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Understanding Developmental Milestones

Lise Eliot
Your child is unique and is developing at his or her own pace mentally, emotionally and physically. However, you’re probably still curious to know if he or she is developing normally. That’s why I’ve collaborated with VTech to organize developmental milestones you can use as guidelines to better understand your child’s unique stage. Each milestone fits into one of three categories that are important to your child’s development.

Language & Cognitive Development

Language immersion is absolutely key to children's cognitive and emotional development. Children use words to express themselves, but also to learn about the people and world around them. Research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children are critical to their own speech and later reading development. At the same time, children learn important concepts through non-verbal play, like building and sorting, and so the combination of verbal and spatial play is very powerful to children's overall development.

Social & Emotional Development

Relationships are at the core of all human learning. Babies look to their parents' emotions and facial expressions to first learn about the world, and children continue to depend completely on other people to learn language and the rules of social engagement. Peers are an equally important part of the social equation. The fact is, we are a highly social species and the better children learn to read other people's feelings and desires—and to control their own selfish impulses—the easier time they will have learning and befriending others.

Physical & Motor

Children learn through play, and as every exhausted parent knows, their play is extremely physical. Whether it is learning to crawl, run, or build a brick tower, young children are constantly exercising their gross and fine motor skills, honing the brain pathways for smooth, purposeful movement. The more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies.

To learn more about the typical milestones you may see in your child, go to and choose their age range. Remember, your child is a wonderful and unique individual and may not exhibit every milestone in their age range. A wide range of behaviors are considered normal and VTech Milestones are simply a guideline. Should you have any concerns about your child’s progress, please ask your pediatrician or family physician.
Meet VTech's Expert Panel
Deborah Sharp Libby
Early Childhood Language and Reading Expert
Eric Klopfer
Platform Learning Expert
Lise Eliot
Early Brain Development Expert
Carla C. Johnson
Science and STEM Expert
Francis (Skip) Fennell
Mathematics Expert
Susan Bartell
Child Psychology Expert
VTech Mom