Developmental Milestones

The first year of a baby’s life is a time of amazing feats and accomplishments.


While each day brings something new, it’s easy to worry if your baby is developing normally. Every baby is different and they all progress at their own pace, but there are some developmental milestones they should be reaching in their first year. The following are a list of skills your baby should be working towards each month.

One month of age

  •     Lifts head/ holds at 45 degree angle
  •     Responds to sounds
  •     Stares at faces
  •     Follows objects
  •     Oohs and Ahhs
  •     Can see black and white patterns

Two months of age

  •     Gurgling and cooing
  •     Holds head up for short periods progressing to longer periods
  •     Smiles/laughs
  •     Movements become smoother
  •     Bears weight on legs
  •     May lift head and shoulders in a mini push up style

Three months of age

  •     Laughs, squeals, gurgles and coos
  •     Holds head steady
  •     Recognizes your face and scent and voice
  •     Does mini push ups
  •     Turns towards sounds
  •     Can bring hands together and may bat at toys
  •     Starts to roll over

Four months of age

  •     Can weight bear on legs
  •     Coos when you talk to them
  •     Can grasp a toy
  •     Reaches for objects
  •     Is rolling over
  •     Starts speech sounds – baba, dada
  •     May cut first tooth

Five months of age

  •     Can distinguish between colors that are bold
  •     Plays with hands and feet
  •     Recognizes his/her own name
  •     May sit momentarily without support
  •     Mouths objects
  •     May start stranger anxiety

Six months of age

  •     Turns towards sounds and voices
  •     Imitates sounds, blows bubbles
  •     Rolls in both directions
  •     Reaches for objects and brings to mouth
  •     Sits without support
  •     Is ready for solid foods
  •     May start to lunge forward or start crawling
  •     May jabber or combine syllables
  •     May pull object towards themselves

Seven months of age

  •     Reaches for things with a sweeping motion
  •     Begins to babble
  •     Combines syllables into word-like sounds
  •     Begins to crawl or lunges forward
  •     Stands while holding on to something
  •     Bangs objects together

Eight months of age

  •     Says dada and mama to both parents (isn’t specific)
  •     Crawling
  •     Passes object from hand to hand
  •     Standing improves and starts to pull self up
  •     Points at objects
  •     May start cruising around furniture while holding on
  •     Picks things up with thumb and finger – pincer grasp
  •     Indicates wants with gestures

Nine months of age

  •     Speech and sounds improve
  •     Cruising more often, stands while holding onto something
  •     Uses pincer grasp to pick up smaller objects
  •     Bangs objects together
  •     Plays patty cake
  •     Says mama and dada to the right parent

Ten months of age

  •     Waves good bye
  •     Responds to name and understands “No”
  •     Drinks from a cup
  •     Stands alone for short periods

Eleven months of age

  •     Imitates others’ activities
  •     Puts objects into a container
  •     Begins to say one word sentences besides mama and dada

Twelve months of age

  •     Jabbers word like sounds
  •     Indicates wants by pointing
  •     May take a few steps
  •     Understands simple instructions
  •     Puts two words together
  •     May scribble with crayon

The Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDDS) is a free online screening tool that gives a checklist of some of the most important skills your baby should be developing. Along with the checklist there is information about child development and activities that parents can do to enhance their child’s development. Remember that this is a screening tool not a formal assessment. If you have any concerns about your child’s development please speak with your health care provider.


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