Baby Milestones – What to Expect the First Year

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 10.33.18 AMKids grow up fast. It’s a cliché, yes, but it’s never truer than in their first year, where you’ll see leaps in their development. This whirlwind growth curve is as enjoyable as it is impressive. One minute your little ones can’t keep their heads up, the next they’re rolling over. Wait, did they just grow an inch in his sleep? Yup, sometimes it seems completely crazy but during their first year babies’ brains change at a tumultuous speed. And if you have other kids or talk to other parents, it’s quite possible that you can’t help but compare how your tiny tots are growing with other similar-aged kids. Don’t. Everyone’s different and grows at a different pace.

In fact these milestones are simply guidelines, not strict rules. They’re just to satisfy your inner scrapbooker who’s always willing to tick things off a list. But do remember that every kid is unique, yours included. And there’s a whole catalogue of factors that influence how they progress, so there’s no need for you to be super concerned all the time – just buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Month #1
• When touched near mouth, turns head to that side
• Respond to sounds
• Makes eye contact
• Stares at faces
• Sees black and white patterns
• Cries to communicate needs

Month #2
• Gurgles and coos
• Follows objects with eyes
• Holds head up briefly
• Begins to smile

Month #3
• Starts to imitate sounds
• Lifts head up more steadily
• Opens and closes hands
• Swats at dangling toys or objects
• Brings hands to mouth
• Bears weight on legs if placed in a standing position
• Tracks objects of interest

Month #4
• Copies certain movements or facial expressions, like a smile or a frown
• Babbles more expressively
• Reaches for toys
• Recognizes familiar faces, things or sounds at a distance
• Holds head unsupported
• Lifts head and chest when on stomach

Month #5
• Distinguishes between bold colours
• Rolls over from tummy to back
• Plays with own hands and feet especially at bath time
• Brings toys to mouth to explore them

Month #6
• Knows familiar people and starts to recognize who’s a stranger
• Recognizes self in mirror and finds the reflection amusing
• Turns towards sounds and may try to respond to them
• Blows bubbles
• Rolls in both directions
• Begins to jabber with consonant sounds
• Tries to support weight when standing; might even bounce

Month #7
• Makes different consonant sounds
• Sits unassisted
• Uses raking grasp to pull things closer
• Holds toys easily
• Becomes more sensitive to your tone of voice
• Knows own name; turns to look when called

Month #8
• Imitates speech
• Says ‘dada’ and ‘mama’ in an unspecific manner
• Moves toys from one hand to the other
• May enjoy moving to music
• Shows excitement when presented with familiar people or objects

Month #9
• May exhibit fear from strangers
• May exhibit clinginess to familiar people
• Shows favouritism when it comes to toys
• Sounds become more word-like
• Moves between sitting and lying down
• Stands when holding on to something
• Crawls and may even crawl up stairs
• Bangs, throws and drops toys or other objects

Month #10
• Babbles with intonation
• Waves bye-bye
• Picks toys up with a pincer grasp
• Cruises – walks sideways whilst holding onto things

Month #11
• Says ‘dada’ and ‘mama’ in a specific manner
• Briefly stands unassisted
• Looks to you if unsure of or confused by something
• Understands simple instructions

Month #12
• Tries to get attention by repeating sounds or actions
• Helps with dressing by putting an arm or leg out
• Puts things into a container and takes them out
• Lets go of objects unassisted
• May stand unaided
• May take a few steps without holding on to things
• Easily finds things that are hidden

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