Toddler stacking colorful rings on a toy

Motor Skills: We’ve got Babies on the Move!

Contributor: Developmental Specialist, Stacy Bailey, EIS

During the first year of life, babies go from being unable to hold their heads up to moving all around! Building motor skills is all about babies learning to move against gravity. First babies hold their heads. Other movement includes, rolling in both directions, sitting, moving in and out of sitting, moving in and out of hands and knees, crawling on hands and knees, pulling to stand, cruising, standing independently, and then taking their first steps. While children can go through these milestones at their own pace, it is important that they go through them all!

  • Fine motor movement: small motor muscles of mouth, hands, fingers, feet, toes, and eyes (sucking on pacifier/fingers/thumb, visual tracking, use of hands to hold and play with toys, holding a bottle, finger feed and using utensils.)
  • Gross motor movement: large muscle movement of your arms, legs, and trunk for movement (rolling, hands, and knees crawling, pulling to stand, standing and walking).

Want more?

For more information on motor development, as well as activities you can be doing to promote these skills, check out the following articles and resources:

  • Healthy Young Children: This is a website that gives recommendations on many important topics. Topics include, nutrition, fitness, developmental milestones, social situations, and more. Explore motor milestones for each month of your baby’s life.
  • Children’s Developmental Milestones: While each child is different and will develop their motor skills at different times, there are some guidelines that pediatricians and pediatric physical and occupational therapists follow. Find out more about gross and fine motor development here.
  • Pathways: This site offers great suggestions for supporting motor development. You can sign up to receive their mailings or download their app and the information they send will be geared towards your child’s age and development.


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