A Week-by-Week Guide to Your Baby's First Year Milestones

While every baby develops at their own pace, experts use certain milestones as a guide. Use this list of developmental milestones to learn what to expect during your baby's first year.

It can be fun to look at what you can expect your baby to learn and do during their remarkable first year of life. But don't worry too much if they aren't meeting every milestone at the precise week this guide suggests. Every child is unique—some babies will reach certain milestones sooner and hit others later.

Do, however, keep your child's pediatrician in the loop about your observations, questions, and concerns as they can help determine if anything warrants investigation or intervention. Intervention can make a significant difference when developmental red flags are caught early.

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Read on to learn what developmental milestones to look forward to in your baby's first 12 months.

Newborn Milestones

Newborns are still adjusting to life outside of the womb. But, they are already hitting milestones in their first month, like focusing their eyes and making new sounds.

Week 1

It's only been a week, but your newborn already knows they can rely on you. By now, they can recognize your voice, and the familiarity helps them adjust to the strange new world outside the womb. Of course, they can't understand your words, but talking to them is an expression of love and will eventually lay the foundations for language development in their brain.

Week 2

In their second week of life, your baby can focus on objects 8 to 14 inches away—about the distance between their eyes and yours during a feeding. So as you feed your little one, move your head slowly from side to side and see if their eyes follow you. This exercise helps build their eye muscles and tracking skills.

Week 3

Though their movements are still random and jerky, your baby can start snuggling by week three. As you hold them, watch how they adjust their posture towards you. They find your arms and even your scent calming and comforting.

Week 4

Have you noticed your baby using their vocal cords in ways other than crying? For example, they may coo and make "ahh" sounds around week four, especially when they see a parent. Babies learn by mimicking, so replay their sounds back to them to promote progression through key newborn developmental milestones.

1-Month Baby Milestones

At 1 month, you can expect your baby to hit some exciting milestones, like smoother movements, smiles, and lifting their head. Here's a breakdown.

Week 5

This week, your baby's movements will likely become smoother and more purposeful while those random jerky motions begin to disappear. Set aside time each day to help them move their body.

For example, you can give them a gentle mini-workout by slowly pulling them to a sitting position. Or let them "fly" by resting them tummy-down on your forearm. Their neck muscles are still pretty weak, though, so always support their head during movement.

Week 6

Around this age, your baby will start to flash an adorable gummy grin—their first genuine smile that's not just an involuntary reflex from gas or urination. How can you tell? Their eyes will brighten and widen as they move the corners of their mouth upward.

Week 7

As another infant milestone, your baby will start understanding senses; they will be able to look at a rattle and connect it to the sound it makes. They're also becoming partial to color, preferring bright hues and three-dimensional objects over flat black and white ones.

Week 8

While your little one's head is still wobbly, those neck muscles are getting stronger by the day. In fact, your baby can probably lift their head about 45 degrees. Put them on their stomach for brief, supervised periods every day so they can practice.

2-Month Baby Milestones

Your baby's 2-month milestones include cooing, more extended periods of wakefulness, and experimenting with their hands. Here's what to watch for.

Week 9

Sounds fascinate your baby, especially high tones and pitches. They're also interested in hearing you talk and will stare intently at your mouth as you speak to them. They may even reply with cooing or goo-ing.

Week 10

Around week 10, your baby can pick out their parent's face in a group. When someone familiar comes near, they might respond with wide eyes and gleeful wiggling—a sign they're honing their social skills. This is a perfect time to include them in family activities. For example, bring them to the table during dinner, or put them in a carrier or sling while you work.

Week 11

Your baby stays awake for longer periods now. They're anxious to learn about the world but may not always be interested in your game choice. So, if they turn their head and look away, they may be overstimulated or ready to move on to something else.

Week 12

At this fun baby stage, your little one likely has discovered an endless source of enchantment: their hands. They've probably realized that those fingers and thumbs are separate objects. They may also bring their hands together, look at them, then put them in their mouth to taste. Let them experiment with these wonderful tools by offering different textures for them to feel, such as a crinkle book or a rubbery toy.

3-Month Baby Milestones

Baby milestones at 3 months get even more exciting. You can expect babbling, laughing, and better-developed hand-eye coordination at this age. In addition, your baby may start becoming mobile by attempting to roll over. So, get ready for this active stage!

Week 13

Besides bestowing sweet smiles and coos on you, your baby may laugh, chuckle, and babble in long chains. These development milestones are some of the most cherished for parents and caregivers.

Week 14

Rattles and dangling toys do more than amuse your baby at 14 weeks; they also develop their hand and eye skills. Your infant is also likely to be intrigued by multi-textured toys, bright primary colors, and things that make sounds. They'll bat or grasp them (and, of course, they'll also try to put them in their mouth).

Week 15

Say goodbye to a relatively stationary baby. Around week 15, your little one may start rolling over—either from back to front or front to back. In the coming weeks, they'll likely master rolls in one direction. As a safety precaution, make sure they're never left alone on a bed or high surface and discontinue swaddling at this stage.

Week 16

Your little one is getting stronger by the day. They may protest when placed on their stomach, but they still need supervised tummy time daily to exercise their neck, chest, rib cage, and arm muscles. These muscle groups are necessary for rolling over, sitting up, and crawling.

So, join them on the floor and talk outside their vision range. They'll be distracted and may stop fussing for a few minutes while they're busy looking for you!

4-Month Baby Milestones

By 4 months, your baby is developing a more playful personality. Milestones at 4 months include blowing raspberries, pointing, and expressing emotions. Keep an eye out for these specifics.

Week 17

Your baby probably entertains everyone (including themselves) by making razzing noises or blowing raspberries. They'll laugh when you tickle their belly and mimic your words by making similar sounds. Boost both their ego and speech skills by chatting and making eye contact with them whenever possible.

Week 18

Around this point in your baby's developmental timeline, you may be pleasantly surprised to find them peacefully playing alone. Their eyesight is sharp now, and their depth perception is also improving. In addition, they're very busy using their eyes and hands in play to learn about themselves.

Week 19

You may think you hear some words like "dada" at this age, but at 19 weeks, your baby doesn't mean anything by those sounds; they're simply putting consonants together with vowels. However, you can help them connect sounds with meanings by labeling things: Point to pictures in their books and touch their eyes, nose, and mouth while naming them. Before long, they'll be calling you by name!

Week 20

By now, your baby knows who you are, and they're even starting to understand themselves. They smile when seeing their reflection in a mirror and begin displaying some distinct personality traits. By watching their face, you'll probably be able to detect how they express different emotions, too.

5-Month Baby Milestones

A 5-month-old wants to move! At this age, prepare for creeping and trying to use their muscles in new ways. Here's the lowdown.

Week 21

Your baby is on the go as they reach five months. They may creep around the floor and turn direction to get a new view. Put them on the floor or in a playpen and let them entertain themselves (while keeping a close eye, of course).

Week 22

This week, your baby's favorite experiment might be putting everything into their mouth. They may also be conducting some new tests, like dropping toys to the ground and comparing the different sounds they make.

Week 23

Infants develop muscle coordination from the head down. At this point in their development, they've likely acquired strength in their upper body, but their legs and torso are ready for a new challenge. So, try some ways to help them progress, such as gently pulling them to a standing position on your lap or pulling them to a sitting position on the floor.

Week 24

Your baby is already storing memories this week. They recognize names, basic words like "no" and "bye-bye," as well as familiar sounds. Your baby probably looks when you point out objects, and they may also point at things when you name them. Called receptive language, this skill precedes a baby's ability to speak. Since your baby remembers daily rituals, try greeting them each morning with the same phrase. They'll begin to look forward to it just as you do!

6-Month Baby Milestones

Midway through your baby's first year, their milestone achievements may vary more wildly. For example, while your friend's baby might start crawling at 6 months, yours may wait until closer to 10 months. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), both are perfectly normal. Here's what else you can expect.

Week 25

Some of the most significant physical milestones—such as gross motor skills like sitting, crawling, and walking—will occur at vastly different rates from baby to baby over the next several months. By week 25, your baby may be more steady when trying to sit, but they probably still need help. So, prop them up with a few pillows to cushion any falls.

Week 26

Your baby's still a charmer, but they may be more selective about giving out smiles to strangers. They may even be afraid to be away from you. Try leaving shortly after a feeding to help soothe their anxieties and make your partings less sorrowful. Sticking to your schedule and establishing a "goodbye" routine can help give them a sense of security.

Week 27

You may have noticed your baby dropping things on the floor. This action teaches them about cause and effect. When they get the response they expect, it reinforces their understanding of how the world works.

Week 28

By week 28, your baby is using their hands in more sophisticated ways. For example, they may clap or imitate wiping off their food tray. They may be ready to start eating solids, so watch for readiness signs. According to the AAP, babies who are ready for solids will meet the following criteria:

  • They can hold up their head
  • They open their mouth when food comes toward them
  • They swallow food (rather than thrust it back out)
  • They've doubled their birth weight

7-Month Baby Milestones

Your baby is maturing emotionally at 7 months. They love playing with you, are working on their mobility, and are becoming more dexterous. Here's what else you can expect.

Week 29

While they're not ready to host dinner parties, your baby is probably eager for some more sophisticated ways of socializing. For example, they may be fond of peek-a-boo and other group games.

Week 30

If they haven't already started to crawl, your baby is busy mastering the muscular coordination and strength necessary for this feat. Their first attempts may be "creeping" (propelling themselves on their belly). Next, they may push up on their hands and knees and rock. Give them lots of time on the floor to practice and encouragement. Placing a toy just out of reach can help encourage new crawlers.

Week 31

Your baby's hands have likely evolved from little paws to little tools. Instead of clumsily grabbing things, they're learning to manipulate their thumb and forefinger to pick up and hold objects. This "pincer grasp" will develop more in the next several weeks. As their fine motor skills develop, you'll want to be extra vigilant about keeping choking hazards off the floor and away from their curious fingers.

Week 32

Though they're still too young to pull themselves up, your child may be able to stand and lean against furniture. You can soften their falls and encourage this type of exploring by placing rugs or blankets underneath them.

8-Month Baby Milestones

Your 8-month-old is becoming coordinated and strong! In addition, they are learning to comprehend common words and recall skills, like how to make a toy make noise. And get ready—they may start pulling themselves up on furniture! Here's what else to expect at 8 months.

Week 33

Your little person has their own opinions, and they'll be sure to let you know what they do and don't like. Though it might be unnerving, bear in mind that they're experimenting with emotions and learning how to control their environment.

Week 34

You've probably noticed your baby has gained more coordination and strength in their legs and feet. They may have finally figured out how to pull themselves up to a standing position. Encourage them to stand by placing a favorite toy on the seat of a sturdy chair. Point to the chair, tell them the toy is there, and cheer for them to get up and grab it. Just be sure you're nearby in case of a tumble!

Week 35

Your baby may be stringing syllables together and placing different consonants with vowels. They may comprehend common words like "ball" and "bottle." Satisfy their thirst for knowledge by reading lots of baby books and labeling things. They're taking in every word.

Week 36

At around 8 or 9 months, a baby can create memories from their experiences. For example, they might look at a ball, remember how it moves, then push it. They can even set goals for themselves, like making noise from a pan by crawling to it and banging it with a spoon.

9-Month Baby Milestones

At 9 months, your baby is more mobile and can get into many things. So batten down the hatches, and keep an eye out for these 9-month milestones.

Week 37

If you haven't already, now is an excellent time to start baby-proofing: Look around the house and put dangerous objects safely out of your baby's reach. Their curiosity is boundless, and their mobility gets them around further and faster.

Week 38

Around 38 weeks, your baby will likely leave a trail wherever they go. As they scoot around the house, they may pull books off shelves and clear cabinets of their contents. They may even happily tip over wastebaskets. Though it's tiring for you to clean up after them constantly, this inquisitiveness is a natural part of their development.

Week 39

If it seems that your baby is always sticking something into their mouth, you're probably right. Babies between the ages of 8 to 12 months spend a lot of their waking hours either gumming, turning over, or banging small objects.

Week 40

As you go about your day doing seemingly mundane tasks, your baby is intently watching you. They're also starting to imitate you. For example, if given a chance, they might take a toothbrush and run it across their gums or teeth or try combing their hair. Mimicking is an essential way for your baby to learn.

10-Month Baby Milestones

Babies at 10 months old love repetition and exploration. They also are starting to understand object-permanence—the idea that you still exist even if you leave the room. Look out for these milestones at 10 months.

Week 41

You may have spent the past three nights rereading Goodnight Moon at your baby's insistence. They may focus on each page and feel comforted by seeing the same images and hearing the same words over and over. Don't fight their requests for repetition as this exchange builds their self-esteem.

Week 42

Your baby is probably giving you plenty of exercise. By week 42, your little one is constantly on the go and discovering new and faster ways to move. They're likely cruising while holding furniture and may even be making a few wobbly unassisted steps. The more time they get to practice using their legs, the stronger and more coordinated they'll be.

Week 43

Out of sight but not out of mind: Your baby now knows that objects exist even when they can't see them. They'll look under blankets for a misplaced book or play games by dropping a toy in a container and then turning it upside down to find it again. You can reinforce this concept of object permanence by playing a rudimentary game of hide-and-seek. For example, hide a toy under a cup and let them find it.

Week 44

Your baby has discovered that there's more to the world than what meets the eye on ground level. The allure of stairs and furniture is irresistible, so be sure you've installed safety gates for this baby stage.

11-Month Baby Milestones

Your 11-month-old is becoming more and more independent. They pride themselves on doing things themselves. They may begin walking—or at least trying! Be alert and ready to leap to the rescue for these 11-month milestones.

Week 45

By now, your baby likely prefers feeding themselves and might even grab the spoon from you during mealtimes. This practice helps them master fine motor skills.

Week 46

Your baby's personality is really blossoming now. They're developing their own opinions and aren't shy about expressing their preferences for people and activities. If diaper changes are becoming wrestling matches, keep in mind that they're flexing their newfound independence—a positive step in development.

Week 47

To limit accidents for your increasingly mobile baby, lay down the laws of the land. Though it's crucial for them to learn by exploration, they also need some limits and boundaries. Provide this guidance by giving simple directions and demonstrations: We walk to the sidewalk, then stop. With some consistency, you'll notice improvements week by week.

Week 48

Your baby may not be walking yet, but they're trying to get around. They may cruise on furniture or hold your hands while taking steps. Attempting to walk is a significant milestone, though babies may take that first unassisted step anywhere from 8 to 15 months. You can help their walking skills by giving them a sturdy push-pull toy and placing furniture in strategic areas to encourage their cruising.

12-Month Baby Milestones

It's toddler time! At 12 months, your baby looks and acts less like a baby and more like a child. Even so, as they flex their independence, they also need your reassurance. So here's what to watch for at 12 months.

Week 49

There's a flip side to your baby's newfound independence: insecurity. They realize that they're a separate entity from you by doing things on their own. Their anxiety around strangers may return, too. Reassure them by staying close when they need you and giving them attention when they turn to you.

Week 50

You may be ready to collapse at the end of the day, but your baby may be too excited by their new accomplishments to sleep. Sticking to a consistent bedtime routine is helpful to signal it's time for sleep. For instance, hold them in your arms during their last feeding in a darkened room and gently rock them while singing. By establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual, they'll soon be able to expect and appreciate the break from their busy day.

Week 51

Your baby is learning just how much they can handle. For example, they've likely discovered they can hang onto an item in each hand and tuck one under their arm to pick up a third.

Week 52

Happy birthday to your baby! While you're reveling in all the changes since your baby entered your life last year, they may give you a present of their own: Calling you by your chosen name, whether it's mama, dada, nana, papa, or something else. They're on the brink of using more words, too, so encourage their interest in language by speaking slowly and clearly. You're preparing your baby for a lifetime of learning.

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