Advice Column, Baby, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby, Recently


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  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby, Recently

Caring for an infant can be exhausting, but there’s so much to look forward to. Take a tour of first-year “firsts” with WebMD’s guide to the most anticipated baby milestones.

During the first year of life, your baby will grow and develop at an amazing speed. While caring for an infant can be exhausting during this period, there is so much to look forward to. 

Here are the development milestones that your baby will reach in their first year:

At Birth

Head, Hands and Visuals

At birth, your baby will:

  • Have no control of head movement.
  • You would notice that baby’s hands are closed and palmar and plantar grasp reflexes are present.
  • Baby is able to close their eyes in response to bright light.

6 Weeks

Head, Hands, Visuals, Hearing, Speech, Recognition and expressions

  • Has a moderate amount of control over the head, particularly while lying on stomach, bust still demonstrates head lag when gently pulled up into a sitting position.
  • Places hand in mouth and can make tight fists.
  • Looks at faces or objects placed within the direct field of vision and may follow slow moving objects within 90°.
  • Responds to sounds by calming, startling or crying.
  • May turn head to the source of the sound.
  • Starts making “cooing” sounds.
  • Begins to smile in response to a familiar face or voice.

3 Months

Head, Hands, Visuals, Hearing, Speech, Recognition, expressions and Gross Motor

  • Can lift head when lying in a prone position, very little head lag.
  • Spends much time inspecting hands.
  • Hands are held loosely.
  • Grasp objects that are placed in the hands.
  • Follows objects moving up to 180° in the field of vision.
  • Starts to recognise and look at the source of sounds.
  • Smiles spontaneously.
  • Develops facial expressions to show basic emotions.
  • Recognises and responds to parents.
  • Can lift upper body with forearms when lying on stomach.
  • Demonstrates controlled leg movements lick kicking and stretching.
  • Begins to demonstrate standing reflex, (pushing down on a surface with legs when held up).

6 Months

Head, Hands, Visuals, Hearing, Speech, Recognition, expressions and Gross Motor

  • Supports head and can move head.
  • Reaches for and grasps objects.
  • Transfers objects from hand to hand.
  • Starts holding a bottle.
  • Places objects in mouth.
  • Can move eyes in all directions.
  • Responds vocally when spoken to.
  • Uses sounds, such as moaning, squealing or laughing, to express emotions.
  • Uses repetitive monosyllabic sounds, like “baba”.
  • Recognises toys.
  • Recognises self in a mirror and responds to own name.
  • Can support upper body with hands when lying on stomach.
  • Sits when supported.
  • Rolls over.
  • Legs can support the body when held in a standing position.

9 Months

Head, Hands, Visuals, Speech, Recognition, expressions and Gross Motor

  • Can pick up, shake and drop small objects.
  • Begins to grasp food and place it in the mouth.
  • Holds a bottle.
  • Begins to point.
  • Starts imitating sounds.
  • Recognises their own name.
  • Nervous around strangers.
  • Sits without support.
  • Crawls on stomach and then on hands and knees.
  • Starts to pull body into a standing position.

1 Year

  • Begins to understand and respond to words like “no”and “bye bye”.
  • Walks with support.
  • Speaks up to 4 words.
  • Can perform gestures such as waving goodbye, pointing or shaking the head.
  • Plays with and makes sounds at toys.
  • Begins to throw objects.
  • Searches for hidden or fallen toys.
  • Helps to dress self.
  • Shows social preference.

*These milestones are only given as an approximate as to when your baby might start doing certain things, as all babies develop differently. If you are concerned about your baby’s development, please consult with your healthcare professional. 

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