- All babies develop at their own rate, so don’t worry too much if your baby isn’t hitting milestones exactly on time.
- By month two, your baby should be able to briefly lift his or her head and shoulders off the ground.
- If you notice your baby drooling more than usual and gumming objects around month four, your little one may be getting ready to grow his or her first tooth.
- As you enter month five, your little one’s hand-eye coordination is continuing to improve, allowing him or her to transfer an object from one hand to the other.
- By month nine, your baby may start to crawl or scoot their body across the room on their stomach, so if you haven’t babyproofed yet, do so immediately.
- As you approach twelve months, your baby will soon be taking his or her first steps—though some babies don’t begin walking until thirteen to fifteen months.
From the first time your new little one locks their eyes with yours, all the way to their first steps—your baby’s first year is full of developmental milestones. Watching your baby grow and learn new things is one of the most exciting and fulfilling moments as a new parent.
Though all babies develop at their own rate, there are some general guidelines as to when your new little one should be hitting his or her milestones. Use this month-by-month guide in order to prepare for the new and exciting “firsts” your baby will be doing this year.
Your baby’s vision isn’t fully developed yet. He or she sees objects and people best when they are eight to 12 inches away, so feel free to look at your baby closely while nursing or rocking him or her. Your little one will communicate with you entirely by crying, but you will soon learn his or her “hunger” cry from a “tired” or “bored” cry.
As your little one reaches his or her first month, their hearing has become fully developed. Because of this, your baby will soon begin responding to familiar sounds, such as turning their head toward your voice. Your baby has been hard at work strengthening their neck muscles, which will allow him or her to briefly lift their neck off of the ground or your shoulder.
“Tummy time” will help your baby as he or she continues to develop their neck and shoulder muscles. During the second month, your baby should be able to briefly lift his or her head and shoulders off the ground. As your little one becomes more familiar with their new world, he or she will be able to be comforted by touch and by the sound of familiar voices. During this month, your new baby will also begin to smile, making all of the sleepless nights during the first two months worth it.
Your little one is getting ready to roll over by doing “mini push ups,” where he or she will raise their arms, shoulders and upper torso up with their hands. His or her hands, which once were moved uncontrollably, can now be opened and closed and you will soon discover that no close objects are safe as your baby grabs for them. Your baby’s vision has also improved, allowing him or her to lock eyes with yours and follow you across the room.
If you notice your baby drooling more than usual and gumming objects, your little one may be getting ready to grow his or her first tooth, which can show up anytime from four to seven months.
Your little one’s hand-eye coordination is continuing to improve, allowing him or her to transfer an object from one hand to the other. Your baby’s grasp may even allow them to hold a bottle of pumped breastmilk or formula during feedings. Your little one may be able to roll from their stomach to their back, preparing their muscles for sitting up and crawling.
Sitting up will bring a new world of independence and excitement to your little one’s life. His or her smile is well-developed by now and the sweet baby giggles that are beginning to emerge will soon have everyone in your family doing crazy antics to prompt them from your baby.
Playing “peekaboo” is probably a favorite game of your little one by month seven, as he or she realizes that a partially hidden object is still there when it’s hidden. He or she can recognize tone, which can prompt some tears when being told “no.” If you lift your little one on his or her legs, they should be able to bear weight on them, strengthening them for the crawling and walking that will happen all-too-soon.
It’s a good idea to acquire some simple, wooden puzzles for your little one to try as he or she can now distinguish different shapes. If he or she hasn’t already, your little one should be able to roll from their back to their stomach and attempt to sit up from a lying down position, preparing their muscles for crawling.
It’s no longer possible to hide an object behind your back or under a blanket, as your little one learns about “object permanence.” During the ninth month, your baby may start to crawl or scoot their body across the room on their stomach. If you haven’t babyproofed yet, do so immediately as your little one’s mobility and curiosity can lead to trouble.
Not only is your little one beginning to understand some words, such as “no,” “milk” or “Mama,” his or her first word may not be too far off. Most babies typically say “Mama” or “Dada” as their first word, though your little one may surprise you with a different word. He or she is developing their pincer grasp, which is the ability to pick up an object between the thumb and finger.
If you walk into your little one’s room to discover that they’ve pulled themselves up to a standing position during this month, make sure your lower the mattress to a safe level to prevent an accident from occurring. Your baby’s language skills will continue to develop as he or she understands and says more words. Your baby may also begin pointing to familiar objects or things that he or she wants, such as a snack or sippy cup.
Your baby will soon be taking his or her first steps, though some babies don’t begin walking until thirteen to fifteen months. Encourage him or her to walk assisted in your hands or along the couch as they strengthen their leg muscles. As your little one nears his or her first year, he or she will begin to understand simple one-step commands and continue to develop their language skills.
The first year of your newborn’s life will fly by as he or she grows and develops. Take the time to enjoy each new stage and don’t worry too much if your baby isn’t hitting milestones exactly on time. Your baby will develop at his or her own pace and will be off and running before you know it.