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What to expect within the First 12 months of Your Baby What to expect within the First 12 months of Your Baby
From helpless newborn to active toddler: It takes just 12 short months for your baby to undergo this incredible transformation. Babies grow and change... What to expect within the First 12 months of Your Baby

From helpless newborn to active toddler: It takes just 12 short months for your baby to undergo this incredible transformation. Babies grow and change at an astounding pace, and every month brings new and exciting developments.

New moms and dads often wonder what to expect next and how to know if their baby’s development is on target. Instead of focusing too much on developmental milestones, however, it’s important to remember that babies all develop at their own pace. There’s a fairly wide “window” for when it is normal for a baby to reach a particular developmental stage.

This table shows common developmental milestones that babies reach each month during their first year, in four major categories. Keep in mind that all babies are different and every baby grows at his own pace. There’s no precise time that most of these skills first appear. If your child hasn’t reached a milestone by the month it is listed on this chart, it is usually a perfectly normal variation in child development. Watch for progress, not deadlines.

1 month

Moves head from side to side when on stomach

Strong grip

Stares at hands and fingers

Tracks movement with eyes

2 months

Holds head and neck up briefly while on tummy

Opens and closes hands

Begins to play with fingers

Smiles responsively

3 months

Reaches and grabs at objects

Grips objects in hands

Coos

Imitates you when you stick out your tongue

4 months

Pushes up on arms when lying on tummy

Grabs objects — and gets them!

Laughs out loud

Enjoys play and may cry when playing stops

5 months

Begins to roll over in one or the other direction

Is learning to transfer objects from one hand to the other

Blows “raspberries” (spit bubbles)

Reaches for mommy or daddy and cries if they’re out of sight

6 months

Rolls over both ways

Uses hands to “rake” small objects

Babbles

Recognizes familiar faces –caregivers and friends as well as family

7 months

Moves around –is starting to crawl, scoot, or “army crawl”

Is learning to use thumb and fingers

Babbles in a more complex way

Responds to other people’s expressions of emotion

8 months

Sits well without support

Begins to clap hands

Responds to familiar words, looks when you say his name

Plays interactive games like peekaboo

9 months

May try to climb/crawl up stairs

Uses the pincer grasp

Learns object permanence — that something exists even if he can’t see it

Is at the height of stranger anxiety

10 months

Pulls up to stand

Stacks and sorts toys

Waves bye-bye and/or lifts up arms to communicate “up”

Learns to understand cause and effect (“I cry, Mommy comes”)

11 months

Cruises, using furniture

Turns pages while you read

Says “mama” or “dada” for either parent

Uses mealtime games (dropping spoon, pushing food away) to test your reaction; expresses food preferences

12 months

Stands unaided and may take first steps

Helps while getting dressed (pushes hands into sleeves)

Says an average of 2-3 words (often “mama” and “dada”)

Plays imitative games such as pretending to use the phone

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