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Developmental Milestones in Motor Control During the First Year

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

The first year of life is marked by exciting motor developments - physical developments focused on movements. During the first twelve months, an infant undergoes observable changes in weight and length as well as development of the central nervous system that enables more coordinated movements. The table below shows the developmental milestones related to motor movement during the first year.

Age Motor Development
Birth to 3 months
  • Supports head when in prone position
  • Lifts head
  • Supports weight on elbows
  • Hands relax from the grasping reflex
  • Visually follows a moving person
  • Pushes with feet against lap when held upright
  • Makes reflexive stepping movements when held in a standing position
  • Sits with support
  • Turns from side to back
3 to 6 months
  • Slaps at bath water
  • Kicks feet when prone
  • Plays with toes
  • Reaches but misses dangling object
  • Shakes and stares at toy placed in hand
  • Head self-supported when held at shoulder
  • Turns from back to side
  • Sits with props
  • Makes effort to sit alone
  • Exhibits crawling behaviors
  • Rocks on all fours
  • Draws knees up and falls forward
6 to 9 months
  • Rolls from back to stomach
  • Crawls using both hands and feet
  • Sits alone steadily
  • Pulls to standing position in crib
  • Raises self to sitting posture
  • Successfully reaches and grasps toy
  • Transfers object from one hand to the other
  • Stands up by furniture
  • Cruises along crib rail
  • Makes stepping movements around furniture
9 to 12 months
  • Exhibits "mature" crawling
  • Cruises holding on to furniture
  • Walks with two hands held
  • Sits without falling
  • Stands alone
  • May walk alone
  • Attempts to crawl up stairs
  • Grasps object with thumb and forefinger

Source: The Young Child: Development from Prebirth through Age Eight by J. Black and M. Puckett, © 2000. Reprinted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

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