Developmental Milestones During Your Baby’s First 12 Months

All babies grow and develop at different rates. Their growth will be marked by developmental milestones — their major achievements during certain months. These milestones are helpful for tracking and understanding your baby’s development and good health. However, they only serve as guidelines and, as such, are not conditions set in stone that every infant should demonstrate or show at every stage.

During a baby’s first 12 months, you can expect to see several developmental milestones, which include:

First month:

• Making fists with their hands

• Focusing on objects that are 8 to 12 inches away

• Moving their head from side to side while lying on stomach

• Bringing their hands near their face

• Hearing and recognizing certain sounds such as their parent’s voices

• Making quivering arm movements

Third month:

• When lying on stomach, will use his or arms to support the upper body

• Begins to use hands and eyes in coordination

• Can watch faces closely

• Looks at and follows moving object

• Can raise head and chest when lying on stomach

• Can stretch legs out and kick when lying down

• Will push down on his or her legs when feet are placed on a firm surface

• Can open and shut hands

• Can bring hands to mouth

• Will start recognizing familiar objects and people at a distance

• Will play with other people

• Will often smile at the sound of their parents’ voices

Seventh month:

• Will be able to sit up

• Can roll over

• Will respond when called

• Can reach for objects and transfer them from one hand to another

• Will explore objects using hands and mouth

• Will start babbling

• Will start using his or her voice to express delight and displeasure

• Start playing peek-a-boo

• Can distinguish emotions through tones of voice

• Will have full-color and mature distance vision

• Can support whole weight on legs when held upright

First year

• Can get into the hands-and-knees position and crawl

• Can sit without assistance

• Can pull him or herself up to stand

• Will be able to walk while holding onto furniture and even a few steps without support

• Can imitate some words

• Will start saying “dada” and “mama”

• Can grasp objects using his or her thumb and forefinger

• Can respond to “no” and other simple verbal requests

• Can wave goodbye and shake his or her head

• Can use objects correctly such as drinking from a cup or glass

• Will look at the correct picture when an image is named

Your baby will develop at his or her own pace and certain milestones may appear at a later month or age. If you are concerned that your child is lagging behind in certain areas, speak with his or her pediatrician. Developmental delays are normal, but you can have a clearer picture of your baby’s health and wellness at every stage when you have detailed talks with the medical practitioner during scheduled check-ups.