First Year Baby Milestones by Month

Your baby's first year is full of developmental milestones. Here, we've broken down those milestones month by month.

Baby Monthly Milestones
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Photo: Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Your baby's first year will be full of first wonders, first adventures, and of course, those much anticipated first milestones like laughing, walking, and saying their first word.

It is natural to wonder what your baby should be doing each month, but remember, every child develops and grows at their own pace. If your child is hitting some milestones earlier and others later, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong. Make sure your baby goes to all of their well-child visits, and talk to your doctor about their development and any concerns or questions you might have.

Read on to learn about the biggest baby milestones by month and what you can expect to see your baby doing.

01 of 12

1 Month Milestones

One Month Baby Milestones
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Welcome to the world, little one! Your baby's first few weeks will involve plenty of eating, sleeping, pooping, and snuggling.

Around 1 month, your baby will:

  • Spend more time awake
  • Communicate through crying
  • Focus on objects 8 to 14 inches away
  • Recognize your voice
  • Enjoy staring at your face
  • Enjoy hearing your voice
  • They might cross their eyes sometimes
  • They might make funny faces
02 of 12

2 Month Milestones

baby on floor looking at mirror
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

If your baby hasn't begun already, now is a great time to introduce tummy time to start working on those muscles!

Around 2 months, your baby will:

  • Develop limited body control
  • Lift their head 45 degrees during tummy time
  • Flash a gummy smile that travels to their eyes
  • Suck on hands or feet
  • Track objects with their eyes
  • Recognize their caregivers' faces
  • Begin to enjoy colors, textures, and high-pitched sounds
03 of 12

3 Month Milestones

3 Month Baby Milestone
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Babies gain plenty of strength during their third month of life—especially in the upper body.

Around 3 months, your baby will:

  • Hold their head upright
  • Bring hands together
  • Begin babbling and laughing
  • Gain strength in core and extremities
  • Develop better arm control
04 of 12

4 Month Milestones

4 Month Baby Milestone
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

The biggest 4-month milestone: Rolling over! Sometime around the 4-month mark, your baby will begin rolling over as a precursor to crawling and sitting.

Around 4 months, your baby will:

  • Start entertaining themselves
  • Start reaching for new things
  • Have substantially improved eyesight (probably 20/40 or 20/50)
  • Love watching their reflection
05 of 12

5 Month Milestones

5 Month Baby Milestones
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Your baby will probably put everything in their mouth by month five. Make sure your baby is surrounded by baby-safe toys and objects since they'll be rolling and possibly "army crawling" around. They'll also recognize their name and basic words, although speech is still a few months away.

Around 5 months, your baby will:

  • Keep reaching for new objects, and put them in their mouth
  • Roll
  • Possibly "army crawl"
  • Have movement that becomes more fluid
  • Recognize their name and some basic words
  • Make more eye-contact
06 of 12

6 Month Milestones

6 Month Baby Milestone
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

A 6-month-old baby can likely sit up with assistance, and it's possible they'll creep or crawl (crawling typically starts anywhere between 6 months and 10 months). Your baby will likely love different textures and may pull items toward themselves with a "raking grasp."

Around 6 months, your baby will:

  • Begin exploring different textures with their hands
  • Use a "raking grasp" to pull objects closer
  • Begin to have separation anxiety
  • Continue to develop their eyesight
07 of 12

7 Month Milestones

7 Month Baby Milestone
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

When you hold a 7-month-old baby upright, they may bear weight on their legs.

Around 7 months, your baby will:

  • Roll from tummy to back and vice versa
  • Sit up with no support
  • Crawl or be learning to crawl
  • Show delight at spending time with friends and family
  • Babble and mimic sounds
  • Love to play
08 of 12

8 Month Milestones

8 Month Baby Milestone
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Many 8-month-old babies can really cruise across the floor, so keep choking hazards out of reach.

Around 8 months, your baby will:

  • Begin to store memories
  • Recognize objects and know how to use them
  • Stand up without assistance
  • Begin to use a pincer grasp
  • Pay closer attention to speech
  • Begin saying simple words like "mama"
09 of 12

9 Month Milestones

10 Month Baby Milestones
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Not only will your baby be navigating the house, but they'll also be picking everything up, thanks to their newfound pincer grasp. This movement lets your baby grab things with the thumb and forefinger. They'll also continue mimicking your sounds and actions.

Around 9 months, your baby will:

  • Cruise
  • Pull to stand
  • Try to imitate simple words
  • Follow simple instructions
  • Say "no" by shaking their head
10 of 12

10 Month Milestones

10 Month Baby Milestone
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Many babies take their first steps between 9 and 12 months (though later is still considered healthy), so be prepared for plenty of falls. A 10-month-old baby also understands object permanence, the concept that objects still exist when they can't be seen.

Around 10 months, your baby will:

  • Stand independently
  • Possibly take a few steps
  • Adopt an "elephant crawl"
  • Begin dropping objects from their highchair on purpose to watch you retrieve
  • Love playing with toys that do things (like pushing buttons, turning dials, etc.)
11 of 12

11 Month Milestones

11 Month Baby Milestones
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

At 11 months, your baby may cruise while holding onto furniture or your hands. Their dexterity encourages them to pick up everything within reach, and they enjoy reading stories with their caregivers.

Around 11 months, your baby will:

  • Possibly be walking (between 11 and 16 months)
  • Use gestures to communicate—or even sign language
  • Recognize more words
  • Use a sippy cup
  • Point to objects they want
  • Begin to show preferences (people, toys, foods, etc.)
12 of 12

12 Month Milestones

baby playing with shape sorter
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Happy first birthday! Many babies start saying simple words, like "mama" or "dada," around 12 months. They'll also keep developing their gross and fine motor skills.

Around 12 months, your baby will:

  • Be proficient at crawling, cruising, and maybe toddling
  • Have a mature pincer grasp and can hold objects as small as a cheerio
  • Remember where objects are hidden
  • Experiment with objects by banging, dropping, shaking, and hitting
  • Experienced increased separation anxiety

The first year of baby milestones is a time of wonder and surprise as your little one gains strength, masters new skills, and develops a curiosity about the world around them. Encourage your baby's continued development by playing, reading aloud, building consistent routines, and offering loving support. Talk to your doctor about your baby's development and bring up any questions or concerns that you may have.

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