As a new parent, it can be exciting to watch your little one hit each new milestone in their development. From rolling over to taking their first steps, every new achievement is a cause for celebration. But it can also be overwhelming to keep track of what your baby should be doing when. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to baby milestones in development.
During their first month of life, babies are focused on adjusting to the world outside of the womb. They spend most of their time sleeping and eating, but there are still a few key milestones to watch for:
- Lifting their head: By the end of their first month, most babies can lift their head briefly during tummy time.
- Tracking objects: Babies may be able to follow an object with their eyes as it moves across their field of vision.
- Startling: Many babies will startle in response to sudden noises or movements.
3-6 Month Milestones
Between 3 and 6 months, babies start to become more active and aware of their surroundings. They may begin to:
- Roll over: Some babies may start rolling over from tummy to back or back to tummy.
- Sit up: Babies may be able to sit up with support or on their own for brief periods of time.
- Reach for objects: Babies may start reaching for toys or other objects within their reach.
- Babble: Many babies start making vowel sounds and may even start to babble.
- Recognize familiar faces: Babies may begin to show recognition of familiar faces and may even smile in response to them.
6-9 Month Milestones
Between 6 and 9 months, babies continue to become more mobile and interactive. They may:
- Crawl: Many babies start crawling around this age, although some may skip crawling altogether.
- Pull up: Babies may start pulling themselves up to a standing position using furniture or other objects.
- Feed themselves: Some babies may start feeding themselves finger foods or holding a bottle on their own.
- Say “mama” or “dada”: Babies may start to use these words to refer to their parents.
- Understand “no”: Babies may begin to understand the meaning of the word “no” and respond accordingly.
9-12 Month Milestones
Between 9 and 12 months, babies are on the verge of their first birthday and becoming more independent every day. They may:
- Walk: Many babies take their first steps around this age, although some may not start walking until later.
- Use simple gestures: Babies may start waving goodbye or shaking their head “no.”
- Imitate sounds: Babies may start imitating sounds they hear, like animal noises or car honks.
- Follow simple instructions: Babies may be able to follow simple instructions, like “come here” or “give me the toy.”
- Play pretend: Some babies may start to engage in pretend play, like feeding a doll or teddy bear.
Remember, every baby develops at their own pace. If you’re concerned about your baby’s development, talk to their pediatrician. They can assess your baby’s progress and provide guidance if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my baby is not hitting these milestones?
If your baby is not hitting these milestones, it’s important to talk to their pediatrician. They can assess your baby’s development and provide guidance if needed. In some cases, early intervention services may be recommended.
Should I be worried if my baby hits milestones earlier or later than expected?
Not necessarily. Every baby develops at their own pace, and hitting milestones earlier or later than expected is not uncommon. However, if you’re concerned about your baby’s development, talk to their pediatrician.
What can I do to encourage my baby’s development?
There are many things you can do to encourage your baby’s development, like providing plenty of tummy time, reading to them, and talking to them. For more ideas, talk to your pediatrician or a child development specialist.
Can I do anything to predict my baby’s future development?
No, there is no way to predict exactly how your baby will develop in the future. However, providing a supportive and stimulating environment can help encourage healthy development.
What if I have concerns about my baby’s development but I’m not sure if I should talk to their pediatrician?
It’s always better to err on the side of caution and talk to your baby’s pediatrician if you have concerns about their development. They can assess your baby’s progress and provide guidance if needed.