Your Guide to Developmental Screenings for Your Growing Child

As parents, we want to ensure our children are healthy, happy, and reaching their developmental milestones on time. One essential tool in monitoring their progress is developmental screenings.  

These screenings help identify any areas where your child may need extra support or intervention, ensuring they have the best possible start in life.  

6-month Well-Child Checkup: 

6-months is a big milestone for your baby! You pediatrician may apply fluoride if your baby’s first tooth has appeared – many babies cut teeth around 6-months. Some questions the provider may ask you: 

  • Have you started feeding your baby solid foods? 

  • Is your baby rolling over or able to sit up briefly? 

Your pediatrician will also measure and weigh your baby to make sure their growth is on track and perform a physical exam. Most babies at 6 months are also able to get the seasonal flu vaccine, RSV vaccine and Covid-19 vaccine. Ask your doctor if you have questions. 

9-Month Developmental Screening: 

Baby Playing with blocks

At 9 months, your baby is rapidly growing and developing. This is a critical time to monitor their progress and ensure they are meeting important milestones. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a valuable tool for assessing your child's development at this age. Some key areas to focus on include: 

  1. Motor Skills: 
    • Is your baby able to sit up without support? 
    • Can they grasp objects with their fingers and pass them from one hand to the other? 
    • Are they starting to crawl or pull themselves up to stand?
  2. Communication Skills: 
    • Is your baby making babbling sounds and attempting to mimic sounds you make?
    • Are they responding to their name and showing interest in communicating with you?
    • Do they seem to understand simple words or commands? 
  3. Social and Emotional Development: 
    • Does your baby show signs of stranger anxiety or clinginess to familiar caregivers? 
    • Are they starting to show affection towards you and other family members?
    • Do they engage in back-and-forth interactions, such as playing peek-a-boo?


18-Month Developmental Screening: 

By 18 months, your toddler is becoming more independent and exploring the world around them. The ASQ can help you track their development in key areas such as: 

  1. Gross Motor Skills: 
    • Is your toddler walking steadily and able to climb stairs with support?
    • Can they kick a ball or throw objects with some coordination? 
    • Do they enjoy activities that require movement, such as dancing or running? 
  2. Fine Motor Skills: 
    • Can your toddler use utensils to feed themselves and scribble with crayons or markers? 
    • Are they starting to stack blocks or manipulate small objects with their fingers? 
    • Do they show interest in activities that require hand-eye coordination, such as puzzles or building toys? 
  3. Language Development: 
    • Is your toddler starting to use words to communicate their needs and wants? 
    • Are they able to follow simple instructions and understand basic concepts like "big" and "small"? 
    • Do they enjoy babbling and engaging in simple conversations with you? 


24-Month Developmental Screening: 

At 24 months, your child's personality and independence are really starting to shine through. The ASQ can help you assess their development in areas such as: 

  1. Cognitive Skills: 
    • Is your child starting to sort objects by shape, size, or color? 
    • Can they complete simple puzzles or matching games? 
    • Do they show interest in pretend play and imitating everyday activities? 
  2. Social and Emotional Development: 
    • Is your child able to express a range of emotions, from joy to frustration? 
    • Do they enjoy playing with other children and engaging in cooperative activities? 
    • Are they beginning to show empathy towards others and understand the concept of sharing? 
  3. Language Skills: 
    • Is your child expanding their vocabulary and starting to use short phrases or sentences? 
    • Are they able to answer simple questions and participate in conversations? 
    • Do they enjoy listening to stories and attempting to repeat words or phrases they hear? 


30-Month Developmental Screening: 

At 30 months, your child is becoming more independent and developing a stronger sense of self. The ASQ can help you assess their progress in areas such as: 

  1. Problem-Solving Skills: 
    • Is your child starting to solve simple problems independently, such as figuring out how to open a container or complete a task? 
    • Can they follow multi-step instructions and remember sequences of actions? 
    • Do they show curiosity and creativity in exploring their environment and trying new activities? 
  2. Social Skills: 
    • Is your child becoming more confident in social situations and interacting with peers? 
    • Do they understand the concept of taking turns and sharing with others? 
    • Are they able to express their thoughts and feelings verbally and negotiate with others to resolve conflicts? 
  3. Self-Help Skills: 
  4. Is your child becoming more independent in daily tasks such as dressing themselves, using the toilet, and feeding? 
  5. Are they showing interest in helping with household chores and taking on responsibilities? 

Developmental screenings play a crucial role in ensuring your child's health and well-being as they grow and develop. By monitoring their progress and staying up-to-date with recommended vaccinations, you can help give them the best possible start in life.  

Remember, every child is unique, and it's essential to celebrate their individual strengths and support them in areas where they may need a little extra help. If you have any concerns about your child's development or vaccination schedule, don't hesitate to reach out to their healthcare provider through MyChart or by calling 405-632-6688 for guidance and support. Together, we can help our children thrive and reach their full potential.