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Gross Motor Development & Skills for Infants, Toddlers, and Children

Are My Baby’s Gross Motor Skills Typical?

Gross motor development involves a persons larger, stronger muscles. As your baby grows into a child, it’s the development of these muscles that will enable it to hold its head up, sit, crawl and eventually walk, run, jump and skip.

If your neighbor’s nine month old is already walking and your nine-month-old baby is content to crawl, don’t become alarmed. Babies develop at their own pace, so use this only as a guideline of what to expect.

Below in each age range, there are ideas to help promote typical motor development. There are also ‘red flags’ listed and parenting tips on what activities you can do.

Gross Motor Skills Milestones by Age Group

Gross motor development involves the larger, stronger muscle groups. In early child development, it’s the development of these muscles that enable it to hold its head up, sit, crawl and eventually walk, run, jump and skip.

 

 For an infant under three months, gently flex your baby’s legs in a bicycle movement while it is on its back. Read more! 

 When your baby is between three and six months, place your infant on its belly and help him or her reach a rattle out in front. Read more! 

 From six to nine months, your infant is turning into a little explorer. Once his or her legs are strong, he or she might enjoy standing, so put some toys on the sofa or a low table, to encourage reaching for them. Read more! 

 When your baby is between nine and twelve months old, open a large box at both ends and encourage him or her to crawl through the new tunnel. Read more! 

 

 When your baby is steady on its feet, pushing a stroller can be more fun than riding in one. Let it push the stroller in a safe spot. Your child will feel so strong and powerful pushing it all by itself. Read more!

 Visit playgrounds often. When children see the slides and climbing structures, they naturally want to run, swing, and climb everything in sight. If you can’t make it to the playground, chasing each other in the backyard or taking a walk can help your child’s little muscles grow strong. Read more! 

 Make a parade. Show your child how to march like a member of the band with its knees up high. If you have a drum or flag, that’s great. Then get a friend, or even the dog, to join you as you march around the house. Read more!

 At five years old, most children can complete the following gross motor skills: Read more!