We are excited to share the CDC Milestones App with you. It’s a convenient way to track your little one’s development from birth to 5 years old. Although the app is currently only available in English, they are slated to release the Spanish version this fall! The app is meant to encourage families to seek professional intervention early, if needed. In our profession, it is common knowledge that early intervention is key. If you can influence something at the very beginning, the impact has the potential to grow even more.

We tested out the Milestones app and found that it is pretty easy to use! First, you enter your child’s name and birthdate (you can have multiple children in your app). It then places your child in a development bracket based on their age. Due to the nature of child development, the milestones are at 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, months, then yearly (the weird aging algorithm is the most common complaint in the reviews on the App Store). Next, you answer questions about the types of things your child currently does, does not do, or that you’re not sure about. To help with this, most questions have an accompanying video that demonstrates the skill. This is key because not all parents have studied child development!

After entering your child’s information, you are directed to a page entitled, “When To Act.” Here you can select areas that were concerns. Personally, we recommend skipping this step unless you know exactly what your child is missing. We would just select “done” at the bottom because the next page is a summary of your previous answers. On My Child’s Summary page, if you select “Show Doctor,” it generates a list of milestones that said your child is not doing. The list is clean, organized and easy to go through with a doctor. Another thing we like is that this summary also tells you to, “Take time to CELEBRATE [child] having reached these important milestones.” This summary can also be emailed to you or another individual/professional.

This app is also full of helpful information. There’s a section called Milestone Quick View, where you can find general information on developmental milestones. Here the milestones are separated into: social, language, movement, cognitive. In the Tips and Activities section, general activities and hints are provided based on your child’s age (not based on areas of strength and weakness). This list is great because it’s not too long, and it’s specific enough to be implemented by parents. Another cool feature is you can enter appointments that you have had for your child, and save notes from the appointment. It’s nice that you can store all of the information in one place.

So, what should you do if your child has not reached specific milestones? We recommend reaching out to your child’s doctor and reaching out to your local Child Find agency. Early intervention is a free service in the United States, so take advantage of using Child Find to initiate evaluations and services for your child. More information for who to contact in DMV can be found here: DC, Maryland, Virginia (infants and toddlers), Virginia (ages 3-5). If your child does not qualify for services through the state, (this usually happens due to not enough of a delay), there are several private therapists you can reach out to, including us!