Baby Milestones Up To 1 Year
As soon as your baby arrives, you will be wondering how they will develop over the coming months and years. The anticipation of the baby’s “firsts” is something that parents all over the world await with excitement. From the first cry, first smile to step, these small gestures melt every parent’s heart. Above all, these are the indication that the baby is growing healthy and happy. Although firsts like first words, first step, or first tooth come at a later stage, the first year of a baby is also filled with many important milestones the baby achieves.
These milestones are divided into different categories, like motor skills, movements, response, etc. Since the first-year sets pace for the baby’s future development, these small milestones are crucial. Here are a few milestones that the baby achieves as he moves towards his first birthday:
Milestones from 0-3 months
Most parents think that the first three months of the baby are all about feeding, sleeping, pooping. Well, it’s almost true. However, the list of milestones begins as soon as baby is born – for instance, rooting, latching and sucking during breastfeeding, or the fast jerking movements of hands and feet. These seemingly small gestures are actually signals of big milestones.
Some of the motor skills to look out for:
• While lying on tummy, pushes up on arms
• While lying on tummy, lifts and holds head up
• Able to move fists from closed to open
• Able to bring hands to mouth
• Moves legs and arms off of surface when excited
Some of the communication milestones to look out for:
• While lying on back, attempts to reach for a toy held above their chest
• While lying on back, visually tracks a moving toy from side to side
• While lying on back, keeps head centered to watch faces or toys
• Able to calm with rocking, touching, and gentle sounds
• Enjoys a variety of movements
As your baby crosses the 3 months mark, you will notice some notable changes. For instance, he will be able to hold his head without support for a short time or she will be able to follow an object with her eyes. Excitingly, your baby will starts recognizing people – such you, partners and their siblings, and will often smile and coo at their sight.
Motor skills to watch out for:
• rolls over from front to back at about 4 to 6 months
• can lift their head and chest when on their tummy by 4 months
• will lift and wave their arms and legs about when on their tummy
• begins to discover their hands belong to them, and plays with their fingers at about 3 to 4 months
• grabs and plays with their toes when lying on their back at about 4 to 5 months
• can hold objects for a short time at 3 to 4 months
• brings toys and objects you put in their hand up to their mouth
• swipes at dangling objects at 3 to 4 months, but usually misses
• sits when being held by their hands. May sit for a short time on their own from 5 months.
• grabs for toys at around 5 months
• can support their own weight when stood on their feet (don’t do this too often – it doesn’t mean they’re ready to walk)
• grabs at hair, glasses and so on when you hold them.
Communication milestones to watch out for:
• coos and gurgles with pleasure by 3 to 6 months
• begins babbling and then listening at around 3 to 4 months
• ‘talks’ to toys at around 5 to 6 months
• turns their head towards sounds by 3 to 6 months.
As your baby reaches the 6-month mark, they will let their presence be known in a room! Your baby will start trying to grab different things – so be aware of small objects around baby, as baby’s love to put everything into their mouths. Baby will also master the ability to roll on their back from the tummy as well, so again keep an eye out for safety as they can roll fast! You’ll also notice that baby will start to recognise their name and react when you call it out.
Motor skills to watch out for:
At some time during these 4 months your baby will be able to:
• roll over, front to back and back to front
• sit alone for a few moments when you put them into a sitting position, then manage to sit by themself without falling over
• do push ups when on their tummy – lift their head and chest off the floor and support themself on outstretched arms
• start to move while on their tummy, first ‘commando’ style, pulling themself along on their arms, then crawl on all fours
• reach for a rattle and shake it
• swap a toy from one hand to the other
• find their feet, play with them and put them in their mouth.
Communication and language skills to watch out for:
• Your baby enjoys making sounds and knows that they have made them.
• Your baby will try different sounds, like clicks, lip bubbles and raspberries, as well as word-like sounds, and copy sounds you make.
• Your baby will use lots of different sounds to express different emotions, such as frustrated grunts, squeals and giggles.
• Your baby will listen to you carefully when you speak to them, and will talk back to you using babbling sounds.
• Your baby will probably be putting a vowel and a consonant together, as in ‘muum’ or ‘bubbub’.
• Your baby might say ‘ma-ma-ma’ because they can, but they don’t know that this sound is a word that can be used for their mother. These sounds will be repeated as baby works out how to make the noises.
As baby reaches their first birthday you’ll notice a growth sputter. Physical activity is the big main difference – baby will not only be able to sit up, but will now be able to do so by themselves from a crawling or lying position. Your baby will also start to begin to pull themselves up into standing with support. Some babies start crawling at this age, whilst others may bottom shuffle or some will take their time with getting moving. Their communication skills also shine – you’ll find they love games such as Peak-a-boo and will squeal with surprise! Many babies won’t make any meaningful sounding words for a much longer time yet. Most babies this age respond to simple verbal requests. Your baby might become skilled at various gestures, such as shaking his or her head no or waving bye-bye. Expect your baby’s babbling to take on new inflection and evolve to words such as “dada” and “mama.” You might hear certain exclamations, such as “uh-oh!”
Physical & motor skills:
• Turn in a circle when sitting.
• Twist to pick up objects.
• Stand by flexing his knees and pushing off from a squat.
• Walk while holding on to furniture.
• Walk when supported by both hands.
• Crawl up stairs.
• Crawl very well.
• Use the tip of the index finger and thumb to pick up small items.
• Put objects in and take them out of containers.
• Point, poke, touch, and pry with the index finger.
• Place one block on top of another.
• Give objects to another person, if asked.
• Hold and try to use a spoon.
• Chew small pieces of food.
Watching your baby grow is the most beautiful feeling ever. And now that you know of the milestones, you can enjoy and cherish the small moments even more!