A baby’s first year is full of excitement and change, but what developments should you expect at which times?
If you’re a new mother, you may be wondering if your baby is reaching milestones too early or too late.
In this post, we’re breaking down the monthly changes you can look forward to.
First Month Baby Milestones
The first month is usually hectic, so we’re categorizing the changes by weeks.
- The rooting reflex: Most healthy babies have a reflex that makes them turn towards you when you touch their lip or cheek. When this happens, they usually suction their mouth, helping you to nurse and helping them find the bottle or breast. This is a baby’s built-in instinct to breastfeed.
- Can visually focus on items up to 15 inches away (that means she can focus on mom and dad’s face!)
- When on her tummy, she can lift her head a little.
- She’ll sleep—a lot. The first few days of life are tiring for a baby and you can expect her to go back to sleep soon after she’s woken up.
- Irregular breathing (with pauses between breaths) can be scary, but it’s normal. Of course, you should keep an eye out to make sure it isn’t a medical issue.
- Most babies lose weight in the days after birth, so don’t be alarmed. The extra fluid from labor will be lost, contributing to about a 10% decrease in their weight, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Around day 10, your baby should have regained their weight, equaling about the amount she was at birth.
- She may begin to fuss or eat more.
- Birthmarks may begin to appear.
- She should be able to stay awake for longer periods of time.
- She’s able to hear loud noises and cry to express hunger, discomfort, etc.
- She can lift her head for longer and may begin to turn it.
- You may notice her eyes following you when you move around.
- She may begin to cry more during this time.
- She can lift her head for a few minutes at a time.
- She’ll have more movement, such as being able to lift her hands or form them into fists.
- She can more clearly see about 18 inches in front of her.
Second Month Baby Milestones
At 2 months, you’ll notice your baby become more animated: She’s awake more often and is learning to recognize her family. Here’s what else you can expect:
- Your baby can hold a toy or gaze at it but doesn’t have the coordination to play with it yet.
- She can hold her head steadier, wobbling less.
- While she’s awake more often, she still won’t sleep in long stretches. You can expect her to lay down for 15-16 hours a day.
- You’ll notice she can smile and may be able to laugh, too.
- Although you’re feeding your baby more, she may poop less during this time as her bowels become further developed.
Third Month Baby Milestones
Three months in, your baby’s senses are developing and she may seem curious about people’s faces, bright objects or music. Here’s what else to expect:
- She’s able to turn head 90 degrees.
- She’s able to laugh and her noises/“words” are becoming better formed.
- Coordination is more developed and your baby may be able to rattle or snatch at toys.
- She should begin to sleep for longer periods of time—up to 7 hours at night.
- Thankfully, you should notice your baby crying less and trying to make sounds to communicate instead.
Fourth Month Baby Milestones
Your baby’s communication is more developed as she learns to express and read facial emotions. Here’s what else to look out for:
- Her weight is about twice what it was at birth.
- She can roll over and may be able to sit without help.
- Some babies are developed enough to stand while holding onto someone.
- Leg movement is more developed and you can expect kicking.
- Her noises are continuing to sound more like words.
- Babies love to put things in their mouths during this stage, so keep any choking hazards out of sight.
- While many doctors don’t recommend feeding her solids until month 6, some parents introduce them now.
Fifth Month Baby Milestones
While not all babies are the same, most sleep throughout the night at this stage. That means you’ll also get some extra sleep to enjoy the following milestones:
- Her hearing and vision are almost fully developed.
- She’s probably starting to talk a lot.
- She can sit up for longer periods of time.
- She’ll start trying to crawl soon, which means you’ll see her exercising her legs more.
- Her hands are getting stronger, so much so that she may be able to hold a bottle herself.
Sixth Month Baby Milestones
Your baby’s been growing quickly, but you can expect it to slow to about 1 pound per month now. Here’s what else is happening during the 6th month:
- She may get up on her hands and knees or begin rocking.
- Your doctor will recommend that you start introducing solids (if you haven’t already).
- She should be able to sit up in a highchair.
- She’ll start to show interest in new types of toys.
- Pay attention to her eye color: you may notice it’s changed since birth.
Seventh Month Baby Milestones
While your baby already is an excellent non-verbal communicator, she’s starting to learn the meaning of words during this time. Here’s what else to expect:
- Rolling from tummy to the back.
- Your baby will likely begin to crawl or scoot across the floor.
- Drooling and fussiness could be a cause of your baby teething.
- Around this time, you may start introducing more chunky foods.
Eight Month Baby Milestones
Your baby’s sleep schedule has gotten less chaotic with a morning and afternoon nap, leading to a good night’s rest for everyone. Here’s what else you can look forward to:
- Your baby’s noises will start forming words (including “mama” and “dada”).
- You may notice her clinging to you more or signs of separation anxiety.
- She may seem fearful of strangers or faces she doesn’t recognize.
- She’s more independent at mealtime; perhaps holding her cup or picking up food with her fingers.
- She may stand herself by using an object to help pull her up.
Ninth Month Baby Milestones
By nine months, most babies love to babble and try out new sounds and words. Here are more milestones you’ll experience this month:
- She should be crawling and able to switch positions (ex. from crawling to sitting).
- She’ll be coordinated enough to pick up smaller toys.
- She may start responding to commands and connecting words with meaning (such as “give me your toy”).
- If she hasn’t already, she may start showing signs of separation anxiety when you leave the room.
Tenth Month Baby Milestones
Your baby is becoming increasingly curious about the world, leading her to explore many different places within the home. Besides keeping a constant eye on the sneaky baby, here’s what else you can expect:
- You’ll have a good sense of her personality (outgoing, calm, etc.).
- Using her hands and furniture to guide her, she may begin to walk around a bit.
- Some babies transition from 2 naps to only 1 during this period.
- A few of her teeth have come in, so you can introduce more new foods.
Eleventh Month Baby Milestones
At 11 months, your baby may have reached the big milestone of standing (or, for some, even walking) by herself. Here are some other exciting moments to expect:
- She’ll start to mimic your actions, such as waving or talking on the phone.
- She may start climbing things like counters or railings, so always be on the lookout.
- She may start getting used to using a spoon instead of her fingers.
- Her repertoire of words is continuing to expand, both in her understanding of them and her ability to say them herself.
- Temper tantrums may begin during this time.
Twelfth Month Baby Milestones
While you may not notice the small changes each day, consider this: your baby’s weight has about tripled since birth. Here are more 12-month milestones:
- If she hasn’t already, she should be able to stand alone. Some babies have also taken their first steps.
- Her coordination has developed enough to start using simple items, such as a brush or phone.
- You’ll notice her sleeping more at night and increasingly less in the day.
- Although many mothers nurse past a year, if you want, you can start thinking about weaning your baby off at this time.
Tracking Baby Development At Home
Weighing your newborn can let you know if they’re receiving nutrients properly and developing as expected. Although your doctor will track your baby’s growth during check-ups, some parents also wish to keep their own records at home. This can ease anxiety about baby health, especially if you’re having trouble breastfeeding. Another reason is that if you track it in a journal or as a part of a baby book, it can be a keepsake.
Tracking your baby’s weight and height at home is easy using Baby Doppler’s Minimax Baby Scale Kit. It includes everything you need to get started: measuring tape, batteries, scale and a handy chart to see how your baby is progressing. The high precision sensors with the dipped design allow you to easily and safely track her weight between doctor’s visits.
Get your Baby Scale Kit for $69.95 today!
What has been the most exciting baby development for you so far? Comment below! If you have any new mom friends, be sure to share this post with them, too!