It seems like just yesterday you brought your baby home from the hospital..

Now your baby is suddenly crawling and learning to talk. Where did the time go?

Every baby develops at a different pace. Your baby may reach a milestone before others the same age, but may hit another milestone at a slower pace. There is no need to worry. Every baby is unique. There are general time frames in which your baby should reach certain milestones, however, and we will discuss some of these in the following article.

One Month:

  • lift head
  • respond to sound
  • able to see patterns in black and white
  • can see approximately 8-12 inches away
  • may smile

Two months:

  • vocalization: cooing and gurgling
  • can raise head for shorts periods of time
  • will turn head toward sounds
  • starts to find ways to self-sooth (may start to suck on hands)
  • begins to express boredom and restlessness
  • movements become less jerky

Three months:

  • smiles and laughs
  • opens and closes hands
  • able to support head and arms during tummy time
  • open and close hands
  • swat at objects
  • grip small objects
  • recognizes faces and scents
  • follows moving objects
  • enjoys interacting with others

Four months

  • mimics facial expressions
  • responds to affection
  • develops hand-eye coordination
  • can do “push-ups” during tummy time
  • able to hold head steady while unsupported
  • starts to use different cries to express varying needs and wants
  • may begin teething
  • may be able to roll over

Five months

  • can sit upright for extended periods of time
  • stronger grasp
  • may be able to hold bottle
  • may start sleeping through the night
  • eyes start to focus better (less crossing)
  • can see primary colors
  • increase in “babbling”
  • develops a sense of taste

Six months:

  • can safely begin eating solid (baby) foods
  • starts to prepare for crawling by rocking back and forth or “sliding”
  • eye color is most likely permanent
  • may start to experience separation anxiety
  • enjoys looking at reflection in mirror
  • responds to name
  • begins to use constant sounds
  • starts to display curiosity

Seven months:

  • begins to “connect” the senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, etc)
  • can support weight on legs for brief periods of time
  • transfers objects from hand-to-hand
  • begins to respond to “no”
  • explores with hands and mouth
  • can begin eating “chunkier” foods
  • continues to prep for crawling

Eight Months

  • may be able to take a few steps with support
  • starts to crawl
  • can pick up small objects using thumb and finger
  • starts to distinguish between likes and dislikes
  • mimics sounds and gestures
  • uses fingers to point
  • able to play “peek-a-boo”
  • can self-feed small “finger-foods”

Nine Months

  • greatly improving crawling skills
  • verbal recognition of objects (ie: parent says “pick up the ball” and the infant will do so without assistance)
  • increased separation anxiety
  • may be able to drink independently from sippy cup
  • bangs objects together
  • throws or shakes objects
  • increased depth perception
  • waves goodbye

Ten months

  • can “walk” holding onto furniture or objects
  • may take less naps but sleep longer at bedtime
  • may be able to use a spoon to self-feed
  • mimics movements and words
  • increased object recognition

Eleven months

  • may be able to take a few tentative steps on their own
  • may start to “climb”
  • start to throw temper tantrums
  • can engage in simple one word back and forth conversations
  • may be able to hold a crayon and scribble
  • can follow simple instructions
  • may start to engage in “pretend play”

Twelve months

  • begin to use simple gestures (such a shaking head “no”)
  • can easily find hidden objects
  • starts to show preferences for people and objects
  • begin to test limits
  • start to imitate animal sounds
  • points to objects with index finger

Hints in Promoting Development

Stages of baby development

Stages of baby development

Now that we have given you the major milestones for your baby’s first year, here are some tips for you to remember as you and your baby being this journey of wonder and awe; growth and development.

Tummy Time: Obviously, until your baby is old enough, you will always place  your baby to sleep on his/her back. Tummy time, however, is when you place your infant on their tummy, while under constant supervision.  Tummy time encourages your baby to look around to see things. It will help his/her skull to form properly. It also strengthens the trunk, neck and shoulders and helps the eyes to grow stronger. Start with 3-5 minutes a day and as your baby gets older and stronger, increase tummy time to 40-60 minutes supervised per day.

Baby Proof: You will want to make your home as safe for baby as possible. Child proof-locks, baby gates and other such protective measures. Avoid leaving small objects lying around as these are potential choking hazards. Never leave your child without proper supervision. Make sure all toys are age-appropriate. You are not trying to challenge your infant to be a rocket-scientist at this delicate stage of development. Strictly follow and adhere to all safety guidelines for your child’s specific age.

Engage and communicate: Talk to your infant. Engage in face-to-face and age appropriate hands on activity. Cuddle your baby. Give him/her a sense of security and love. Be an active part of your child’s developmental milestones.

When to be concerned

As previously stated, every baby develops at a different rate so if your baby is lagging behind a stage or two, don’t panic right away. This will only lead to unnecessary worry and frustration, and your baby can sense this. The key is that your baby progresses in a matter of stages versus ages. If your baby is not hitting a milestone at all, then you may want to talk to your pediatrician. There are factors that come into play as well such as babies who were born prematurely or may have experienced some type of trauma or illness at birth.

Be attentive, but don’t over analyze and panic over a delayed milestone. Babies are little people and they are all unique. If you are really concerned about whether or not your baby is developing according to “schedule”, consult your pediatrician. Don’t panic until you have discussed everything with a professional.