First year of baby's development milestones (Month by Month)

First year of baby's development milestones (Month by Month)

For most new parents, understanding the different milestones of their baby’s development can be quite challenging. The first 12 months are most significant as the changes occur rapidly in this stage.

With each month, your baby will exhibit new skills that mark a developmental milestone. It is important to know about and keep track of these milestones to be rest assured your baby is showing normal growth and development. However, it is not necessary for a specific developmental milestone to be achieved at a certain age. For instance, some children may be able to talk at the age of eight months while others may take up to one year to start saying their first words. It is also important to remember that all babies are different from each other. Comparisons should best be avoided.

#1. Understanding development milestones

Babies go through three different stages of development:

  • Language development
  • Motor development
  • Emotional development

These milestones are easy to identify as the child performs specific activities when he or she reaches different milestones. The milestones are usually placed in an age bracket and most children follow the same sequence. The most important thing for new parents is to understand these variations. In case your child does not reach a certain milestone at a certain age, it is not any cause for panic. Make sure you also have your pediatrician monitoring your child’s growth regularly.

Also Read: How to Soothe a Crying Baby in Minutes?

#2. Different developmental milestones

The child exhibits the following milestones progressively.

First month

Most behavior at this age is a reflex, which lays the foundation of a child’s motor development. With a nervous system that is still developing, the baby cannot really control actions. However, common reflexes to be observed are:

Mouthing reflexes

  • Babies suck and swallow when their lips are touched.
  • They exhibit rooting reflex, which means that they will turn towards your hand when you touch the cheek. This helps them find the mother’s nipple when feeding.

Startle reflex

  • This reflex is seen when the baby hears any loud sound.
  • It is also noticed if the baby falls backwards.
  • The arms and legs twitch away from the body.

Grasp reflex

  • The baby will grasp any object that is placed in the palm.

Stepping reflex

  • When the feet of the baby are placed on any flat surface, the baby is able to support his weight.
  • He may even try to put one foot in front of the other.

1 to 3 months

At this age, the muscles of the neck become strong. The baby’s vision also develops significantly. These changes allow the following skills:

Motor skills

  • The baby is able to support his own head when lying on the stomach.
  • Her legs are stretched and kicked.
  • Your baby’s eyes follows any object that is moving.
  • She is able to grab and shake any object in her hand.

Language skills

  • The baby makes cooing sounds.

Emotional or social skills

  • The baby begins to enjoy playing even more.
  • She will also smile at familiar faces.

Also Read: Colic: symptoms, reasons and home remedies to treat the colic in babies

4-7 months

By this age, your baby develops more perception. She also develops like and dislikes. You will find her beginning to explore things around her. Communication improves and the baby will try to tell you what she likes and dislikes through sounds and cries. Babies develop more attachment with parents by this time and will actually become anxious around strangers. The milestones in this time frame are:

Motor skills

  • The baby will start rolling from the stomach to the back and in the other direction as well.
  • She will develop the ability to use her hands to push herself to sit up.
  • She starts to crawl on all fours.
  • The baby is able to take things towards himself using his fingers.
  • Your little one will be able to support her body weight on her legs when you hold her up.
  • You will find her shaking and banging objects or putting them in the mouth to explore.

Language skills

  • Your little one will be able to babble consonants like “ba”.
  • You will find her laughing a lot.

Social/Emotional skills

  • The baby will be able to distinguish between different tones of voice.
  • If you hide something partially, with a small portion of it visible to the child, she will be able to find it. She will love to play this game of hide and seek over and over again.

8-12 months

This is the age when babies are more mobile. Pincer grasp, or the ability to hold things using the thumb and the index or middle finger is the most important milestone at this age. The baby is also able to utter single syllable words and will move on to say their first words, usually “mama” or “dada” Initiating play is common at this age. They will also use gestures to communicate and point to objects that they want. Babies start standing by their own for few seconds with a little support or without support.

By this age babies understand the concept of object permanence and develop the understanding that things exist even though they are taken out of sight. Language also develops significantly at this age.

The milestones at this age are:

Motor skills

  • Your baby will be able to sit independently.
  • You will find her using objects like furniture to pull herself up and stand.
  • By this age babies may move on to take their first steps as well.
  • They use the pincer grasp.
  • They are able to put in and take out objects from containers.
  • Find them exhibiting functional activities like holding a spoon.

Language skills

  • Babies start using exclamations like “oh” and “ah”.
  • They try to imitate different words.
  • Babies start using words like “mama” and “dada”.
  • They also love interactive games like peek-a-boo.

Social / Emotional Skills

  • You will notice your baby becoming good at finding hidden objects.
  • She will learn to use different objects such as a cup or a phone.
  • She will develop separation anxiety.
  • Babies of this age becomes more anxious in the presence of strangers.

Read More: Is Homeopathy safe for Babies?

#3. Complete development chart from 0-12 months

In addition to the above mentioned points here is a chart that represents the complete, month wise developmental changes that you can expect in your little one, including pointers for physical growth. Take a look:

First year of baby's development milestones (Month by Month)

For all new parents, it is best that you go with your gut feel. In case you feel like your child is not showing progress, you can talk to your doctor for early intervention and timely solution.

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