Growth and Development

These are the growth and development milestones for an average baby in his or her first year of life.

First Month

  • At birth baby can hear, smell, feel, taste, and can best see objects that are eight to ten inches away.
  • Baby will be awake only for brief periods of time.
  • Baby's arm and leg movements are jerky, controlled mostly by reflexes.
  • Baby will keep hands fisted and can only lift her head briefly.

Second Month

  • When lying on his stomach, baby can hold his head at a 45° angle for a few seconds.
  • Baby begins to turn his head to look for sounds.
  • Baby begins to stay awake for longer periods during the day.
  • Baby may begin smiling.

Third Month

  • Baby follows slowly moving objects with her eyes.
  • Baby vocalizes by cooing and gurgling.
  • Baby begins to cry less frequently.
  • Baby continues to straighten out her body and will move her arms and legs vigorously.

Fourth Month

  • Baby becomes much more social this month and may start laughing.
  • When on his stomach, baby can hold his head up well and pushes up on his arms.
  • Baby may begin "batting" and kicking at toys.
  • Baby's eyesight has improved and baby can focus at different distances.

Fifth Month

  • Baby becomes more active this month and begins reaching for objects.
  • Baby can sit when propped up or leaning back on something.
  • Baby begins rolling from stomach to back.
  • Baby is very interested in making new sounds and blowing "raspberries."

Sixth Month

  • Baby will begin to sit more upright, but may still need support.
  • Baby will begin rolling from back to stomach.
  • Baby may begin transferring objects from hand to hand.
  • Baby may begin babbling a string of sounds together.

Seventh Month

  • Baby may begin to sit alone steadily for several minutes.
  • Baby may begin pushing up on hands and knees, and rocking back and forth.
  • Baby begins banging objects.
  • Baby enjoys exploring her body with her mouth and hands, and may like chewing on her toes.

Eighth Month

  • Baby may begin crawling, either backward or forward.
  • Baby may clap or wave "bye-bye."
  • Baby may be babbling "ma-ma" and "da-da."
  • Baby begins to develop his "pincher" grasp, using his thumb and forefinger.

Ninth Month

  • Baby begins pulling to a stand, but may have trouble getting back down.
  • Baby enjoys crawling up stairs.
  • Baby knows her name and turns her head when she hears it.
  • Baby is beginning to understand simple words like "No" and "Stop!"

Tenth Month

  • Baby may begin "cruising" furniture.
  • When holding onto furniture, baby may stoop or squat to pick up a toy.
  • Baby may begin "walking" if both hands are held.
  • Baby enjoys listening to rhymes and songs.

Eleventh Month

  • Baby may begin to stand alone.
  • Baby says "ma-ma" and "da-da" correctly.
  • Baby may begin to show her temper.
  • Baby may not want to lie still to be changed.

Twelfth Month

  • Baby may start using one word correctly besides "ma-ma" and "da-da."
  • Baby may begin responding to simple requests like giving up a toy when asked.
  • Baby makes you very aware of his likes and dislikes.
  • Baby may take a few steps alone. A few babies will be walking now.


From Baby's First Year Calendar

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