Babies respond to their surroundings from the minute they are born. Their behaviors, such as being soothed by a parent’s embrace or scared by a loud sound, are typical of newborn development.
Doctors use milestones to determine whether or not a baby is developing typically. Because there is such a wide range of what is considered normal, some babies may develop abilities sooner or later than others. Babies born prematurely may miss out on developmental milestones. Always consult your doctor about your baby’s development.
Newborn Milestones (Week 1 4)
Newborns are still adjusting to life outside the womb when they are born. They are, however, already reaching milestones in their first month, such as concentrating on their eyes and making new sounds.
Your newborn has only been with you for a week, yet they know they can count on you. They can identify your voice by now, and the familiarity aids in their adjustment to the scary new world outside the womb. Of course, babies won’t understand what you’re saying, but talking to them is an act of love that will eventually set the groundwork for language development in their brains.
Your baby can focus on things 8 to 14 inches away in their second week of life—roughly the distance between their eyes and yours during a feeding. So, as you feed your baby, slowly turn your head from side to side to watch if their eyes follow you. This practice helps them develop their eye muscles and tracking abilities.
Your baby can focus on things 8 to 14 inches away., even if their motions are irregular and choppy. Keep an eye on how they shift their stance towards you when you hold them. They find your embrace and smell soothing and comfortable.
Have you seen your baby using its vocal cords for purposes other than crying? For example, around week four, babies may coo and produce “ahh” sounds, especially when they meet a parent. Babies learn by mimicking, so they play back their noises to them to help them grow through critical newborn developmental stages.
1- Month Baby Milestones (Week 5 8)
At one month, you should expect your baby to achieve some exciting milestones, such as smoother movements, smiles, and head lifts. Here’s a rundown.
This week, your baby’s movements will most likely become smoother and more intentional, and the sporadic jerky motions will start to fade. Set aside time each day to assist them in moving their bodies.
You can give them a gentle mini-workout, for example, by slowly lifting them to a sitting position. Alternatively, you can let them rest their tummy down on your forearm. Neck muscles are still relatively weak and always support their head when moving.
Around this age, your baby will begin to smile with a beautiful gummy grin, their first genuine smile that isn’t an involuntary reflex from gas or pee. How do you know? As they shift the corners of their mouth upward, their eyes will brighten and enlarge.
Another newborn milestone is that your baby will begin to understand senses; they will be able to look at a rattle and associate it with the sound it makes. They’re also growing fond of color, preferring vibrant colors and three-dimensional items to flat black and white.
While your baby’s head is still unstable, its neck muscles are becoming stronger by the day. You should be able to raise your baby’s head 45 degrees. Every day, place them on their stomach for brief, supervised periods to practice.
2-Month Baby Milestones (Week 9 12)
Cooing, longer intervals of wakefulness, and experimenting with their hands are all two-month milestones for your baby. What to watch out for is listed below.
Your baby is fascinated by sounds, exceptionally high tones, and pitches. They’re also curious to hear what you’re saying and will stare carefully at your mouth while you speak to them. They may even respond by cooing or gooing.
Around week 10, your baby will be able to recognize their parent’s face in a crowd. When a familiar face approaches, they may reply with wide eyes and joyous wiggling, indicating that they are perfecting their social abilities. It is an excellent opportunity to involve babies in family activities. Please bring them to the table for meals, or wear them in a carrier or sling while you work.
Your newborn is now awake for longer lengths of time. They are eager to learn about the world but may not always be interested in your game selection. So if they turn their heads and stop looking, it could mean they are overstimulated or ready to move on to something else.
During this exciting newborn time, your baby has most likely discovered an infinite source of enchantment: their hands. They’ve probably found that those fingers and thumbs aren’t the same. They could also put their hands together, look at them, and then put them in their mouths to taste. Allow them to play with these fantastic tools by providing diverse textures to feel, such as a crinkle book or a rubbery toy.
3-Month Baby Milestones (Week 13 16)
At three months, baby milestones become even more exciting. You can expect to babble, laugh, and have more muscular hand-eye coordination at this age. Furthermore, your baby may begin to move by attempting to roll over. Prepare for this lively stage!
In addition to charming grins and coos, your baby may giggle, chuckle, and chatter in extended chains. For parents and caregivers, these developmental milestones are among the most treasured.
Rattles and dangling toys do more than entertain your baby at 14 weeks; they also help them get better at using their hands and eyes together. Multi-textured toys, primary colors, and items that generate sounds will likely pique your newborn’s interest. They’ll bat at them or grab them and try to put them in their mouth.
Goodbye, relatively stationary baby. Around week 15, your baby may begin rolling over, either back to front or front to back. They’ll most likely master rolls in one direction in the coming weeks. As a safety precaution, never leave them alone on a bed or high surface, and stop swaddling at this point.
Your baby is becoming stronger by the day. They may object to being placed on their stomach, but they still require regular supervised tummy time to train the muscles in their neck, chest, rib cage, and arms. Rolling over, sitting up, and crawling all need the use of these muscular groups.
So join them on the floor and converse outside their field of vision. While hunting for you, they’ll be distracted and may stop fussing for a few minutes!
4-Month Baby Milestones (Week 17 20)
By four months, your baby’s personality is becoming more lively. At four months, milestones include blowing raspberries, pointing, and expressing emotions. Keep an eye out for these particular indicators.
Your newborn is most likely amusing everyone (including themselves) by making razzing noises or blowing raspberries. When you tickle their belly, they will chuckle and mimic your words by making similar sounds. Chat with them and make eye contact to boost their ego and verbal skills.
You may be pleasantly pleased to find your newborn quietly playing alone in their developmental timeline. Their vision is sharper today, and their depth of awareness is also improving. Furthermore, they are swamped learning about themselves through play using their eyes and hands.
You may believe you hear words like “dada” at this age, but your baby doesn’t mean anything by such sounds; they’re merely combining consonants and vowels. Labeling things, on the other hand, can assist babies in associating sounds with meanings: Point to photos in their books and name them by touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. They’ll be calling you by name before you know it!
Your baby understands who you are now, and they’re even beginning to understand themselves. When they look at their faces in a mirror, they grin and exhibit some distinguishing personality features. You’ll most likely be able to tell how they’re feeling by looking at their face.
5-Month Baby Milestones (Week 21 24)
A five-month-old baby wants to move! Prepare for creeping and attempting to use their muscles in novel ways at this age. Here’s the skinny.
As they reach the age of five months, your baby is on the move. They might move slowly and turn the floor around to gain a different perspective. Place them on the floor or in a playpen and allow them to amuse themselves (while keeping a close eye, of course).
Your baby’s favorite experiment this week might be putting everything in their mouth. They could also be conducting additional studies, such as putting toys on the ground and comparing the various sounds they create.
From the head down, newborns acquire muscle coordination. At this time in their growth, they’ve most certainly developed upper-body strength, but their legs and torso are ready for a new challenge. So, try gently pushing them to a standing position on your lap or dragging them to a sitting position on the floor to assist them in progressing.
This week, your baby is already accumulating memories. Names, essential words like “no” and “bye-bye,” and familiar noises are all recognized. When you point out an object, your newborn will most likely look at it, and they may also point to it when you name it. This ability, known as receptive language, comes before a baby’s speaking ability. Because your baby remembers regular habits, try greeting them with the same sentence every morning, and they’ll start to look forward to it as much as you do!
6-Month Baby Milestones (Week 26 28)
Midway through your baby’s first year, their developmental milestones may vary more dramatically. For example, your friend’s baby may begin crawling at six months, but yours may not start crawling until it’s almost ten months.
Over the next few months, some essential physical milestones, such as gross motor abilities like sitting, crawling, and walking, will arrive at radically varied rates from baby to baby. Your baby could be attempting to sit by week 25, but it will still require assistance. Prop them up with a couple of pillows to cushion any falls.
Your baby is still charming but may be more selective in their grins to strangers. They might even be terrified of being apart from you. Try departing right after a feeding to help calm their fears and make your goodbyes less painful. Sticking to your schedule and developing a “goodbye” ritual will help them feel secure.
You might have seen your baby dumping items on the floor. This action teaches them the concept of cause and effect. When they receive the expected answer, it strengthens their grasp of how the world works.
Your baby’s hands are becoming more advanced by week 28. They may, for example, applaud, mime, or quickly wipe away their meal plate. Watch for indicators that they are ready to begin eating solids.
Solids-ready babies will meet the following criteria:
- They can lift their heads erect
- Open their mouths when food approaches.
- They swallow food (rather than spitting it out)
- Have gained an amount equal to two times their weight at birth.
7- Month Baby Milestones (Week 29 32)
At seven months, your baby is emotionally maturing. They enjoy playing with you and are improving their movement and agility.
While they may not be ready to host dinner parties, your baby is likely looking for more sophisticated socializing methods. Peek-a-boo and other group games, for example, maybe favorites.
If they haven’t already begun to crawl, your baby is at work developing the essential physical coordination and strength. Their initial efforts may be “creeping” (propelling themselves on their belly). They may then rock by pushing up on their hands and knees. Allow plenty of time on the floor for practice and encouragement. A toy placed just out of reach can inspire new crawlers.
Your baby’s hands have likely progressed from little paws to tiny tools. Instead of clumsily gripping things, they learn to pick up and hold objects with their thumb and forefinger. This “pincer grasp” will develop more during the next few weeks. You’ll need to watch them even more by keeping choking hazards off the floor and away from their curious fingers as their fine motor abilities develop.
Your youngster may be able to stand and lean against furnishings even if they are too young to pull themselves up. By placing rugs or blankets beneath them, you may soften their falls and encourage this type of exploration.
8-Month Baby Milestones (Week 33 36)
Your eight-month-old is growing in coordination and strength! They are also learning to comprehend common phrases and recall skills, such as how to make a toy make noise. And be prepared for them to start pulling themselves up on furniture! What else can you expect at eight months?
Your baby has its thoughts, and it will let you know what they enjoy and dislike. Though it may be unsettling, remember that they are experimenting with emotions and learning how to influence their surroundings.
You’ve probably observed your baby’s leg and foot coordination and strength improving. They might have found out how to lift themselves to a standing position. Place a beloved toy on the seat of a solid chair to encourage them to stand. Point to the chair, inform them that the toy is there, and encourage them to get up and take it. Just make sure you’re nearby in case of an accident!
Your baby can be stringing syllables together and mixing consonants and vowels. They may understand words like “ball” and “bottle.” Fill their quest for knowledge by reading and labeling dozens of baby books. Every word is being taken in.
A baby can build memories from their experiences at eight or nine months. For example, babies may observe a ball, recall how it moves, and then push it. They can even assign themselves goals, such as producing noise from a skillet by crawling to it and banging it with a spoon.
9-Months Baby Milestones (Week 37 40)
At nine months, your baby is more mobile and capable of getting into various situations. So prepare for these nine-month milestones by battening down the hatches.
Now is the time to do it. If you haven’t already done it, this is the right time to start: Examine your surroundings and keep dangerous objects out of your baby’s reach. Their curiosity knows no bounds, and their agility allows them to travel farther and faster.
Your baby will likely leave a paper trail behind them for about 38 weeks. They may pull books from shelves and empty drawers as they move throughout the house and gladly tip over wastebaskets. Though cleaning up after babies is exhausting, this inquisitiveness is a natural aspect of their development.
If it appears that your baby is constantly putting things in their mouth, you are probably correct. Babies aged eight to 12 months spend most of their waking hours gumming, turning over, or slamming small items.
Your baby is watching you as you go about your day doing seemingly little things. They are also beginning to emulate you. If given the opportunity, they might take a toothbrush and run it across their gums or teeth or try combing their hair. Mimicking is an important learning tool for your baby.
10-Month Baby Milestones (Week 41 -44)
Babies as young as ten months old enjoy repetition and discovery. They are also beginning to grasp the concept of object permanence—the idea that you continue to exist even if you leave the room. At ten months, keep an eye out for these milestones.
You may have spent the last three nights rereading Goodnight Moon at your baby’s request. They may concentrate on each page and find comfort in seeing and hearing the same sights and words over and over. Don’t resist their demands for a repeat activity because this interaction boosts their self-esteem.
Your baby is most likely keeping you active. By week 42, your baby is always on the move, exploring new and faster methods to move. They’re probably cruising while gripping furniture and taking a few unsteady unaided steps. The more practice they have with their legs, the stronger and more coordinated they will become.
Your baby is now out of sight but not out of mind and understands that objects exist even when they are not visible. They’ll search beneath blankets for a misplaced book or perform games where they drop a toy in a container and then turn it upside down to find it again. Playing a simple hide-and-seek game can help reinforce the concept of item permanence. Hide a toy under a cup, for example, and let them find it.
Your baby has realized that there is more to the world than meets the eye on the surface. Because the temptation of stairs and furniture is irresistible, make sure you have safety gates placed for this baby stage.
11-Month Baby Milestones (Week 45 48)
Your 11-month-old is growing in independence. Delight in accomplishing things, they might start walking—or at least attempt! For these 11-month milestones, be vigilant and ready to leap to the rescue.
Your baby may now prefer to feed himself and even take the spoon from you at mealtimes. This activity aids in the development of fine motor abilities.
Your baby’s individuality is coming into its own right now; they are establishing their perspectives and are not afraid to express their choices for individuals and activities. If diaper changes turn into wrestling contests, remember that they’re saying their newfound independence, which is an excellent stage in the growth.
Set the ground rules for your increasingly mobile baby to avoid accidents. While it is critical for babies to learn through discovery, they also require some restrictions and boundaries. Give basic instructions and demonstrations to provide this guidance. Such basic instructions are: We walk to the sidewalk and then come to a halt. Week after week, you’ll notice changes if you’re consistent.
Your baby may not be walking yet; however, they are attempting to move. They may cruise on furniture or grasp your hand as you walk. Trying to walk is a crucial developmental milestone, though babies can take their first independent step between eight and 15 months. Giving them a robust push-pull toy and placing furniture strategically to encourage cruising can assist their walking skills.
12-Month Baby Milestones(Week 49 52)
It’s toddler season! At 12 months, your baby no longer looks or acts like a baby or a youngster. Nonetheless, as they assert their independence, they require your comfort. So, here’s what to look out for in a year.
Insecurity is the other side of your baby’s increased freedom. They recognize their independence from you by acting on their own. Their fear of strangers may also reemerge. Reassure them by keeping near to them when they need you and paying attention to them when they turn to you.
Even though you may be tired at the end of the day, your baby may be too excited by their new achievements to sleep. Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine is beneficial in signaling that it is time to sleep. Hold them in your arms for their last feeding in a darkened room, for example, and softly rock them while singing. Establishing a soothing sleep ritual can help them anticipate and appreciate the break from their busy day.
Your baby is discovering how much it can take. They may have found, for example, that they can hold an item in each hand and tuck one under their arm to take up a third.
Congratulations on the birth of your baby! While you’re celebrating all the changes that have occurred in your life since your baby’s arrival last year, they may give you a gift of their own: calling you by your preferred name, no matter if it’s mama, dada, nana, papa, or something else. They’re also on the verge of utilizing more words. They’re keen to learning new words will be stimulated by parents speaking slowly and clearly. You can get them interested in language. You’re getting your baby ready for a life of education.
Final Thought Newborn Development
This article categorizes typical developmental milestones babies reach each month during their first year. Remember that every new baby is unique in its own way and develops at its own pace. It is normal if your baby hasn’t reached a milestone by a specific month indicated in this article. You should keep an eye out for progress rather than deadlines.