Knowing your baby's growth

Development Milestones

Milestones are developmental events that occur in a predictable order. Since each child is different, milestones occur at slightly different ages for each child, but always in the same order. Parents play an important role in helping their child reach each milestone. During the first year, here are some things to look for and activities to help your child to master new skills:

At Birth

Your baby

  • Responds to sound by becoming still 
  • Recognizes parents' voices 
  • Sees well at 6-12 inches from a person or an object 
  • Prefers to look at the face of another person 
  • Follows slowly moving toys part way to the right and the left 
  • Needs support of the head and neck when being moved 
  • Loves to be held closely and touched gently 

You help your baby when you

  • Massage the baby gently all over with unscented lotion or baby oil 
  • Hold the baby close 
  • Look into your baby's eyes and talk with the baby in soft, moderate tones 
  • Read books with your baby 
  • Rock and walk with your baby
At 2 Months

Your baby

  • Uses a big smile to attract you for play and care
  • Follows you or others with her eyes as you move 
  • Has better head control but still needs your help with support 
  • Opens her hands about half the time 
  • Turns to where a sound comes from
  • Is awake a lot more often and is interested in things around her
  • Coos and makes throaty sounds 
  • Imitate the baby's sounds, taking turns with the baby

You help your baby when you

  • Give the baby tummy time when the baby is awake, making it a fun time 
  • Talk and read to the baby often 
  • Imitate the baby's sounds, taking turns with the baby 
  • Give the baby changes in toys and objects to look at each day 
  • Take the baby to new locations in your home or outside your home each day 
  • Cuddle and rock your baby often 
  • Give the baby things to touch that are soft or hard, smooth or fuzzy 
At 4 Months

Your baby

  • Laughs and chuckles 
  • Makes a wide variety of sounds 
  • Lifts her head and chest by pushing up with the arms when on the stomach 
  • Bring her hands together
  • Reaches for and holds toys and objects 
  • Rolls front to back 

You help your baby when you

  • Give the baby safe toys to reach for and hold 
  • Hold the toys still for the baby to reach for them rather than moving them
  • Let the baby explore safe toys with the mouth
  • Read to your baby every day 
  • Take turns with the baby imitating your baby's sounds 
  • Tell your baby about pictures, objects and people the baby sees 
  • Make sure the baby's play area is safe and the baby cannot fall 
At 6 Months

Your baby

  • Babbles a lot!
  • Sits with good head control when you support his or her hips 
  • Rolls back to front
  • Moves objects from one hand to the other hand 
  • Wants to feed herself cookies or crackers
  • Shows interest in your food 
  • Eats from a spoon without using the tongue to push food out 
  • Prefers parents for care

You help your baby when you

  • Read books every day with your baby
  • Tell the baby names for how she feels 
  • Describe the things in your baby's life, giving words for what the baby sees and hears 
  • Make sure the whole house is a safe place for your baby to explore
  • Give your baby a chance to feed herself even when it's messy 
  • Take the baby to different places inside and outside the home to vary what the baby sees and hears 
  • Give the baby a range of toys to play with that differ in color, sound and feel
At 9 Months

Your baby

  • Knows his or her name
  • Loves to play simple games with you such as peek-a-boo
  • Makes recurring sounds such as "Da-da" and "Ba-ba" 
  • Sits without the need for support 
  • Crawls and may pull up to stand 
  • Uses thumb and index finger to pick up objects
  • Uses index finger for pointing and poking
  • Feeds self with fingers, begins to use cup 
  • Love affair with toys 
  • Is afraid of strangers 
  • Does not want to be away from parents

You help your baby when you

  • Give your child a soft toy or blanket, a "lovey," to hold and be comforted with whenever the baby is upset 
  • Say goodbye and are calm and reassuring when you leave the baby 
  • Read with your child every day 
  • Follow the baby's interest in toys and activities 
  • Give the baby a chance to feed herself and learn to use a cup, even though it is messy
  • Give the child a variety of toys that make sounds, flash lights or move when your child plays with them 
  • Do not force your baby to deal with things that are scary, such as clowns 
  • Make sure the play areas inside and outside your home are safe enough for the baby
At 1 Year

Your baby 

  • Waves bye-bye
  • Say mama or dada and know it means you!
  • Walks holding on to your hand or objects or by themselves 
  • Picks up objects with thumb and first finger 
  • Has at least three words you know when your baby speaks
  • Throws a ball forward 
  • Can stack two cubes
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Feeds with spoon, spilling about half 
  • Searches for hidden objects

You help your baby when you

  • Read books with your child every day 
  • Give the baby the chance to point to things in the book the baby knows, such as a cat 
  • Teach the baby the names of animals and the sounds that they make 
  • Give the baby lots of time to play hard walking running and climbing 
  • Give the baby toys that the baby has to control to make them work
  • Make the baby's play areas inside and outside the home safe 
  • Give the baby words for the new feelings a one-year-old has, such as anger and frustration
  • Give the baby the chance to feed herself with a spoon and cup

 

 

 

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