A Week-by-Week Guide to Developmental Milestones During a Baby's First Year

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.

Happy smiling baby boy
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If you're curious about your baby's growth, check out these developmental milestones for the first 52 weeks of your baby's life. Consider this list a fun look at what you can expect your baby to learn and do during their remarkable first year, and don't worry if they aren't doing exactly what's described when it appears in the timeline.

Every child grows in a way that's unique and individual to them, and some babies will reach certain milestones sooner and hit others later. Use this list as a guide to milestones to look forward to, keep up with your baby's well-child check-ups, and be sure to discuss questions and concerns you have with your child's pediatrician.

Newborn Milestones

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. 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. 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? 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

Week 5: This week, your baby's movements are likely to become smoother and more purposeful, and those random jerky motions begin to disappear. Set aside time each day for using 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. Always support their head during movement.

Week 6: Around this age, your baby will start to flash an adorable gummy grin that's their first genuine smile and not just an involuntary reflex to relief 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

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. They're ready to hone their social skills, so include them in family activities. For example, bring them to the table during dinner, or put them in a carrier sling while you work.

Week 11: Your baby stays awake for longer periods of time now. They're anxious to learn about the world, and they may not always be interested in your choice of game. If they turn their head and look away, they may be overstimulated or they may be 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

Week 13: Besides bestowing sweet smiles and coos on you, your baby may be laughing, chuckling, and babbling in long chains. For parents and caregivers, these development milestones are some of the most cherished.

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 the use of swaddles.

Week 16: Your little one is getting stronger by the day. They may protest when placed on their stomach, but they need supervised tummy time every day for exercising their neck, chest, rib cage, and arm muscles. These muscle groups are necessary for rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Join them on the floor and talk outside of their range of vision. They'll be distracted from fussing for a few minutes while they're busy looking for you!

4 Month Baby Milestones

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 they'll 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. 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. 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 exactly who you are, and they're even starting to know 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

Week 21: Your baby is on the go as they reach five months. They may creep around the floor and turn their 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 very well 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. 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.

6 Month Baby Milestones

Week 25: Some of the biggest physical milestones—such as gross motor skills like sitting, crawling, 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 probably still needs help. 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. To help soothe their anxieties and make your partings less sorrowful, try leaving shortly after a feeding. Stick to your schedule, and establish a "goodbye" routine to 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—they may clap or imitate wiping off their food tray. They may be ready to start eating solids, so consider what foods you'd like to introduce first.

7 Month Baby Milestones

Week 29: While they're not ready to host dinner parties, your baby is probably eager for some more sophisticated ways of socializing. 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 loads of encouragement. It can be helpful to place a toy just out of reach to 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 how to manipulate their thumb and forefinger to pick up and hold objects. This "pincer grasp" will develop more in the next several weeks. From here on, 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 for pulling themselves up, your child may be able to lean against furniture with their hands free. To encourage this type of exploring, you can soften their falls by placing rugs or blankets underneath.

8 Month Baby Milestones

Week 33: Your little person has their own opinions now, 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: If you're tracking baby development by week, you've probably noticed they've 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. They might look at a ball, remember how it moves, then push it. They're even able to set goals for themselves, 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, now is a good 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'll may happily tip over wastebaskets. Though it's tiring for you to constantly clean up after them, 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 at least 20% 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. If given the chance, they might take a toothbrush and run it across their gums or teeth or try combing their 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. 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; this exchange is building self-esteem.

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 the toy again. 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 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

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 important 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 big improvements week by week.

Week 48: Your baby may or may not be walking yet, but they're certainly trying to get around. They may cruise on furniture or hold your hands while taking steps. This is a major milestone, though babies may take that first unassisted step at 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

Week 49: There's a flip side to your baby's newfound independence: insecurity. They realize that by doing things on their own, they're a separate entity from you. 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. It's helpful to stick to a consistent bedtime routine to signal it's time for sleep. For instance, during their last feeding, hold them in your arms 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. 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 similar. 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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