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1.5.3: Cognitive Milestones

  • Page ID
    41333
  • Children are actively learning about the world as they perceive it from the time they are in the womb. Here is a table of some of the cognitive milestones infants and toddlers typically develop.

    Table \(\PageIndex{1}\): Cognitive Milestones (Developmental Milestones by the CDC is in the public domain)
    Typical Age What Most Children Do by This Age
    2 months
    • Pays attention to faces
    • Begins to follow things with eyes and recognize people at a distance
    • Begins to act bored (cries, fussy) if activity doesn’t change
    4 months
    • Lets you know if she is happy or sad
    • Responds to affection
    • Reaches for toy with one hand
    • Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it
    • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
    • Watches faces closely
    • Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance
    6 months
    • Looks around at things nearby
    • Brings things to mouth
    • Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach
    • Begins to pass things from one hand to the other
    9 months
    • Watches the path of something as it falls
    • Looks for things he sees you hide
    • Plays peek-a-boo
    • Puts things in mouth
    • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other
    • Picks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and index finger
    1 year
    • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing
    • Finds hidden things easily
    • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
    • Copies gestures
    • Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair
    • Bangs two things together
    • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
    • Lets things go without help
    • Pokes with index (pointer) finger
    • Follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”
    18 months
    • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
    • Points to get the attention of others
    • Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed
    • Points to one body part
    • Scribbles on own
    • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”
    2 years
    • Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers
    • Begins to sort shapes and colors
    • Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
    • Plays simple make-believe games
    • Builds towers of 4 or more blocks
    • Might use one hand more than the other
    • Follows two-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
    • Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog
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