Fun Times Ahead! What to Expect with First-Year Developmental Milestones
You’ve spent months waiting for the big day, and now your baby is finally here. Let the fun begin!
Babies develop at an exciting rate during their first year of life, and it seems like every day there is a new “whoa!” or “oh my!” moment based on what your child is doing. That’s why one of my favorite things to talk about with parents is developmental milestones — and parents love sharing how their baby is progressing, too!
Developmental milestones are guidelines for us to determine how a child is growing and progressing. I always remind parents that these are benchmarks, and each child grows on their own timeline. The best way parents can help babies reach developmental milestones is to protect their baby’s health, focus on building your bond, and giving them plenty of love, interaction and encouragement.
Let’s explore all the exciting things parents can expect their babies to be doing throughout the first year of life:
Babies during this time tend to feed and sleep on repeat! By the end of the first month of life, I like to see babies:
- Have some alert periods where they are looking around
- React to loud noises
- Start focusing on faces
Mom tip: Remember that your baby’s protective immune system has been developing in utero, and now it’s ready to work. You can support your baby’s healthy growth and development by keeping a close eye on their digestive health because up to 80% of their immune system is their gut. A favorite product I recommend to my new parents is feeding their baby Evivo infant probiotic as early as the first day of life. It’s great to help set the foundation for good digestive health.”. More from Neonatologist Jen Bragg on how to support your baby’s immune health here.
This is when the fun starts to ramp up! Babies become more alert and aware of their surroundings, even starting to interact with you – yay! By 2 months of age, most babies:
- Are getting better head control
- Start to coo
- Start to track
- Smile socially!
This is one of my favorite parts, because babies start having more awake periods and their personalities begin to show. At the 4-month mark, most babies are:
- Rolling over (or getting close!); usually front to back is first
- Blowing raspberries with their mouths
Babies are starting to have a predictable(ish) schedule at this point, which makes life a lot easier. They are also more interactive and can express their wants, likes and dislikes. By 6 months, babies are:
- Starting solids (usually purees, no honey or choking hazards!)
- Sitting up unassisted for a few seconds (or more!)
- Transferring objects from hand to hand
Does it get even more fun? It sure does! This is when babies may start to get mobile, so add babyproofing to your list – safety is key! During this stage, most babies will start to:
- Crawl or scoot
- Pull up to stand
- Start using a pincher grasp
- Eat more fun foods, including safe finger foods
- Babble more!
- Respond to their name
- Feel attached to their comfort people
Crazy how time flies! Before you know it, your infant becomes a toddler! By 1 year, most babies can:
- Say a couple meaningful words
- Point with one finger
- Eat even more fun foods (still no honey or choking hazards!)
- Clap and/or wave
- Take steps with minimal/no assistance
Monitoring developmental milestones is a wonderful way to track your baby’s growth and progress. But, again, remember that each child grows on their own timeline. They may reach milestones outside the typical age frame, and sometimes even in different orders! You and your pediatrician should work as a team to monitor your child’s development and interpret each milestone in the context of the whole child.
Try to enjoy every moment of this fun time in your child’s life. It truly goes so fast! Some of these milestones are bound to leave an impression and become part of a collection of special memories you have of your child.
About the Author
Payal Adhikari, MD, Pediatrician, Clinical Implementation Director
Dr. Adhikari is a board-certified pediatrician and responsible for educating physicians and health systems about Infinant Health’s scientific mission, helping them adopt advances like Evivo to protect the most precious patients. Prior to medical school, Dr. Adhikari was a strategic consultant in the Healthcare division of Huron Consulting Group and later became a pediatrician in Chicago, IL. In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Adhikari enjoys spending time with her husband and two kiddos.