Baby Development Milestones – 1 to 12 Months

Milestones are the most vital indicator of your baby’s growth and development. Learn about the most significant baby development milestones that your baby might be reaching in the first 12 months.

Baby Development

Milestones matter as they are the most vital indicator of your baby’s growth and development. From being a newborn to becoming a toddler, your child undergoes many developmental stages in the first year of life. These are three main stages – physical (motor skills), cognitive, and social and emotional development.

However, the time and pace for these developmental milestones may vary from one child to another. Some babies might reach a milestone earlier than expected, some later, and some may skip a milestone. Keeping all these variations in mind, here are the most significant developmental milestones that your baby might be reaching in the first 12 months.

#1st Month

  • Makes eye contact
  • Cries with tears for help
  • Reacts to your voice and smile
  • Can lift head when on her tummy
  • Turns head towards the light
  • Can see black-and-white patterns
  • Can make “ooh” and “aah” sounds

#2nd Month

  • Makes gurgling and cooing sounds
  • Expresses anger
  • Can hold head up for short periods
  • May begin to bring their hands to mouth to self-soothe
  • Can lift head and shoulders during tummy time
  • Follows faces and objects when held near the face

#3rd Month

  • Holds head steady
  • Recognizes your face, scent, and voice
  • Smiles back when you smile
  • Squeals, gurgles, and coos to get your attention
  • Can follow a moving object with their eyes
  • Imitates facial expressions and specific movements
  • May roll over from tummy to back
  • Can turn towards loud sounds
  • May bring hands together and swat at toys

#4th Month

  • Holds head up steadily
  • Can bear weight on legs
  • Coos when you talk to him
  • May roll over from tummy to back
  • Does mini push-ups
  • Can grasp favorite toys or objects
  • Laughs loudly
  • May cut the first tooth

#5th Month

  • Amuses himself by playing with hands and feet
  • Turns towards new sounds
  • May show signs of stranger and separation anxiety
  • Blows spit bubbles
  • May roll over from back to tummy
  • Transfers objects from one hand to another
  • May sit momentarily without support
  • Begins to chew on toys/objects
  • Can distinguish between bold colors

#6th Month

  • Turns towards sounds and voices
  • Makes noises like squeals and murmurs
  • Rolls over on both sides
  • Recognizes own name
  • May sit without support
  • May lunge forward or start crawling
  • May drag favorite toys or objects towards herself
  • Ready for solid foods
  • Teething begins

#7th Month

  • Starts crawling, scooting
  • Learns to use thumb and fingers
  • Can plays peek-a-boo
  • Can sit without support
  • May stand while holding onto something
  • Can bang objects or toys together to make a sound
  • Expresses anger in an intense way
  • Can wave goodbye
  • May imitate speech sounds, such as “baba” and “dada”

#8th Month

  • Sits perfectly without any support
  • Tries clapping hands
  • Responds to her name
  • May get anxious or shy with strangers
  • Can say words like “mama” and “papa”
  • Enjoys interactive games
  • Stands while holding on to something
  • Begins to cruise around tables and furniture
  • May indicate desires with gestures
  • Can pick things up with a thumb-finger pincer grasp

#9th Month

  • Tries to climb stairs
  • Imitates gestures that others make
  • Learns object permanence
  • Begins to hold and use a sippy cup
  • Can feed themselves with fingers
  • Tries to grasp spoon when being fed
  • Identifies self in mirror
  • Waves “bye-bye”
  • Bangs, drops, and throws objects
  • Cruises while holding on to furniture
  • Can play pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo
  • Can distinguish correctly between mama and papa

#10th Month

  • Pulls self to standing
  • Can stand unassisted for a couple of seconds
  • Shuffles and again settles toys
  • Responds to clapping
  • Shows all moods like happy, sad, and anger
  • Crawls and cruises well
  • Says “papa” and “mama” to the correct parent
  • May drink from a cup
  • Points at distant objects

#11th Month

  • Stands alone for a couple of seconds
  • Understand the word “no” and simple instructions
  • Turn pages of a book
  • Can place toys/objects into a container
  • Can say one word besides “mama” and “papa”
  • Plays pat-a-cake
  • Can take a few steps

#12th Month

  • Imitates others’ activities
  • Jabbers word-like sounds
  • Points, waves goodbye, and claps
  • Takes a few steps or bum-shuffles
  • Can scribble with crayons
  • Stands without any support
  • Shows temper tantrums
  • Can say at least two words besides mama or dada

Always remember that each baby is different and reaches each of these milestones at their pace. You can try various games and activities to help your little one reach every milestone on time. If your baby still doesn’t achieve a particular milestone, ask your doctor for advice.

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