What are Gross Motor Milestones?

Your child’s ability to control movements and respond to his/her environment begins to develop even before birth. Each baby is unique and grows at his/her own rate. That is why there is a wide variety of “normal” in development. Although this is a gradual, individualised
process, most babies do go through a series of developmental milestones around certain ages.

The purpose of this checklist is to provide a reference to help guide you through your child’s development and what to expect at certain stages.

GM Milestones

Birth-2 months

  • GM Milestones-12

    Raises head slightly off floor or bed when on stomach

  • Holds head up momentarily when supported
  • Alternates kicking legs when on back
  • Arm thrusts in play

3-5 months

  • GM Milestones-4Lifts head and chest when on stomach (props on forearm)
  • Head control improving
  • Some head-bobbing in supported sitting
  • Rolls from side to side
  • Rolls from stomach to back
  • Sits briefly with arm support
  • Random batting at objects
  • Hands to midline
  • Makes crawling movements

6-8 months

  • GM Milestones-6Reaches to objects on stomach
  • Pivots around when on stomach
  • Pulls self forward on stomach
  • Rolls from back to stomach
  • Sits alone briefly
  • Moves from sitting to lying on stomach
  • Stands with support
  • Assumes quadruped and rocks

9-11 months

  •  Sits alone with trunk rotation
  • Pivots and scoots in sitting
  • Creeps or crawls
  • Pulls to stand
  • Cruises
  • Stands alone momentarily

12-15 months

  • GM Milestones-11Assumes tall kneeling
  • Walks on knees
  • Walks independently without support
  • Able to stand without support
  • Creeps up stairs
  • Able to start, stop and turn without falling while walking
  • Crawls up on chairs or other furniture
  • Runs

16-18 months

  • GM MIlestones-9Walks up one step at a time with hand held or railing
  • Creeps down stairs
  • Walks with a heel-toe pattern seldom falls
  • Walks sideways and backward
  • Run stiffly
  • Stands on one foot with help
  • Kicks large ball forward after a demonstration
  • Manages riding toys
  • Good balance and coordination

19-24 months

  • GM Milestones-10Walks down one step at a time with rail or hand-holding
  • Squats in play and stands back up
  • Jumps in place
  • Kicks a stationary ball
  • Jumps off 12-inch box with 1 foot leading
  • Walks on balance beam with 1 foot on/ 1 foot off
  • Walks up and down stairs alone

24-29 months

  • GM Milestones-3Walks on balance beam with one hand held
  • Stands on balance beam alone
  • Walks up stairs one step at a time with no railing
  • Runs well
  • Briefly stands on one foot
  • Jumps from one step with feet together
  • Throws ball overhead
  • Climbs on play equipment-ladders, slides, etc.

2-3 years

  • Walks down stairs step by step without a railing
  • Balances on one foot 2-3 seconds
  • Jumps forward at least one foot
  • Walks on balance beam alone
  • Walks on tiptoe when asked

3-4 years

  • GM Milestones-5Walks on balance beam sideways
  • Catches a bounced ball
  • Rides a tricycle
  • Hops on one foot 2-5 times
  • Balances on one foot 2-5 seconds
  • Consecutive jumping
  • Walks up stairs step over step alone

4-5 years

  • GM Milestones-13Balances on one foot 4-8 seconds
  • Walks on balance beam in all directions
  • Walks down stairs step over step alone
  • Kicks a rolling ball
  • Catches large and small ball with an outstretched arm
  • Throw a small ball overhand

5-6 years

  • Balances on one foot 10 seconds
  • Skips
  • Rides a bike with or without training wheels
  • Begins to jump rope
  • Hops on one foot ten times
  • Catches bounced or thrown ball with hands
  • Walks on heals when asked
  • Swings on a swing, pumping by self

What Therapies for Kids can do

If you have any concerns regarding your child's Gross Motor development we can provide:

  • GM Milestones-2Assessment of your child's motor skills
  • Reassurance and  further information on gross motor skills
  • Advice on promoting motor development
  • Referral to an appropriate medical practitioner if necessary

What you can do

You as parents and caregivers are the best at determining whether your child is having difficulties in their development. Trust your judgment! If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to bring them to the attention of your doctor, community nurse, or paediatric physiotherapist. Give your child multiple opportunities to practice motor skills.