Baby developmental milestones Part 1

Babies grow in such unique ways: The baby who sits up weeks before her peers might be one of the last to learn how to crawl. Or the 18-month-old who’s still communicating with grunts and gestures suddenly bursts forth with prepositional phrases at 2 years. That’s why we created this series of charts.

Since babies aren’t identical — thank goodness! — the charts allow for variations in stages of development. Use them to gain insight into what you’re observing in your baby today and to preview what you can look forward to in the months ahead.
One thing you shouldn’t use the charts for, however, is grist for the worry mill. Each chart is meant as a guide, not as a source of concern.

Child’s Age Mastered Skills (most kids can do) Emerging Skills (half of kids can do) Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
1 month Lifts head when lying on tummy
Responds to sound
Stares at faces
Follows objects briefly with eyes
Vocalizes: oohs and aahs
Can see black-and-white patterns
Smiles, laughs
Holds head at 45-degree angle
2 months Vocalizes: gurgles and coos
Follows objects across field of vision
Notices his hands
Holds head up for short periods
Smiles, laughs
Holds head at 45-degree angle
Makes smoother movements
Holds head steady
Can bear weight on legs
Lifts head and shoulders when lying on tummy (mini-pushup)
3 months Recognizes your face and scent
Holds head steady
Visually tracks moving objects
Squeals, gurgles, coos
Blows bubbles
Recognizes your voice
Does mini-pushup
Rolls over, from tummy to back
Turns toward loud sounds
Can bring hands together, bats at toys
4 months Smiles, laughs
Can bear weight on legs
Coos when you talk to him
Can grasp a toy
Rolls over, from tummy to back
Imitates sounds: “baba,” “dada”
Cuts first tooth
May be ready for solid foods
5 months Distinguishes between bold colors
Plays with his hands and feet
Recognizes own name
Turns toward new sounds
Rolls over in both directions
Sits momentarily   without support
Mouths objects
Separation anxiety may begin
6 months Turns toward sounds   and voices
Imitates sounds
Rolls over in both directions
Is ready for solid foods
Sits without support
Mouths objects
Passes objects from hand to hand
Lunges forward or starts crawling
Jabbers or combines syllables
Drags objects toward himself
7 months Sits without support
Drags objects toward herself
Lunges forward or starts crawling
Jabbers or combines syllables
Starts to experience stranger anxiety
Waves goodbye
Stands while holding onto something
Bangs objects together
Begins to understand object permanence
8 months Says “mama” or “dada” to parents (isn’t specific)
Passes objects from hand to hand
Stands while holding onto something
Crawls
Points at objects
Searches for hidden objects
Pulls self to standing, cruises
Picks things up with thumb-finger pincer grasp
Indicates wants with gestures
9 months Stands while holding onto something
Jabbers or combines syllables
Understands object permanence
Cruises while holding onto furniture Drinks from a sippy cup
Eats with fingers
Bangs objects together
Plays patty-cake and   peek-a-boo
Says “mama” or “dada” to the correct parent
10 months Waves goodbye
Picks things up with pincer grasp
Crawls well, with belly off the ground
Says “mama” or “dada” to the correct parent
Indicates wants with gestures
Stands alone for a couple of seconds
Puts objects into a container
11 months Says “mama” or “dada” to the correct parent
Plays patty-cake and peek-a-boo
Stands alone for a couple of seconds
Cruises
Understands “no” and simple instructions
Puts objects into a container
Says one word besides “mama” or “dada”
Stoops from standing position
12 months Imitates others’ activities
Indicates wants with gestures
Takes a few steps
Says one word besides “mama” or “dada”
Walks alone
Scribbles with a crayon
Says two words besides “mama” or “dada”
13 months Uses two words skillfully (e.g., “hi” and “bye”)
Bends over and picks up an object
Enjoys gazing at his   reflection
Holds out arm or leg to help you dress him
Combines words and   gestures to make needs known
Rolls a ball back and forth
14 months Eats with fingers
Empties containers of contents
Imitates others
Toddles well
Initiates games
Points to one body part when asked
Responds to instructions (e.g., “give me a kiss”)
Uses a spoon or fork
Matches lids with appropriate containers
Pushes and pulls toys while walking
15 months Plays with ball
Uses three words regularly
Walks backward
Scribbles with a crayon
Runs
Adopts “no” as his favorite word
“Helps” around the house
Puts his fingers to his mouth and says “shhh”
16 months Turns the pages of a book
Has temper tantrums when frustrated
Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object
Discovers the joy of climbing
Stacks three blocks
Uses spoon or fork
Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g., the telephone)
Takes off one piece of clothing by himself
Gets finicky about food
Switches from two naps to one
17 months Uses six words regularly
Enjoys pretend games
Likes riding toys
Feeds doll
Speaks more clearly
Throws a ball underhand
Dances to music
Sorts toys by color, shape, or size
Kicks ball forward
18 months Will “read” board books on his own
Scribbles well
Strings two words together in phrases
Brushes teeth with help
Stacks four blocks
Throws a ball overhand
Takes toys apart and puts them back together
Shows signs of toilet training readiness

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