Advice Column, Bennetts, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

Developmental Milestones Your Baby’s First Year

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

Birth

Head

  • No Control of head movement.

Hands

  • Hands are closed and palmar and plantar grasp reflexes are present.

Visuals

  • Eyes close in response to bright light.

6 Weeks

Head

  • 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.

Hands

  • Places hand in mouth and can make tight fists.

Visuals

  • Looks at faces or objects placed within the direct field of vision and may follow slow moving objects within 90°.

Hearing

  • Responds to sounds by calming, startling or crying.
  • May turn head to the source of the sound.

Speech

  • Starts making “cooing” sounds.

Recognition and expressions

  • Begins to smile in response to a familiar face or voice.

3 Months

Head

  • Can lift head when lying in a prone position, very little head lag.

Hands

  • Spends much time inspecting hands.
  • Hands are held loosely.
  • Grasp objects that are placed in the hands.

Visual

  • Follows objects moving up to 180° in the field of vision.

Hearing

  • Starts to recognise and look at the source of sounds.

Speech and expressions

  • Smiles spontaneously.
  • Develops facial expressions to show basic emotions.
  • Recognises and responds to parents.

Gross motor

  • 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

  • Supports head and can move head.

Hands

  • Reaches for and grasps objects.
  • Transfers objects from hand to hand.
  • Starts holding a bottle.
  • Places objects in mouth.

Visual

  • Can move eyes in all directions.

Hearing

  • Responds vocally when spoken to.

Speech

  • Uses sounds, such as moaning, squealing or laughing, to express emotions.
  • Uses repetitive monosyllabic sounds, like “baba”.

Recognition and expressions

  • Recognises toys.
  • Recognises self in a mirror and responds to own name.

Gross motor

  • 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

Hands

  • Can pick up, shake and drop small objects.
  • Begins to grasp food and place it in the mouth.
  • Holds a bottle.
  • Begins to point.

Speech

  • Starts imitating sounds.

Recognition and expressions

  • Recognises their own name.
  • Nervous around strangers.

Gross motor

  • 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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