Motor Skills Developmental Milestones

4 min read

Written by Pradeep


Motor Skills
Motor Skills are an individual’s ability to coordinate his actions through muscles control. It is controlled by the nervous system and brain. A child’s upbringing has a great impact on his motor skills development. Willingly moving hands, grasping, making gestures, waving, walking, running, etc are some examples of fine motor skills. A child learns all this with some time and practice. The wait for watching your baby’s first steps and catching a ball is incredible and totally worth.
Age, physical ability, atmosphere and inheritance all these factors play a vital role in Motor Skills development. Though the pattern for every child’s Motor Skill development is quite similar, yet a child could hit the milestones at different ages. Children who are born premature, or are multiples, take some time but gradually catch on their peers of the same age group.
At the time of birth, the child has no significant control over his body. The action of moving arms, hands and legs are random. The child learns to do many things as he grows up and he gets on the cruise of discovering his body and various things he can do with his body parts.
Here is the list of obvious and proposed motor skills development in a child with the factor of age. The following improvements in your child can be fast or a bit late behind, but it is not a big deal, as children will learn them with time.

Between 3 to 6 months

3-6 months

  • The baby will be able to grip on things and make efforts for the same
  • Loosening hands grip will not yet include in his motor skills
  • The baby will have significant control over his upper body
  • Baby will be able to move his head willingly to both sides
  • By the end of this period, the baby will be able to turn on his back and move his head
By the end of 12 Months
    • The child will be able to sit up without any help
    • He/she will be able to move his hands willingly
    • He/she will be able to hold things and let go
    • The baby will progress to getting on his hand and knee position, crawling may take time
    • The child will be able to roll on his back and stomach on a surface
    • Some may even start to rock back and forth on hand and knee position

12 Months

By the end of 18 Months
  • The child will be able to crawl around the house
  • The child will be able to stand with support
  • The child will be able to pick tiny things and leave
  • The baby will use one hand for lifting things and other hand to balance while crawling
  • Babies can point at things they want by this age and gesture you to give it to them
  • The baby will be able to walk with support, or holding both of your hands

Baby attempts to walk

Between 19 to 24 Months
  • Your baby will be able to move from one place to other
  • Crawling will progress to walking clumsily without any help
  • Fine motor skill will also start to develop in this period
  • The child will be able to hold tiny things like crayons, spoon, pencil and scribble on paper
  • The child will be able to place things on each other

19-24 Months

By the end of 24 Months
  • The child will easily walk though he/she may stumble
  • Efforts to climb stairs will be made in this period
  • The child will make efforts to run
  • Children of this age will be able to through and kick ball, chanced of things hitting their aim are less
  • The child will be able to eat and drink on his own
By the end of 30 Months
  • Your child will run and walk without any help
  • He/she will be able to hop and jump at one place
  • The child will be able to write and carry things
  • The child will learn to function well with fine motor skills.
  • Tasks like folding paper, scribbling on paper with help of pencil or crayons are performed
  • There will be no difficulty in using his hands for performing any simple task
  • By this time, the child will school ready

30 Months

By the end of 36 Months
  • Significant improvement in fine motor skill will be observed
  • The posture of walking and running improves at this age and the child has control over his body
  • He is able to perform various task simultaneously
  • The child can run and stop in an instance without falling
  • The child will be able to catch large objects like big soft-ball
  • The child will learn to button his shirt
  • Using tools like scissors, sharpener, and eraser will become easy

It is not necessary that every child develop his/her motor skill in the same format or in same age period. For some children it is difficult to develop motor skill. Children with physical disability and weakness will take time to perform all these tasks. If your child has difficulty in doing simple tasks for his age, take him to a child specialist and get more knowledge about the same.
Disclaimer: Every baby grows differently. This article is for reference purpose only.


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