Gross Motor Development for Infants 0-12 months

Gross Motor Development for Infants 0-12 months Sellis

From when an infant is born the part of the brain that controls vital functions like sucking, swallowing and breathing are ready to go, However the part that controls the neck muscles, arms, legs, etc is still under development until an infant achieves Gross Motor Development.

Gross Motor Development Milestones

From 0 to 3 months

Infants begin to use their senses to learn to interact with the environment around them as their bodies grow stronger. From when an infant is born the part of the brain that controls vital functions like sucking, swallowing and breathing are ready to go, however the part that controls the neck muscles, arms, legs, etc is still under development.

Milestones Achieved

  • begins to open and close hands
  • brings two hands together to grasp objects
  • starts reaching to swipe at dangling objects
  • able to grasp object to put into hand
  • stretches legs out when lying on stomach or back
  • raises head and cheek when lying on stomach
  • pushes down on his legs when his feet are placed on firm surface

From 3 to 6 months

Another milestone an infant will achieve at around this age is positioning themselves on their stomach and resting their weight on their forearms first and then later can support the body with arms extended.

Milestones Achieved

  • begins to roll over
  • starts to lift themselves up onto arms and push legs forward
  • bounces up and down while holding your hands
  • able to sit up (with support)
  • begins “tummy time”
  • pushes up on extended arms
  • pulls to sitting with no head lag
  • sits with support of his hands
  • sits unsupported for short periods
  • supports whole weight on legs
  • grasps feet


From 6 to 12 months

There are so many things for an infant to discover and during this stage. It’s all about exploration through looking and touching. An infant will spend most of their time watching the world around them, taking in information, getting directly involved and often combining both touch and sight.

Milestones Achieved

  • pulls self to standing position when hands held
  • raises self to sitting position
  • sits without support
  • stands by pulling themselves up using furniture
  • stepping movements around furniture
  • holds biscuit or bottle
  • crawls
  • mature crawling (quick and fluent)
  • may stand alone momentarily
  • may attempt to crawl up stairs
  • gets to sitting position without assistance
  • crawls forward on belly
  • assumes hand and knee position
  • creeps on hands and knees
  • gets from sitting to crawling or prone (lying on stomach) position
  • pulls self up to standing position
  • walks holding on to furniture
  • stands momentarily without support
  • may walk two or three steps without support

An infant’s physical development at this stage is working towards the next achievement from being able to crawl to finally ‘walking’. Mobility changes your baby's life and through the gross motor milestones an infant achieves at this stage, once the crawling begins there will be no stopping them.

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Last modified on Monday, January 5, 2015

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