Being a new parent can be an exciting time.
You’re caring for a new life, and watching them grow and develop.
As you watch them meet milestones such as sitting up, crawling, and taking their first steps you might be wondering if they’re developing at a rate which is on par with their peers.
And if you suspect they might not be, you might be thinking, “I need to find a pediatric occupational therapist near me” to visit for an assessment.
We’re Little Feet Therapy and we offer pediatric therapy for developmental delays in the following areas:
- Charlotte, North Carolina pediatric therapy
- Washington, DC pediatric therapy
- St. Louis, Missouri pediatric therapy
- Raleigh, North Carolina pediatric therapy
If you’ve been wondering if your little one is meeting their developmental milestones at an appropriate rate, keep reading to learn more.
What Is An Occupational Therapy Milestone?
Last week, we talked about pediatric physical therapy milestones to expect.
These are largely related to gross motor skills, the larger movements of your body related to walking, jumping, crawling, and running, among others.
Gross motor skills are (mostly) the realm of pediatric physical therapy.
On the other hand, occupational therapy milestones are related to your child’s fine motor skills development.
These are developmental skills which a child is expected to meet by certain ages.
Occupational therapy milestones can be divided into four general categories:
- Gross motor skills: these are the ones mentioned above and involve the ways we used our body and muscles to maneuver in our environments
- Fine motor skills: using the small muscles in our hands to do tasks such as writing, buttoning clothing, and picking up small items
- Visual Motor skills: This involves coordination of the hands and eyes
- Self care: Completing activities such as dressing, feeding, washing, and using the toilet
As mentioned above, gross motor skills are mostly the focus of pediatric physical therapy, but there is some overlap.
As a result, we’ve included gross motor skills development as well.
What Pediatric Occupational Therapy Milestones Should My Child Be Reaching?
In this section, we’ll have a look at which milestones you should expect to see your child reach as they grow, and when to expect them.
By 3 Months
By three months of age, your child should be able to:
- Grasp at objects placed in their hands
- Lift their head and look from side to side
- Grasp at their blanket
- Rolling from their back to their stomach
By 6 Months
At six months, some milestones include:
- Reaching towards objects with accuracy
- Bringing their hands to their mouth
- Drinking from a cup with assistance
- Sitting up on their own
By 10 Months
Once your child reaches ten months, they should be able to do the following:
- Feed themselves finger foods
- Grasp at small items
- Crawl on hands and knees
- Stand and walk while holding onto something, and stand alone for a brief period
By 12 Months
By one year of age, some milestones to watch for are:
- Being able to take off their shoes and socks on their own
- Picking up small items using their thumb and first two fingers
- Walking on their own
- Demonstrate improving balance skills
- Squatting down to pick up toys or other objects from the floor
- Drinking from a cup
By 24 Months
At two years old, watch for your child to:
- Scribble using a writing utensil
- Stack blocks
- Complete a simple puzzle
- Point at things with their index finger
- Use a spoon to feed themselves
- Throw and catch a ball
- Walk on stairs on their own
- Perform basic self care skills like brushing their teeth
By 36 Months
Once your child is three years old, they should be able to:
- Turn the pages in their favorite book
- Draw basic objects, such as a circle or line
- Climb, jump, and run
- Open jars
- Dress themselves with limited help
- Use the toilet by themselves, but may still need help cleaning up
By 4 Years
By four years old, some things your child should be able to do include:
- Copying letters and numbers
- Staying in the lines while coloring
- Folding paper
- Doing tasks which require dexterity, such as cut using scissors or string beads together
- Catching a ball using just their hands
- Bathing and wash themselves (with supervision)
- Using the toilet independently
- Jumping and galloping
By 5 Years
Finally, by five years of age, watch for your child to be able to:
- Balance on each foot for up to ten seconds
- Kick a ball with accuracy
- Complete more complex puzzles
- Undo buttons and fasteners on their clothing
- Identify letters and numbers
- Draw people and shapes
- Dress themselves
- Demonstrate basic handwriting skills
What If My Child Isn’t Meeting These Milestones?
While reading the above lists, it’s important to remember these milestones are mostly to be used as a guideline.
If your child isn’t meeting them all exactly at the specified ages but is still showing progress in these areas you likely don’t have too much to worry about.
Maybe they are crawling at eleven months instead of ten, or aren’t catching a ball until a couple of months past their second birthday.
When development is a little later than expected, it’s usually nothing to get concerned about.
However, if your child is falling significantly behind and showing no real development, it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
In that case, it’s a good idea to…
Book Your Appointment With Little Feet Pediatric Therapy Today
Is your child developing at a rate slower than you expected them to?
Have they been delayed at reaching more than a few milestones?
If so, we can help.
Early intervention pediatric physical and occupational therapy has been shown to be more effective than the “wait and see” approach, so if you suspect an issue, don’t delay.
Book a consultation today to learn more about how our services can help you and your child.
► 3535 Randolph Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
► 1331 H St NW Ste 200, Washington, DC 20005
► St. Louis, MO
► Raleigh, NC
Founded in 2019, Little Feet Therapy offers on site pediatric physical and occupational therapy treatments for children from 2 months to 18 years old with physical and developmental concerns. Our clinics focus on providing therapy in a child’s natural setting where your child is in familiar surroundings, it puts their mind at ease and helps them focus more on the work they’re doing with their pediatric therapist. Our therapists will work with your child at your home, at school, at daycare, or another place in the community where they feel most comfortable.