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The Lowdown of First Year’s Baby Development Milestones

Mother to a teenage stepson, a young daughter and a newborn.. I am taking one step at a time.

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Being a mother to 3 kids, I absolutely love the time when they are a baby (though I missed the newborn period for my stepson ;)). With my newborn still sound asleep in her cradle, I could finally take the time to pen down this article. As of now, she is in month 4! So to all mothers out there, especially first-time mums, keep track of your baby's development as time flies really fast!

All You Need to Know About Baby Development in the First Year

A baby’s first year can go by very quickly. In just 12 short months your newborn will undergo numerous changes in that first year. They will go from crying little bundles wrapped in a blanket, to a little toddler, who can recognize and respond to the environment around them.

One thing that is used to track a baby’s development is by using milestones. Now, remember every baby is different in the timing of when they will achieve these milestones. Some achieve milestones quicker than others. There is no need to be concerned, but if you feel that your little one is lagging then it is best to speak to your Pediatrician. Another note is that months are measured by the due date, not by birthday. For example, if you're little one couldn’t wait and decided to come early, then they could possibly be a month behind in achieving these milestones.

Baby Development Chart by Month

Here is a chart that you can use to track your baby’s progress:

Month 1

  • Stares and makes eye contact
  • Reacts to parent’s voices
  • Lift head while lying on stomach
  • Equal movement with feet and hands
  • Begins to vocalize
  • May follow objects with eyes

Month 2

  • Finds hands
  • Can briefly grasp and hold objects that are placed in their hand
  • Able to hold head up for a short period
  • Starts to smile and laugh
  • Gets more vocal
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Month 3

  • Holds head
  • Can imitate some facial expressions
  • Hands and everything else starts to go in the mouth (where they will be for a while)
  • Bubble blowing
  • Recognizes parents faces
  • Can lift head and shoulders while lying on stomach
  • Starts to use arms to support the upper body when lying on stomach

Month 4

  • Reaches to you or to things
  • Uses both arms simultaneously
  • Grabs toys
  • Can bring hands together
  • Coos back when spoken to
  • Rolls over from stomach to back
  • Starts to bear some weight on their legs
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Month 5

  • Responds by turning towards sounds and voices
  • Can roll over in both directions
  • When held in standing position will start to support body weight even more
  • Can move objects from one hand to the other
  • Plays with feet and hands
  • Reaches using one hand

Month 6

  • Can start to eat solid foods
  • Imitates sounds they hear
  • Can sit with little support
  • Begin sitting in a high chair
  • Teething (this can start as early as 4 months)
  • Enjoys hearing themselves
  • Communicates to themselves looking in a mirror
  • Starts to vocalize using sound, like one-syllable words
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Month 7

  • Recognizes their own name
  • Starts to use voice to express their mood (joyful or displeasure)
  • Starts to crawl (may start anywhere between 6 months to 10 months of age)
  • Social play
  • Brings objects towards them
  • Can locate hidden (partially) objects

Month 8

  • May start to say mama and dada (don’t worry which one they say first)
  • Stand with support
  • Points
  • Will turn away when full after eating
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Month 9

  • Begins walking using furniture as support
  • Uses a sippy cup
  • Uses fingers to eat
  • Starts to bang objects together
  • Starts to show separation anxiety when left away from parents
  • Forms words by combining syllables

Month 10

  • Waves
  • Should be eating well with fingers
  • Uses forefinger and thumb (pincer grip) to grip and pick up objects
  • Understands the meaning of “no”
  • Can say “Mama” and “Dada” to the right parent
  • Can start to stand unassisted momentarily
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Month 11

  • Begins to imitate
  • Learns to play peek-a-boo- and patty cake
  • Can indicate needs with gestures instead of crying
  • Claps

Month 12

  • Should say one other word besides “mama” and “dada”
  • Starts to pull off socks
  • May start to walk
  • May start to use objects as intended
  • “Uh-oh” and “Oh-no” are popular exclamations

Top 3 Cutest Baby Milestone Cards for That Special Moment

Looking for the perfect baby shower gift or just a gift in general for the parents to be? Baby milestone cards are a great idea. These cards give the ability for parents to not only track their baby’s development and milestones but also allows them to share the moment with loved ones.

Here is a list of the 3 cutest baby milestone cards that can be used for that big accomplishment.

1. The Original Baby Cards

The Original Baby Cards

Celebrate your little ones first year of milestones with this set of baby cards. The Original Baby Cards set comes with 30 cards and available in over 22 languages. Baby photo cards start catching memorable moments from Weeks 1-12 and then start going monthly from 4-12. Some of the cards that are included are slept through the night, smiled for the first time, and ate solid food just to name a few. When baby achieves a goal grab a card, mark the date, and start taking the photos that will capture that moment forever.

Also includes blank cards so that you may record any other memorable moments that are too good to miss.

2. Lovely Sprouts Premium Fleece Monthly Milestone Blanket

Now you don’t need to find the perfect backdrop. This set comes with a soft fleece blanket that measures 60”x40”. No need to worry about ironing out wrinkles or the fabric fading, because this blanket is made to last. This blanket can also be used daily either as for swaddling or just to lay around and have fun.

Lay your little one down and make notes of their accomplishments using cards marked “weeks” or month” and the numbers 1-12. The blanket will showcase you and your little one’s personality with a different accent each month. You can purchase the LovelySprouts Baby Journal separately. This journal will give you a journal that is coordinated in design so that you will be able to record all these important accomplishments.

3. Qleo Baby Milestone Blocks

The Qleo baby milestone blocks are the total package. These blocks can be used to as photography props all your baby's milestones for their first year and beyond. Grab your camera and capture that moment making sure to include the milestone blocks noting your little one’s achievement. But remember to share with loved ones as well. Grandparents love to be part of the occasion as well.

Summary

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It’s ok. Every parent becomes overly concerned at some point, especially during the first year. Life is a competition and it doesn’t exclude babies. Pediatricians use Growth Charts to track weight and length to see if your baby’s growth is in line with the average baby at the same age. If your baby doesn’t fare well with this test, like all three of mine did, it can lead to even more stress and concern, especially if your baby is failing to meet certain milestones.

But don’t worry. Continue to seek guidance from your pediatrician on these matters. The key is to understand that babies are all different. They develop at different rates, no matter what you do. Understand that infants and then toddlers are like sponges. They are retaining the things that you are showing them. When it all comes together, your little one will be ready to tackle the world and be better prepared for a successful future.