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Baby Milestones Month by Month

Baby milestones are skills babies learn in the first year of life. In the first year a baby learns a lot! Language grows from cooing, to babbling, to making sounds all the way to their first words. They will start to smile, laugh and interact with people. They have movement milestones from rolling, sitting, crawling, standing and eventually walking. When reading this list, remember that all babies develop differently. It is normal to not hit every milestone exactly the month listed. But if you are ever worried about your baby’s progression, check with your doctor. Early intervention is helpful in baby’s development.


What are Baby Milestones?

Baby milestones are the skills your child will learn in the first year of life. Milestones can seem small to us, like tracking an object, to big, like crawling and talking.

Why Track Milestones?

Watching the development of your baby and their milestone development helps you and your baby’s pediatrician to make sure your baby is developing on track. As you go through this list, your baby may be a little ahead or behind. That is ok. If you ever have any worries or questions, consult your baby’s pediatrician. If baby isn’t hitting a milestone, there is a lot of support to help.

In the first year, babies learn and grow faster than they ever will. Their first 12 months are full of important and exciting developmental milestones.  Some super fun, from saying “mama” or “dada” to sitting up, and some we may miss like recognizing smells or bringing hands to mouth. Although babies all develop at different rates, there is a timeline that most babies follow for milestone development. But rest assured, there is a wide range that is considered normal! Your baby’s wellness visits with your pediatrician are a great time to have conversations around milestones. If your baby’s doctor isn’t asking, feel free to start the conversation!

What Baby Milestones Should I Watch?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and March of Dimes suggested looking out for the following milestones by month:


1 month old milestones

  • Can see things 8 to 12 inches away

  • Can recognize your smell

  • Shows different facial expressions

  • Startles at loud noises

  • Engages with high-contrast patterns

  • May hold their head up for brief moments

  • May turn head from side to side during tummy time


2 month old milestones

  • Brings hands to mouth

  • Cooing

  • Turns head toward sounds

  • Visually tracks an object in front of them (including your face!)

  • Smooths out leg and arm movements

  • Has improved head and neck control from tummy time

  • May self-soothes/ sucks thumb, hand, etc.

  • May smile


3 month old milestones

  • Smiles in response to others

  • Babbles

  • Open and shuts hands

  • Reaches for or grasps toys

  • Lifts head and chest in tummy time

  • Kicks while on back

  • Pushes down on feet when against a surface

  • Watches faces

  • Tracks objects with eyes

  • Turns head toward sounds

  • hand-eye coordination improvement

  • May laugh

  • Might begin rolling from tummy to back


4 month old milestones

  • Recognizes objects

  • Uses hands and eyes to reach for objects

  • Plays with toys

  • Holds head steady

  • Pushes body up onto elbows during tummy time

  • Imitates sounds and facial expressions

  • May roll over from tummy to back


5 month old milestones

  • Enjoys playing baby games

  • May roll from tummy to back

  • May be able to sit when propped

  • Picks up and moves objects


6 month old milestones

  • Recognizes familiar people

  • Recognizes self (enjoys looking in the mirror)

  • Is curious about surroundings

  • Responds to other’s emotions

  • Tries to "talk" with you

  • Says some consonant sounds

  • Responds to name

  • Explores objects using mouth

  • Passes toys between hands

  • Rolls from tummy to back and back to tummy

  • May attempt to rock on hands and knees

  • May be able to sit without support


7 month old milestones

  • Rolls both ways

  • Notices and tracks distant objects

  • Reaches with one hand

  • Picks up larger objects

  • Uses a "raking" motion for small objects

  • Reacts to emotion in your voice

  • May be able to sit without support

  • May understand some words

  • May be able to support their own weight on their feet when held under armpits


8 month old milestones

  • Sits without support

  • Passes objects between hands

  • May start to crawl

  • May become attached to a special toy

  • May pull themselves up to stand

  • May say some words

  • May grasp smaller objects


9 month old milestones

  • Claps hands

  • Attempts to wave

  • Picks up small objects

  • Remembers the location of objects

  • Makes many different sounds

  • Crawling

  • Can pull themselves up to stand

  • Can get to sitting without support

  • May be afraid of strangers

  • May have separation anxiety

  • May point


10 month old milestones

  • Copies your patterns of speech

  • Can understand and use some baby sign language if taught

  • May communicate using basic gestures

  • May take a few steps on their own


11 month old milestones

  • Looks at objects when named

  • Uses gestures to communicate

  • May pull up with support and stand for a few seconds

  • Might be able to follow simple directions

  • Could say first words


12 month old milestones

  • Sits without support

  • Get onto hands and knees

  • Pulls up to stand

  • Crawls

  • Cruises (walks while standing and holding onto furniture or a walking toy)

  • Moves objects in and out of containers

  • Tries to imitate words

  • Says single words

  • Remembers where objects are hidden

  • Responds to simple commands

  • Shows preferences for certain people or toys

  • Likely experiences some separation anxiety

  • May remain standing without support

  • May walk without support


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