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Your Young Child’s Milestones

When should my baby start walking or talking? These are common questions that new parents have and with good reason. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be screened for general development milestones like these at each well check. Why? Because missing those milestones could signal some sort of potential problem that, the earlier it is addressed, the better the likely outcome.

For example, speech language pathologist Michelle Waitz-Lynch says babbling between six and 11 months is expected. “When that doesn’t happen, it might be an issue affecting the baby’s ability to vocalize, or interrupting that process,” she says. Issues might include a hearing difficulty or a problem processing words and stimulation.

“Other normal developmental milestones include rolling over, visually engaging with and grasping toys, crawling on hands/knees and eventually walking without assistance,” says physical therapist Debora Chabak. If a child has difficulty reaching these or other milestones, then a specially trained pediatric rehabilitation team that may include a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, and/or physical therapist may help families with ideas to improve their child’s skills and work in cooperation with the child’s physician.

Wondering what milestones are important? Here are just a few examples of gross motor, fine motor and speech milestones in a baby’s first two years:

Age 6-11 months

Gross Motor

  • Rolls from back to tummy

  • Crawls

Fine Motor

  • Switches toy from one hand to another


  • Babbling

Age 12-15 months

Gross Motor

  • Stands and walks

Fine Motor

  • Drinks from a cup

  • Turns pages in a book


  • Says two to three words, even unintelligible, at a time

  • Follows direction

Age 18-23 months

Gross Motor

  • Walks up/down stairs

Fine Motor

  • Stacks three to four blocks

  • Speech

  • Understands simple verbs

  • Combines words in short sentences

Age 24 months

Gross Motor

  • Kicks a ball

Fine Motor

  • Draws circles and lines


  • Has vocabulary of about 40 words

LVHN pediatric rehabilitation services are available at the following locations:

  • Allentown

  • Bethlehem

  • Brodheadsville

  • East Stroudsburg

  • Hazleton

  • Mountain Top

  • Palmer Township

  • Pottsville

  • Quakertown

  • Stroudsburg

  • Tannersville

  • Tobyhanna

Sidebar: Pediatric Physiatry

You may never have heard of physiatrist, otherwise known as a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, before but they can be enormously helpful in managing patients who need rehabilitation. Physiatrist Liza Green, MD, LVPG Physiatry–Schuylkill, is technically a pediatric physical medicine rehabilitation physician. “Physiatrists differ from other specialists because we focus on the function of the child and the family,” Green explains, “taking into consideration impairments, other health concerns and individual goals.”

Green works together with a team of pediatric rehabilitation therapists, orthotists and other physicians as needed to help each child and family be the best they can be.

Milestone concerns with your child? Connect with pediatric rehab and pediatric physiatry by calling 888-402-LVHN.