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Mini Milestones: A Look at Your Baby's First Year


The first year of your baby’s life can be a wonderful journey in discovery and a period of many firsts. During this time, you’ll witness your baby’s first smile, her first tummy roll, her first teeth and her first adventures in crawling. This year, your baby will make headway in many departments, from social interactions and language development to large motor responses and hand-eye coordination. Exciting times await, and as you count down to your little one’s first birthday, you can expect to uncover developments every single month.Baby Milestones to Expect This YearMonthMilestonesMonth 1

  • Momentarily lifts head
  • Turns head while lying down
  • Clenches hands
  • Focuses on moving objects within a range of 45 degrees
  • Responds to voices
  • Cries to display discontent
  • Makes soft gurgles
  • Engages and makes eye contact in response to verbal communication

Month 2

  • Raises head at a 45 degree angle while lying on belly
  • Tips head forward while seated with support
  • Observes and follows moving objects
  • Tries to decipher sound sources
  • Exhibits different calls for different needs
  • Responds to familiar voices
  • Smiles in response to an array of stimuli

Month 3

  • Raises head between a 45 and 90 degree angle while lying on belly
  • Becomes capable of holding head up without support, but still tips forward
  • Observes and follows moving objects across a 180 degree arc
  • Begins to decipher sound sources
  • Smiles and responds to familiar faces
  • Starts to be comfortable with bearing weight on legs while held upright
  • Pulls blankets and garments within reach
  • Makes an assortment of sounds
  • Demonstrates an understanding of unfamiliar situations

Month 4

  • Raises head and chest to a 90 degree angle while resting on belly
  • Bears weight on legs while held upright
  • Begins to drool
  • Exhibits decent head control
  • Sits when supported
  • Rolls over sideways when lying on back
  • Begins to explore playing with hands
  • Attempts to reach for objects with both hands but misses the mark
  • Demonstrates hand-eye coordination
  • Makes consonant sounds
  • Laughs for the first time
  • Likes being cradled, swung and bounced

Month 5

  • Demonstrates first signs of teething
  • Holds head upright while seated
  • Flips over from belly to back
  • Enjoys putting toes in mouth when laying on back
  • Successfully reaches for objects
  • Instinctively inserts objects in mouth
  • Makes sounds that contain vowels and consonants
  • Smiles at reflection
  • Demonstrates discontent at having a toy taken away
  • Can distinguish between family and strangers
  • Begins to show awareness about different parts of the body

Month 6

  • Attempts to chew and bite
  • Attempts to lift chest and part of belly with the hands while laying face-down
  • Lifts head when seated upright
  • Rolls over from back to belly
  • Holds large part of own weight while standing
  • Grasps and shows control over small toys and objects
  • Navigates angles to see a person or object
  • Responds to and appreciates complex visual stimuli
  • Makes one-syllable words like ‘da’, ‘ma’, ‘du’ and ‘mi’
  • Capable of recognising parents and close family

Month 7

  • Sits without assistance
  • Supports entire weight on feet
  • Bounces while held upright
  • Able to support weight one-handed while lying on belly
  • Moves toys and objects between hands
  • Enjoys banging toys on hard surfaces
  • Demonstrates fascination for small objects
  • Recognises name
  • Begins to show awareness of depth, distance and space
  • Develops preferences in taste
  • Attempts to ‘talk’ when hearing others talking

Month 8

  • Sits comfortably without assistance
  • Supports entire weight on feet and learns to stand independently with support
  • Alters position to reach for toys and objects
  • Uses index, ring and little fingers to pick up objects
  • Releases grasp of objects
  • Exhibits selective understanding of words
  • Begins constructing short consonant-vowel words like ‘dada’ and ‘mama’, without understanding their significance
  • Displays understanding of the word ‘no’ but does not always respond appropriately
  • Displays displeasure at having to have diaper and clothes changed

Month 9

  • Starts to crawl
  • Pulls up independently to a standing position
  • Sits for extended periods
  • Begins to favour one hand over the other
  • Uses index finger and thumb to pick up objects
  • Displays understanding of basic commands
  • Displays deeper understanding of the word ‘no’
  • Exhibits an eagerness to oblige parents
  • Covers face with arms to escape having it cleaned

Month 10

  • Tips over independently from belly to sitting position
  • Learns to sit by falling
  • Regains balance comfortably while seated
  • Lifts one foot to attempt walking while standing
  • Understands basic greetings like ‘hi’ and ‘bye’
  • Begins to connect words like ‘dada’ and ‘mama’ to their meaning
  • Waves farewell
  • Learns to repeat actions that garner attention
  • Enjoys engaging and interactive games
  • Enjoys and follows along with picture books

Month 11

  • Walks by clinging to furniture and fixed objects
  • Stacks objects into a vessel or container
  • Turns to reach for objects while seated
  • Becomes fascinated with objects and explores them in greater depth
  • Pries objects out of corners and tight spaces
  • Throws or rolls a ball when guided
  • Demonstrates delight at accomplishing simple tasks
  • Demonstrates displeasure when told ‘no’
  • Shakes head in disfavour

Month 12

  • Attempts first steps independently
  • Walks with support
  • Sits down from standing position unassisted
  • Turns pages in a storybook
  • Maintains eye contact with rapidly moving objects
  • Demonstrates a vocabulary of three or more words beyond ‘dada’ and ‘mama’
  • Understands and responds to several words
  • Repeats the same words cyclically
  • Mimics common animal sounds
  • Recognises names of common objects
  • Follows basic verbal commands
  • Exhibits affection
  • Shows independence in familiar environment
  • Seeks comfort from parents in unfamiliar environments
  • Learns to search for toys and objects in places they were last seen

It is imperative to note that every baby is unique and will differ slightly in meeting these developmental milestones. While it is important to give your baby time to catch up to age-appropriate yardsticks, it may be a good idea to speak to a paediatrician to clear your mind and rule out developmental delays if you feel burdened or worried. As you go along this ride, remember to immerse yourself in each moment and celebrate the little and the big firsts with equal gusto. A few delays here and there will not matter in the long run. What will, are these experiences that you will never have back.

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