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Baby milestones by month: What to expect

Month by month — and perhaps even day by day — your little one will grow and change before your eyes. Read our month-by-month guide to learn what milestones to expect during your baby’s first year.

Months 1-4

an adorable baby bonding with her mother at home

Months 5-8

Adorable Hispanic Baby Boy Eating in High Chair

Months 9-12

A photo of father and son making first walk

Months 1 - 4

  • Baby at 1 month – The first month with your little one has flown by! On top of gaining up to two pounds this month, your baby is probably starting to bring their hands near their face, keeping them in tight fists. Your baby can hear well now, recognizing noises and turning toward familiar sounds — including your voice. They are also starting to focus on objects 8 to 12 inches away and prefer human faces over other shapes (so you might not need toys quite yet). They may even start to track movements with their eyes.
  • Baby at 2 months – At two months old, your little one is likely starting to smile at people. They’ll be sleeping a little less and enjoy spending time with you and socializing. Your baby is probably starting to push themselves up when they’re on their tummy but can’t quite hold themselves up yet. They are also starting to get fussy, and their senses are really starting to develop. Your baby will be comforted by your touch, more drawn to complex patterns and bright colors and actively listening to your voice. Your little one is also becoming aware of their hands and may have started sucking on their fists to soothe themselves.
  • Baby at 3 months – Month three brings some exciting milestones. When your little one is lying on their stomach or back, they’re probably starting to stretch their legs and kick. They may also raise their head and chest and support their upper body with their arms when they lay on their stomach. This month, your baby will likely show hand-eye coordination and will bat at toys above them. They’ll probably push their legs down when their feet are placed on a hard surface and will smile when they hear your voice.
  • Baby at 4 months – This month, your baby may start to laugh. They also might start teething, and, if they do, you’ll find drool on everything they touch. Toys and teething rings are now a baby favorite. They’ll start to reach for toys with one hand and can probably hold up their own head. Your little one might start rolling from their stomach and pushing themselves up by their elbows as their strength grows. 

Months 5 - 8

  • Baby at 5 months – Many exciting things happen during month five. This month, your baby may begin to sit up on their own and maintain good head control. Your little one is beginning to recognize new and familiar faces and becoming more vocal as they interact with you. They may start rolling from their back to their belly and, if they’ve already started solid foods, they may start to try new tastes.
  • Baby at 6 months – At six months, your baby may begin to recognize their own name. You may also notice that they start to show affection, making this a particularly happy time. New foods and textures are always on their agenda, as is looking at themselves in a mirror. Additionally, you may notice your baby starting to grasp objects and move them from one hand to the other.
  • Baby at 7 months – There’s a good chance your baby’s on the move! By seven months, many babies are starting to scoot or crawl. Around this time, they may find their feet (and start putting them in their mouth). You may also notice your baby working on their facial expressions, trying to mimic others. Your baby may also start responding to basic commands, such as the word “no,” and change their tone of voice to express changing emotions.
  • Baby at 8 months – By now, your baby is likely spending more time awake and starting to clap or wave at you. They may begin to drink less milk or formula and eat more solid foods. New tastes and texture can include things like small pieces of meat, cooked pasta and toast. This is typically the time when babies begin to develop separation anxiety and don’t like being away from caregivers. Don’t worry — it will go away!

Months 9 - 12

  • Baby at 9 months – By now, your baby is likely on the go and crawling up a storm. They’re getting stronger every day, perhaps pulling up on things to stand and maybe even wobbly-toddling around the house, using furniture to steady themselves. Just be sure to keep an eye out, especially if you have steps in your home. You’ll also notice your little one is more communicative with gestures, such as holding out their arms to be picked up or waving when they want something. Your baby may also start to babble more, and you may even hear a first word, such as “mama” or “dada.”
  • Baby at 10 months – Your baby’s coordination is probably improving by the minute. Your little explorer may be moving faster and starting to pick things up with their first two fingers — which means you’ll need to watch them closely as tiny items such as buttons, pennies, cosmetics and toys can quickly go from hand to mouth (and become choking hazards). By now, your baby’s naps have started to dwindle to one or two hour-long naps during the day. Your baby’s palate is also beginning to develop, which means it’s the perfect time to introduce different tastes and textures, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and light spices. Your baby is probably also starting to use their fingers to eat and may even be able to use a large spoon to feed themselves a little.
  • Baby at 11 months – Your baby’s likely not only cruising around nonstop. They may also be able to stand on their own, even if it’s just for a few wobbly seconds. Your baby has a full spectrum of communicative gestures to let you know how they’re feeling, including clapping, raising their arms, pointing and using a cup. Your little one is also able to understand language and has probably started responding to you — even if it’s still babble at this point. As your baby rounds out the end of year one, they will likely weigh between 17 to 27 pounds.
  • Baby at 12 months – The 12-month mark continues to bring changes as your little one transitions into the toddler stage. By now, your baby is probably able to walk while grasping onto your hand or an object, as well as stand on their own. If those teetering first solo steps haven’t happened yet, don’t worry, they’ll likely be happening any day now. By now, your child’s motor skills have probably advanced to the point that they can do several things on their own, including using utensils, eating with fingers and using crayons. As you round out this first year, your pediatrician will make sure your baby has received his or her vaccinations at your one-year checkup.

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