your child grows at his or her own pace, be aware of signs of a developmental delay. The earlier you identify a delay, the better chance your child has to get the right treatment to help his or her future development.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Growth and Development Milestones Topics

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.

    worried kid
    jennifer aniston
    Measles virus
    sick child

    Child with adhd
    rl with friends
    Syringes and graph illustration