search aussie childcare network

Gross Motor Development for Infants 0-12 months

  • Written by 
  • Print

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 4 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

  • moves whole body
  • squirms, arms wave, legs move up and down
  • eating and sleeping patterns
  • startle reflex when placed unwrapped on flat surface/when hears loud noise
  • head turns to side when cheek touched
  • sucking motions with mouth (seeking nipple)
  • responds to gentle touching, cuddling, rocking
  • shuts eyes tight in bright sunlight
  • able to lift head and chest when laying on stomach
  • begins to roll from side to side
  • starts reaching to swipe at dangling objects
  • able to grasp object put into hands

From 4 to 8 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

  • plays with feet and toes
  • makes effort to sit alone, but needs hand support
  • raises head and chest when lying on stomach
  • makes crawling movements when lying on stomach
  • rolls from back to stomach
  • reaches for and grasp objects, using one hand to grasp
  • eyes smoothly follow object or person
  • crawling movements using both hands and feet
  • able to take weight on feet when standing
  • watch activities across the room - eyes move in unison
  • turns head to the sound of voices

From 8 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 themself up using furniture
  • stepping movements around furniture
  • successfully reach out and grasp a toy
  • transfers objects from hand to hand
  • picks up and pokes small objects with thumb and finger
  • picks up and throws small objects
  • holds biscuit or bottle
  • crawls
  • mature crawling (quick and fluent)
  • may stand alone momentarily
  • may attempt to crawl upstairs
  • grasps spoon in the palm, but poor aim of food to the mouth
  • uses hands to feed self
  • alerts peripheral vision
  • rolls ball and crawls to retrieve

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.

Last modified on Friday, April 17, 2020
Child Care Documentation App

© 2009-2020 Aussie Childcare Network Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved.