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Is my child demonstrating appropriate gross motor milestones?

 It is always nerve wracking whether or not your child is demonstrating appropriate movements and reaching necessary gross motor milestones as they grow.  There is a lot of information out there and lots of changing recommendations, so what do you follow? Pediatric physical therapy is our expertise and we want to help ease the anxiety of what is to come next! We are always here to help and are happy to provide guidance.   

Below is an outline of many of the common gross motor milestones and when you may start to see these skills emerging in typically developing kids.

 0-3 months

  • Symmetrical movements of arms and legs while laying down
  • Lifts and turns head symmetrically while in tummy time
  • Pushes up through elbows while on tummy
  • Brings hands to mouth and visually tracking items in all directions

4-6 months

  • Rolls from belly to back over both sides
  • Rolls from back to belly over both sides (typically comes first)
  • Able to maintain good head control in supported sitting without head tilting
  • Emerging skills for prop sitting with arms propped in front of their body on the floor

7-9 month

  • Sitting independently
  • Transitions from laying down to sitting
  • Performing army crawling and pivoting while on their belly with transition to crawling on hands and knees in later month range
  • Pushes up into extended arms while performing tummy time with progression to maintaining position on hands and knees

10-12 months

  • Pulls to stand at a supported surface
  • Cruising at a supported surface
  • Clapping hands
  • Independent stepping without support

13-18 months

  • Walking independently without excessive tripping or falling
  • Able to squat to pick up a toy and return to standing

19-24 months

  • Walking up and down stairs with support, placing both feet on each step (step to pattern), alternating leading leg
  • Running
  • Jump vertically
  • Kicking a ball with either leg

2-3 years old

  • Walking downstairs without support, placing both feet on each step (step to pattern)
  • Walking upstairs with support, placing one foot on each step (reciprocal pattern)
  • Catches playground size ball using body as needed
  • Runs safely, stopping and turning to avoid obstacles in path
  • Hops on one foot. 
  • Jumps over obstacles

3-5 years old

  • Walking up and down stairs without support, one foot on each step (reciprocal pattern)
  • Pedal tricycle
  • Standing on one foot for 2-10 seconds as they get older
  • Hopping forward on one foot

5-8 years

  • Stands on one foot for 10+ seconds 
  • Catches a small ball with hands only
  • Throws small ball with overhand motion and opposite leg stepping forward
  • Kicks a ball with control and accuracy 
  • Skips and Gallops with proper form

 What if my child is not reaching their necessary milestones?

That is where we come in! Discuss your concerns with your child’s pediatrician and advocate for a referral to physical therapy. Once we receive the referral, we hit the ground running to schedule an evaluation! 

Though these are general guidelines to compare to, all kids develop differently and skills emerge at different times. If there are any concerns, big or small, we are here to provide our expertise!

References:

https://pathways.org/all-ages/milestones/ 

https://patient.uwhealth.org/kidshealth/en/parents/growth/article 

https://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/DevelopMilestone/5Years/index.html

https://www.choc.org/primary-care/ages-stages/