Baby’s First Year Development Chart

A pediatrician’s guide to growth and developmental health.

Wondering what your little one may be doing this month? Check this guide to baby’s growth and health to get an idea of your baby’s developmental milestones!

This chart is not to be viewed as a rigid timetable. Though babies do typically develop according to critical periods, that development can be unpredictable; some children perform an activity earlier or later than the chart indicates. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns with your pediatrician.

Month 1

The Doctor’s Check List:

  • Cuddles
  • Follows to Midline
  • Moro Reflex (Reacts to sudden noise or contact by dropping head backward, arms and legs extend outward and back sharply) 
  • Equal Movements
  • Head up when prone/Lifts and turns head
  • Begins to smile
  • Responds to sound
  • Regards face, fixes gaze at 8-12″

Cultural Changes:

  • Daily patterns of sleeping, crying, and eating are highly disorganized. 
  • Two night feedings  Five or six daily
  • Moves bowels three or four times daily.

Month 2

The Doctor’s Check List:

  • Responds more for the parents than others
  • Shows a preference of sleeping positions
  • Coos, laughs, reciprocal vocalization
  • Head up 45º
  • Cuddles, quiets self
  • Will give a social smile
  • Grasps rattle placed in hand and holds briefly
  • Responds to loud sounds

Cultural Changes:

  • May have only one night feeding.
  • Moves bowels twice, close to feedings.
  • Is awake as many as ten hours a day.   Has two to four longer sleep periods.
  • Sleeps as long as seven hours a night.
  • Enjoys bath time.

Month 4

The Doctor’s Check List:

  • No head lag when pulled to sit
  • Begins reaching, using both arms simultaneously
  • Follows object 180º
  • Squeals, babbles, and laughs
  • Bats at objects
  • Rolls prone to supine
  • Recognizes feeding preparation and will wait a short time.
  • Holds rattle
  • Brings hands together
  • Smiles spontaneously
  • Prone, head up 90º—Shoulders up
  • Opens hands at rest

Cultural Changes:

  • Patterns of eating, being alert, and sleeping are clearly regulated.  One night feeding.
  • Interest in feeding may decrease due to social interest.
  • Predictable interval between feeding and bowels.
  • Splashes in bath, kicks, and lifts head.

Month 6

The Doctor’s Check List:

  • Turns to name and sound
  • Rakes small objects with hand
  • Rolls supine to prone
  • Reacts to strangers
  • Plays with feet
  • Shows displeasure at loss of toy
  • Single consonant babbling
  • Follows path of dropped object
  • Imitates sound
  • May hold own bottle to feed
  • Reaches for objects with the closer hand
  • Sits with support
  • Lifts cup
  • Reaches and transfers

Cultural Changes:

  • Ready for solids, may take a cup. May show interest in finger feeding self and develops taste preference.
  • Sleeps through the night and half of 24-hour period.

Month 9

The Doctor’s Check List:

  • Creeps and/or crawls
  • Says Mama, Dada nonspecific
  • Pulls to stand, cruises along furniture
  • Sits up well
  • Understands a few words
  • Monosyllable babbling
  • Shy with strangers—anxiety
  • Plays Peek-a-boo and Pat-a-cake
  • Gets toy out of reach
  • Partial finger feeds

Cultural Changes:

  • Feeds self holding cracker.  Manipulates and drinks from cup.
  • May fear bath

Month 12

The Doctor’s Check List:

  • Lowers self from standing to sitting without falling
  • Waves bye-bye
  • Says Mama, Dada specific
  • Releases toy
  • Gives hugs
  • Precise grasps
  • Walks with support, may take few steps alone.
  • May scribble
  • One word speech sounds
  • Plays with toys appropriately (squeaks a squeak toy)
  • May cooperate in dressing and feeding self.
  • Bangs two cubes together.
  • Can put one object inside another

Cultural Changes:

  • Usually insists on self feeding.
  • Takes three meals a day.  Holds cup to drink.  Uses spoon.  Plays with saucer.
  • May have trouble sleeping.  One afternoon nap.
  • Cooperates in dressing.

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