Baby Basic Stages of Development: What To Expect In The First 12 Months?

baby boy sitting and playing

Excited to see your baby growing up? Curious about the first time he says mom, dad, hi, and bye?

You are not alone…

All parents will be counting days until the first time the baby smiles, holds his mother’s hand, speaks, learns to walk, and the first time of everything…

A baby learns new skills every day.

Learning to speak, to walk, to eat alone, to manage their emotions, are called developmental milestones…

And they need practice! 

Bear in mind that all children develop differently. 

This article is for you to know more about:

  • Baby developmental stages from birth to one year old
  • More exciting essential skills to consider
  • Doctor visits: when and why to do it
  • ..and lot’s more!

If you have concerns about your child’s development, consult the child’s doctor for advice.

Let’s get started..

First-Year Baby Development Milestones Overview

More changes occur in babies during the first year than at any other stage. Bear in mind that all children develop differently.

These are the main areas where most children grow and develop during the first year of life:

Physical development:

During this first year, the growth of a baby is impressive. The size of babies increases, and the head increases in size.

Cognitive Development:

Babies are making great strides in their ability to learn and remember.

Emotional and social development:

Babies begin to show their emotions and the way they feel in relation to other people.

baby boy

Language development:

children usually learn the language through listening to people around them. Some of them may learn it faster than others. 

Sensory and motor development:

Babies are strong enough to sit up. Some children start with their first step and others stand up.

All things considered,

Baby stages of development are not the same for all babies…

Each child has his own pace in growing and acquiring skills!

It is common for a baby to acquire one specific skill but late in another. Babies born earlier or who have health problems may grow and develop at a slower rate.

If you have concerns about your child’s development, consult the doctor for advice.

First Month Milestones

Mastered kills (most children can do)

  • He raises his head while he is on his stomach
  • He responses to sounds
  • He stars at faces
  • He turns his head toward the light
  • He can see black and white shapes

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He tracks things
  • He makes noises

Advanced Skills (few children can do)

  • He smiles
  • He holds his head at a 45-degree angle

Second Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He makes noises, gurgles, and cheers
  • He tracks objects and faces when they are close to him
  • He raises his head for short periods

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He recognizes your voice
  • He smiles responsively
  • He holds his head at a 45-degree angle
  • His movements become smoother
little baby care

Advanced Skills (few children can do)

  • He holds his head steady
  • He bears weight on his legs
  • He may hold his head and shoulders (which feels like half a pushup)

Third Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He holds his head steady
  • He recognizes your face

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He does what looks like a half push-up
  • He laughs and smiles

Advanced Skills (few children do)

  • He turns towards loud noises
  • He can bring his hands closer together and possibly hit a toy

Four Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He holds his head steady
  • He bears weight on his legs
  • He cheers when you talk to him
  • He does what looks like a half push-up

father holding his baby girl up in a swimming pool

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He can extend or pick up an object or game

Advanced Skills (few children do)

  • He imitates speech sounds of “dada” and “dada”
  • He may have his first tooth
  • He may turn from his stomach to his back

Five Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He can distinguish between prominent colors
  • He can turn from stomach to back
  • He entertains himself by playing with his hands and feet

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He turns towards new sounds

Advanced Skills (few children do)

  • He may sit awhile without assistance
  • He may turn from his stomach to his back
  • He puts the things in his mouth
  • He may be showing signs of being anxious about strangers

Six Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He turns towards the voices of people and things
  • He mimics sounds and blows bubbles from his mouth
  • He is prepared to eat solid foods

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He reaches for things and puts them in his mouth
  • He flips in both directions
  • He recognizes his name
baby girl crawling

Advanced Skills (few children do)

  • He may push forward and may start to crawl
  • He might babble and connect two audio clips
  • He might be dragging things towards him
  • He may be sitting unaided

Related: Here are The Best Baby Gates to keep your little one safe while moving around the house!

Seven Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He reaches objects with a touch movement
  • He imitates hadith sounds (as if purl)

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He mixes two syllables into a word-like sound
  • He begins to crawl or lunge forward
  • He picks up items with one hand and transfers them to the other one
  • He hits things together
  • He sits without assistance

Advanced Skills (a few children can do)

  • He stands holding on to something
  • He waves his hand and bid farewell

Eight Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He sits without assistance
  • He says “dada” and “mama” to both parents without specifying
  • He starts to crawl
  • He moves the object from one hand to the other

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He stands holding on to something
  • He crawls well

Advanced Skills (a few children can do)

  • He pulls himself into a standing position and wanders around the furniture, holding onto it
  • He grabs things with his thumb/fingerpicking like pliers
  • He indicates the things he wants

Nine Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He mixes two syllables into a word-like sound
  • He pulls himself into a standing position and wanders around the furniture, holding onto it
  • He Hits the objects together and throws them
  • He tries to pick up the spoon when you try to feed him
Baby Stages Of Development - Baby playing with blocks

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He grabs things with two fingers like a pincer
  • He wanders around while holding onto furniture

Advanced Skills (a few children can do)

  • He plays a face cover game (hide and seek)
  • He says “dada” and “mama” to both parents without specifying

Ten Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He grabs things with two fingers like a pincer
  • He moves around

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He says “dada” and “mama” to the right and specific person
  • He points and nodes to distant objects
  • He responds when he hears his name and understands “no”
  • He indicates what he wants with movements and gestures

Advanced Skills (a few children can do)

  • He drinks from a cup
  • He stands alone for a few seconds
  • He puts things in boxes or boxes

Eleven Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He says “dada” and “mama” to the right and specific person
  • He plays a word-matching movement game
  • He indicates objects and things

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He mimics the activities of others
  • He puts things in boxes
  • He understands simple instructions
  • He stands alone for several seconds
baby bot looking at a glass door

Advanced Skills (a few children can do)

  • He bends from a standing position
  • He walks a few steps

Twelve Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • He mimics the movements and activities of others
  • He chatters with word-like sounds
  • He points to things, waves his hand goodbye, and claps

Emerging Skills (half of the children can do)

  • He says one word in addition to “mama” and “daddy”
  • He takes a few steps or tugging himself on the back
  • He responds to simple verbal instructions such as “come here”
  • Whenever you do it in front of him, he can put an object in and out of a container again

Advanced Skills (a few children can do)

  • He scribbles with crayons
  • He walks well
  • He says two words in addition to “mama” and “daddy”
  • He understands words, such as a drink or a ball

7 Forgotten Essential Skills

baby boy swimming

We all know when a child should sit unaided, walk, talk, and practice using the bathroom.

But what about the rest of the important first skills that we don’t even pay attention to?

Here are 7 essential skills for attention and observation:

1. He sees in 3D: Between 2 and 3 months

your baby used to see the world in two dimensions, but now he starts to see it in three dimensions.

The region of his brain called the “cortex” had matured enough to connect what was receiving his eyes together.

No need for unattractive 3D glasses!

2. The real first laugh: between 4 and 5 months

Babies begin to smile around the sixth week of life, but in the fourth or fifth month, that smile turns into laughter.

This laugh comes as a result of the rapid development of the cerebral cortex, as it learns a sense of humor from you.

Finally, someone who appreciates your comedic efforts.

3. Knows his name: Between 5 and 8 months

Although he will not be able to pronounce it until later, your child at this age knows his name and raises his eyesight if you call him.

Good luck continuing to react like this when he swallows your teens!

4. Say “Mama” or “Baba” to the right person: Between 9 and 11 months

Your child may already have started using the words “mama” and “dada” without directing them to the right person.

Between the ninth and eleventh months, it will know who is meant by the words mama and daddy.

Prepare for enthusiasm and pride.

baby girt playing on the beach with her brother

5. He asks “Why?”: Between 3 months and 4 years

You will hear this word often and not know the answer often!

But whether or not you know, the sequences of this exact question will certainly cause you to be confused.

You can try to answer his questions by asking him another question, “Why does the cat run away?”

In this situation, he will answer it himself.

6. Connects numbers to the real world:

Take advantage of the daily details to do the count together.

A good example is counting coffee cups; “One cup for Mama, one for Baba, one for you! One, two, three cups!”

At some point, your child will understand that the number three is related to the number of dishes.

So, when Grandma comes to lunch, an extra plate will be placed for a total of four plates.

7. Learns to use the swing without the need to push it: around 5 years old

At this age, the child can finally understand how to push himself on the swing with his legs.

You can now safely sip coffee while your toddler entertains himself on the swing. Even if he only did it for a few minutes!

Gross vs. Fine Motor Skills: What Is The Difference?

Gross Motor Skills

A motor skill is simply the movement in which your child uses his body muscles.

Gross motor skills involve broader movements, such as muscle movement in an arm, leg, or foot, or whole body movement.

Therefore, activities such as crawling, running, and jumping are considered great motor skills.

Gross motor skills develop before fine skills develop.

Even your baby will be able to bring his arms together before he learns how to pass a toy from one hand to the other.

However, for your toddler to truly do things on his own, he will need to use both grand and subtle skills.

He will gradually get better at doing this as he grows into a toddler.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are smaller activities, such as picking up objects between the thumb and finger or using the toe to play with sand.

However, it is not only limited to the fingers and toes.

When your baby uses his lips and tongue to feel and taste things, he is also using fine motor skills.

The newborn brain is not mature enough to control movement skills.

Evolution starts at the head and then travels down the body. So, the newborn can control his mouth, face, lips, and tongue, and the rest of the parts that develop over time follow them.

Your baby learns how to control his neck before his shoulders, and his shoulders before his back.

He can control his arms before his hands, and his hands before his fingers.

How to encourage your baby to develop his gross and fine motor skills?

Encourage him to play challenging games.

Here is how:

When your baby can sit well without support, place his favorite toy out of his reach, so that he must maintain his balance while handling his game.

Notice the changes he makes in using his arms, legs, and fingers.

When your child is good at a game, involve him in a new one to help him practice new skills.

For example, you can let him pick peas, place his finger in play dough (clay), or pass a toy from one hand to the other.

Try to make things challenging but not too difficult for him.

Any change you make should encourage him to try and do something a little harder, not give up and quit.

Why Are Routine Medical Visits Needed For a Child’s Development?

Doctors recommend that babies have routine checkups (well-child visits) every 2 to 3 months from the age of 1 month to 12 months of age.

These visits are important to see if your baby is having problems and to make sure he is growing and developing as expected.

During these visits, the doctor will:

  • Do a physical exam.
  • They will review your child’s immunization record. Necessary vaccinations will be given or scheduled.
  • You will weigh and measure your baby to compare with other babies of the same age.
  • He will probably ask you questions about how your family and your baby are doing.

If you have any concerns about your baby’s developmental progress, we highly encourage you to talk to their doctor.

Make sure to write down all the questions you have in your mind to discuss everything 

When should I call the doctor?

Call your doctor any time you have a concern about your child’s health.

Be sure to call your child’s pediatrician if your baby:

  • Has not grown as expected or has not been eating well for some time.
  • He has lost skills that he used to have, such as crawling.
  • Shows signs of hearing problems, for example, he does not respond to your voice or loud noises.
toddler boy

Since you are the main person to take care of the baby, it is highly recommended to take care of your health as a priority.

Talk to your doctor if you think you might be depressed or if you feel like you can’t take care of your baby as usual. 

Your doctor will provide medical advice to help you control the situation in a better way.

How To Support Your Baby During The First Year?

The best for your baby is usually the most basic.

First of all, you need to focus on loving your baby, holding him, changing his diapers, talking to him, and feeding him.

During the first year, you can help your baby grow and learn in other ways:

Respond to your baby’s cries:

Crying is your baby’s way of telling you what he needs.

If your baby has colic, do what you can to calm him down. Remember that colic is normal and temporary. Your baby will stop having them when he grows up.

Help your baby learn:

Talking, reading, and playing are important ways to help cultivate your baby’s mind.

Tummy time is useful:

Also, allow your baby to explore everything around, but make sure the area is child proofed.

Trying new positions help your baby feel confident while trying new skills, such as crawling and walking and becoming a healthy toddler.

Keep your baby safe.

Always put your baby on his back to sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Use a car seat every time your baby rides in a car.

Make sure to set some limits to your baby’s curiosity:

A baby between 1 month and 12 months is too young to know that there are certain ways to behave.

You may need to redirect your baby’s attention.

For example, if your baby tries to pull the dog’s tail, you can find a toy to get your baby’s attention and then take the dog somewhere else.

Related: Top 7 Baby Gates To Keep Your Baby Safe At Home

Babies Social and Emotional Development:

RAWR Birthday background

As your kids grow older, their needs change over the months of the first few years. 

Their emotional development is intrinsically linked to that of his motor and social development. 

What Is The Baby’s Emotional Development?

It is about everything that relates to affectivity! 

The emotional development refers to the baby’s emotions, feelings, and everything that relates to the emotional well-being and, therefore, psychology. 

That’s it..

The emotional development is about individual and personal needs and how to express them as a unique individual.

All early childhood professionals agree that to grow well, they need above all to feel safe. 

This is why it is so important to create a strong emotional bond from the first seconds.

This love will constitute a solid base that allows him to go through the different stages of emotional development: the most important thing is to become aware of himself.

By feeling loved, and important, he gains self-confidence and feels capable of successfully passing the stages of growth: learning to walk, toilet training, entering school, etc

Takeaway

The most exciting age period of your kids’ life is absolutely the first year, however, it is for sure a stressful one.

Some days you may feel overwhelmed.

Learning what is normal for babies within an age range can help you detect problems early or feel better about how your baby is doing.

You can always get help from developmental specialists if you want to get an early intervention and see if there are any sort of developmental delays.

Ask for help when you need it.

Ask someone you trust, like a family member or a friend to watch your baby for a few hours. 

If you need a break or are not feeling well, ask your doctor or a local hospital for some suggestions.

Disclaimer:

The information in this article is only a guide for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for advice from a medical professional or healthcare provider.

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