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What Milestones Happen In My Baby's First Year?

Mums love to compare where their babies are up to.

Are they hitting those important milestones in the first year like rolling over, sitting, walking and saying their first word? 

In the first year, your baby grows at an amazing speed. Whether it’s your baby’s first steps or heart-melting first words like mum or dad, every single change is an achievement. 

Here is a month by month milestone chart so you know what to expect during your baby’s first year. Every baby is different so don’t worry if your baby is a bit behind (or ahead) and if you have any worries then chat to your health visitor or GP. 

1st Month

It’s a new world for your baby and their senses are getting sharper every day. 

Your baby will start:

  • Noticing faces and recognising sounds
  • Paying attention to patterns, particularly black and white, and bright colours
  • Making cooing noises 
  • Trying to bring their hands to their mouth and eyes
  • Moving their head from one side to the other while on their tummy

2nd Month

Lots of people snap photos using milestone cards but there are always alternative ways to create a lovely pic. 

Your baby will start:

  • Lifting their head while on their tummy
  • Smiling at familiar faces
  • Making more movements with their hands and feet
  • Showing signs of boredom if they’re not entertained

3rd Month

Your baby’s emotional skills begin to develop at this stage, with different sounds popping out depending on how they’re feeling. And they might turn their head away if they’re bored with an activity.  

Your baby will start:

  • Recognising you from other people 
  • Opening and shutting their fingers
  • Reaching for dangling objects
  • Making eye movements to follow moving objects
  • Turning their head towards the source of a sound
  • Enjoying company and playing with people
  • Babbling

4th Month

Your baby is now more alert and aware of things happening around them. They’re ready to explore and express their feelings.

Your baby will start:

  • Giggling and smiling
  • Reaching for toys with their hands
  • Trying to copy facial expressions 
  • Holding their head steadily
  • Pushing up their body 
  • Teething (don’t worry if this comes much later)

5th Month

Every milestone is a sign of healthy development, but your baby might hit these earlier or later than you expect. But if you’re ever worried about where they’re up to speak to your health visitor or GP. 

Your baby will start:

  • Babbling (a lot)
  • Putting everything in their mouth
  • Entertaining themselves for a few minutes at a time 
  • Enjoying looking in a mirror

6th Month

This month you’ll see big progress in your baby’s movement. 

Your baby will start:

  • Trying to push their body to move
  • Moving things from one hand to the other
  • Responding when you call their name
  • Understanding simple words
  • Sitting up (they may still need support and don’t leave your baby sitting alone)
  • Rolling from their tummy to their back 

7th Month

Your baby’s motor skills grow by the day and they’ll interact with you more and more. 

Your baby will start:

  • Dropping things and laughing
  • Enjoying simple games
  • Finding partially hidden objects
  • Responding to simple commands like no
  • Understanding colours  

8th Month

You might start to get a bit anxious if other babies around you are standing and on the move. Every baby is different so try not to compare. 

Your baby will start:

  • Standing with support
  • Holding things with their thumb and index finger 
  • Distinguishing between shapes

9th Month

Your baby might start saying simple words. But if not, don’t worry - all babies grow and develop at different rates. 

Your baby will start:

  • Favouring people they know, they might also want only one parent all the time 
  • Recognising their favourite toy
  • Pointing at things 
  • Crawling

10th Month

At this stage, your baby starts to get more confident. 

Your baby will start:

  • Sitting without help
  • Standing up and moving by holding onto furniture (cruising)
  • Exploring more by shaking, banging, biting, and throwing things

11th Month

Throughout the first year, your baby’s brain develops at lightning speed and their motor skills improve every day. 

Your baby will start:

  • Babbling with changes in tones that sound like a conversation
  • Crawling up the stairs - it’s babyproofing time
  • Crying when they’re away from you (separation anxiety)
  • Looking at the direction of a sound and listening closely 

12th Month

Can you believe a whole year has shot past? You’ve probably spoken to your health visitor regularly this year but sometime between 9-12 months, you’ll have a one-year review to check how they’re progressing. You’ll chat through their language and learning, safety, diet and behaviour. It’s also a chance for you to discuss any concerns you have. 

Your baby will start:

  • Sitting for longer periods 
  • Taking a few unassisted steps
  • Saying bye-bye, no, uh-oh, and other simple words
  • Relating objects to their names

Found this useful? Read Enjoying those milestones 

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