Baby Milestones Chart: A Week-by-Week Guide to Development
While every baby develops at his own pace, experts can guess when certain milestones are likely to happen. Use this baby development chart as a guideline during your little one’s first year.
If you’re curious about baby’s growth, check out these guidelines for 52 wonderful weeks of development. And don't worry if your baby isn't doing exactly what's described in the baby milestone chart; every child grows in a way that's entirely unique and individual. Always discuss questions and concerns with your pediatrician.
Week 1: It's only been a week, but your newborn already knows she can rely on you. By now, she can recognize your voice, and the familiarity helps her adjust to the strange new world outside the womb. She can't understand your words, but talk to her often as an expression of love and comfort.
Week 2: In his second week of life, your baby can focus on objects 8 to 14 inches away—about the distance between his eyes and yours during nursing. As you feed your little one, move your head slowly from side to side and see if his eyes follow you. This helps build his eye muscles and tracking skills.
- RELATED: 10 Things to Know About Newborns
Week 3: Though her movements are still random and jerky, your baby can start snuggling by week three. As you hold her, watch how she adjusts her posture towards you. She finds your arms and even your scent calming and comforting.
Week 4: Have you noticed your baby using his vocal chords in ways other than crying? He may coo and make "ahh" sounds this week, especially when he sees mom or dad. Babies learn by mimicking, so replay his sounds back to him.
1 Month Baby Milestones
Week 5: This week, your baby's movements become smoother and more purposeful, and those random jerky motions begin to disappear. Set aside time each day for using her body—for example, you can give her a gentle mini-workout by slowly pulling her to a sitting position, or let her "fly" by resting her tummy-down on your forearm. Always support her head during movements.
Week 6: At this age, your baby will flash an adorable gummy grin that’s his first genuine smile. How can you tell? His eyes will brighten and widen as he moves his mouth upwards.
Week 7: Your baby is starting to understand her senses; she can look at a rattle and connect it to the sound it makes. She's 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 her head about 45 degrees. Put him on his stomach for brief periods every day so he can practice.
2 Month Baby Milestones
Week 9: Sounds fascinate your baby, especially high tones and pitches. She's also interested in hearing you talk, and will stare intently at your mouth as you speak to her. She may even reply with cooing or "goo"-ing.
Week 10: Around week 10, your baby can pick out his parents' faces in a group. When someone familiar comes near, he might respond with wide eyes and gleeful wiggling. He's ready to hone his social skills, so include her in family activities—for example, bring him to the table during dinner, or put him in a carrier sling while you work.
Week 11: Your baby stays awake for longer periods of time now. She's anxious to learn about her world, and she may not always be interested in your choice of game. If she turns her head and looks away, she's declaring she's ready to move onto something else.
Week 12: Around this age, your baby has discovered an endless source of enchantment: his hands. He's realized that those fingers and thumbs are separate objects. He can also bring his hands together, look at them, then put them to his mouth to taste. Let him experiment with these wonderful tools by offering different textures for him to feel, such as a velvet scarf or a rubbery toy.
3 Month Baby Milestones
Week 13: Besides bestowing sweet smiles and coos on you, your baby may be laughing, chuckling, and babbling in long chains.
Week 14: Rattles and dangling toys do more than amuse your baby at 14 weeks; they also develop her hand and eye skills. She’s also intrigued by multi-textured toys, bright primary colors, and things that make sounds. She'll bat or grasp them (she'll also try to put them in her mouth!)
Week 15: Say good-bye 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, he'll likely master his rolls in one direction. As a safety precaution, make sure he's never left alone on a bed or high surface.
Week 16: Your little one is getting stronger by the day. She may protest when she's placed on her stomach, but she needs tummy time every day for exercising her neck, chest, rib cage, and arm muscles. These muscle groups are necessary for rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Join her on the floor and talk outside of her range of vision. She'll be distracted from fussing for a few minutes while she's busy looking for you!
4 Month Baby Milestones
Week 17: Your baby probably entertains everyone (including himself) by making razzing noises or blowing raspberries. He'll laugh when you tickle his belly, and he'll mimic your words by making similar sounds. Boost both his ego and speech skills by chatting and making eye contact with him whenever possible.
Week 18: You may be pleasantly surprised to find your baby peacefully playing by herself. Her eyesight is sharp now and her depth perception is also improving. She's very busy using her eyes and hands in play to learn about herself.
Week 19: Your baby's dad claims that he distinctly heard "daa daa." But, at 19 weeks, your baby doesn't mean anything by those sounds; he's simply putting consonants together with vowels. You can help him connect sounds with meanings by labeling things: point to pictures in his books, and touch his eyes, nose, and mouth while naming them. Before long, he'll be calling you both by name!
Week 20: By now, your baby knows exactly who you are, and she’s even starting to know herself. She smiles when seeing her reflection in a mirror and begins displaying some distinct personality traits. By watching her face, you'll probably be able to detect how she expresses different emotions, too.
- RELATED: 30 Little Ways to Bond With Baby
5 Month Baby Milestones
Week 21: Your baby is on the go as he reaches five months. He may creep around the floor and turn his direction to get a new view. Put him on the floor or in a playpen and let him entertain himself (while keeping a close eye, of course!)
Week 22: This week, your baby's favorite experiment is putting everything into his mouth. He's also conducting some new tests, like dropping his toys to the ground and comparing the different sounds they make.
Week 23: Babies develop muscle coordination from the head down. By 23 weeks, she's likely acquired strength in her upper body, but her legs and torso are ready for a challenge. Some ways to help her progress: gently pull her to a standing position on your lap and bounce, or pull her to a sitting position on the floor.
Week 24: Your baby is already storing memories this week. He recognizes names, basic words like "no" and "bye-bye," and familiar sounds. He looks when you point out objects and he may also point at things when you name them.
6 Month Baby Milestones
Week 25: Some of a baby's big achievements—sitting, crawling, walking—occur at vastly different rates over the next several months. Your baby may be more steady when trying to sit, but probably still needs help. Prop her up with a few pillows to cushion any falls.
Week 26: Your baby’s still a charmer, but he may be more selective about giving out smiles to strangers. He may even be afraid to be away from you. To help soothe his anxieties and make your partings less sorrowful, try leaving shortly after a feeding. Stick to your schedule and establish a "goodbye" routine to give him a sense of security.
- RELATED: The ABC's of Baby Brain Development
Week 27: You may have noticed your baby dropping things on the floor. This action teaches her about cause and effect. When she gets the response she expects, it reinforces her understanding of how the world works.
Week 28: By week 28, your baby is using his hands in more sophisticated ways—he may start to clap or imitate you when you wipe off his food tray. He may be ready to start feeding himself, too, so arm him with supplies of soft finger foods (be sure they aren't choking hazards).
7 Month Baby Milestones
Week 29: While she’s not ready to host dinner parties, your baby is eager for some more sophisticated ways of socializing. She's fond of peek-a-boo and other group games.
Week 30: If he hasn't already started to crawl, your baby is busy mastering the muscular coordination and strength necessary for this feat. His first attempts may be "creeping" (propelling herself on her belly). Next, he may push up on his hands and knees and rock. Give him lots of time to practice and loads of encouragement.
Week 31: Your baby's hands have likely evolved from little paws to little tools. Instead of clumsily grabbing things, he's learning how to manipulate his thumb and forefinger to pick up and hold objects. This "pincer grasp" will develop more in the next several weeks. Be extra vigilant about keeping choking hazards off the floor and away from his curious fingers.
Week 32: Though she's still young for pulling herself up, your baby may be able to lean against furniture with her hands free. Soften her falls by placing rugs or blankets underneath.
8 Month Baby Milestones
Week 33: Your little man has his own opinions now, and he'll be sure to let you know what he does and doesn't like. Though it might be unnerving, bear in mind that he's experimenting with his emotions and learning how to control his environment.
Week 34: Over the past few weeks, your baby has developed more coordination and strength in her legs and feet. She may have finally figured out how to pull herself up to standing position. Encourage her to stand by placing one of her favorite toys on the seat of a sturdy chair. Point to the chair, tell her the toy is there, and cheer for her to get up and grab it.
Week 35: Your baby strings syllables together and places different consonants with vowels. She may comprehend common words like "ball" and "bottle." Satisfy her thirst for knowledge by reading her lots of baby books and labeling things for her. She's taking in every word!
Week 36: At around eight or nine months, a baby can create memories from his experiences. He might look at a ball, remember how it moves, then push it. He's even able to set goals for himself, like making noise from a pan by crawling to it and banging it with a spoon.
9 Month Baby Milestones
Week 37: If you haven't already, look around the house and put dangerous objects safely out of your baby's reach. Her curiosity is boundless and her mobility gets her around further and faster.
Week 38: Around 38 weeks, your baby will leave a trail wherever he goes. As he scoots around the house, he may pull books off shelves and clear cabinets of their contents. He'll also happily tip over wastebaskets. Though it's tiring for you to constantly clean up after him, this inquisitiveness is a natural part of his development.
- RELATED: 12 Milestones You Shouldn't Overlook
Week 39: If it seems to you that your baby is always sticking something into her mouth, you're probably right. Babies between the ages of 8 to 12 months spend at least 20 percent 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. He's also starting to imitate you. If given the chance, he might take a toothbrush and run it across his teeth, or try combing his hair. Mimicking is an important way for your baby to learn.
10 Month Baby Milestones
Week 41: You may have spent the past three nights rereading Goodnight Moon at your baby's insistence. She focuses on each page and feels comforted by seeing the same images and hearing the same words over and over. Don't fight her requests; this is building her self-esteem.
Week 42: Your baby is constantly discovering new and faster ways to move. He's likely cruising while holding furniture and may even be making a few wobbly unassisted steps. The more time he gets to practice using his legs, the stronger and more coordinated he'll be.
Week 43: Out of sight, but not out of mind—your baby now knows that objects exist even when she can't see them. She'll look under blankets for her misplaced book, or play games by dropping a toy in a container, then turning it upside down. You can reinforce this concept of object permanence by playing a rudimentary game of hide and seek. Hide a toy under a cup and let her find it.
Week 44: Your baby has discovered that there's more to his 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.
- RELATED: 10 Things to Know About Walking
11 Month Baby Milestones
Week 45: By now, your baby prefers feeding herself and might even grab the spoon from you during mealtimes. This practice helps her master fine motor skills.
Week 46: Your baby's personality is really blossoming now. She's developing her own opinions and isn't shy about expressing her preferences for people and activities. If diaper changes are becoming wrestling matches, keep in mind that she's flexing her 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 important for him to learn by exploration, he also needs some limits and boundaries. Do this by giving him simple directions and demonstrations: We walk to the sidewalk, then stop.
Week 48: Your baby may or may not be walking yet, but she's certainly trying to get around. She cruises on furniture, holds your hands while taking steps, and may not even want to sit down. This is a major milestone, though babies may take that first unassisted step at anywhere from 8 to 15 months. You can help her walking skills be giving her a sturdy push-pull toy, and placing furniture in strategic areas to encourage her cruising.
12 Month Baby Milestones
Week 49: There's a flip side to your baby's newfound independence: insecurity. She realizes that by doing things on her own, she's a separate entity from you. Her anxiety around strangers may have returned, too. Reassure her by staying close when she needs you, and giving her attention when she turns to you for it.
Week 50: You may be ready to collapse at the end of the day, but your baby is too excited by her new accomplishments to sleep. During her last feeding, hold her in your arms in a darkened room and gently rock her while singing. By establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual, she'll soon be able to expect and appreciate the break from her intense day.
Week 51: Your baby is learning just how much he can handle. He's discovered that he can hang onto an item in each hand and he can even tuck one under his arm to pick up a third.
Week 52: Happy birthday to Baby! While you're reveling in the accomplishments and changes your baby has made since entering your lives last year, she may give you a present of her own: Calling her parents mama or dada. She's on the brink of using more words, too, so encourage her interest in language by speaking slowly and clearly. You're preparing her for a lifetime of learning.