What's Really Important?
Baby books tend to overemphasize the importance of gross-motor milestones like crawling and walking, says Barbara Howard, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Pediatricians are more interested in whether a baby is achieving the precursors to language and social skills. "Being able to understand and interact with others is what it means to be human," she says. Your pediatrician will look for these signs that your baby is coming along nicely both intellectually and socially.
At about: 8 weeks
Your baby should: Smile Responsively
At about: 8 weeks to 3 months
Your baby should: Take turns in a cooing game
At about: 6 to 8 months
Your baby should: Babble
At about: 8 months
Your baby should: Attempt to get mobile
At about: 8 to 10 months
Your baby should: React differently to strangers
At about: 9 months
Your baby should: Sit up
At about: 10 to 12 months
Your baby should: Play pattycake and wave bye-bye