Early Intervention


Tibetan Care recommends that parents and nannies read and discuss the below information on developmental milestones children pass through from birth to age 3.

IMPORTANT: These are broad guidelines only, provided by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Every child is unique and develops at her or his own individual pace!


Nannies are non-medical caregivers and cannot diagnose a child with a suspected developmental disability. However, because nannies spend so much time with your child/children, they can help a medical caregiver make a diagnosis. The doctor and parents can then formulate a plan of action and share that information with the nanny.

Typical DEVELOPMENTAL milestones

3 Months

  • Gross Motor Development (arms and legs) – By 3 months most babies can push themselves up and look around. Arms and legs are moving but most babies aren’t quite rolling around yet. They can bring their hands together.
  • Fine Motor Development (hand motion) – Not much fine motor skill is expected at this point. Most babies can make a fist and bring it to their mouth, and use it to help push themselves up.
  • Speech and Social/Cognitive Development – Most babies move both eyes in the same direction by 3 months. They begin cooing, gurgling, making “ah” sounds, often in response to smiles and other social cues from mom and dad.

6 months

  • Gross Motor Development – Your baby has increased mobility. She can roll around now thanks to greater strength in her lower back.
  • Fine Motor Development – Your baby has more strength in her palms now, too (but not yet in her fingers). She can play with her toes, grab things and pass things back and forth from one hand to the other. She can hold her own bottle.
  • Speech and Social/Cognitive Development – Your baby is beginning to develop social skills. She can babble back when adults talk to her. She can say a few consonants. Most babies can turn their heads toward the source of a normal sound, including a human voice.

12 months

  • Gross Motor Development – By 12 months most babies are crawling around, often quickly! They can pull themselves into a sitting position by themselves, and even stand unsupported for a moment before they plop back down.
  • Fine Motor Development – Most children now have developed enough finger strength to grab things, put objects in containers and dump things.
  • Speech and Social/Cognitive Development – Speech often begins to blossom at this point. Your baby probably isn’t saying too many words yet but is practicing consonants and syllables. She will begin to say “dada” and “mama” to her parents, not just randomly. She will also say one or two first words like “book”, “ball”, “hi” and “bye.”  She can play patty cake and peek-a-boo, and can imitate adult activities like using the phone or TV remote.

18 months

  • Gross Motor Development – 18-month-olds are very busy. They have mastered walking and can even walk backwards. They love to push and pull strollers and other things.
  • Fine Motor Development – Strength now finally reaches the tips of the fingers, so your baby can now master a pincer grip. She can now pull off her own socks, shoes and mittens. She can feed herself (but probably isn’t great with utensils yet).
  • Speech and Social/Cognitive Development – This is a blossoming time for speech expression and reception. Babies usually have at least 6 words plus“mama”and“dada.” They can say NO or can indicate now with a gesture such as shaking her head. Kids will now point at what they want and can follow simple directions and make meaningful marks on paper.

2 years

  • Gross Motor Development – Children this age are walking, running and kicking balls very well.
  • Fine Motor Development – At this stage they are not just feeding themselves but have mostly mastered using cooking utensils. They can put 4 blocks on top of each other.
  • Speech and Social/Cognitive Development – They interact well with other kids but are still more focused on interacting with you, their parent. Kids this age can open up a book and turn pages (but have trouble turning one page at a time). They recognize familiar pictures, point to them and perhaps verbalize what they are looking at. Kids have at least 50 words at this point and can make 2-3 sentences like I want juice or I love you, mama.

3 years

  • Gross Motor Development – Children at age 3 have acquired more actual skills and can open and close doors, ride a tricycle and throw a ball.
  • Fine Motor Development – Your child can now put on her own shoes.
  • Speech and Social/Cognitive Development – She can memorize and entire song and repeat it. She knows parts of the body and can identify at least one color correctly. Children this age interact more with other kids but still spend some time doing “parallel play.” They are building their vocabulary through reading and can now turn one page at a time.