From Birth to 12 Months: A Timeline of Newborn Milestones & Development

Close-up child 1 years old wearing white tshirt playing with wooden pyramid.

From Birth to 12 Months: A Timeline of Newborn Milestones & Development

Each passing day with your newborn baby is a new opportunity to watch them grow and flourish. The first year of a baby’s life is full of some of the most exciting transformations; children’s developmental milestones during the first year range from showing more curiosity to finally taking those first steps. 

From lifting their head and bringing their hands to mouth to perfecting tummy time and saying your name, there are so many amazing things to get excited about as your infant grows into a toddler. The first year of life is an intricate journey of physical and mental growth, developing everyday skills that can help keep your little one on track for years to come. 

The Importance of Tracking Milestones

Tracking developmental milestones for babies is a simple way for you and your little one’s care provider to get an idea of your baby’s current physical and cognitive health. Plus, having an idea of the milestones to expect can get you even more excited about your baby’s growth, allowing you to experience all of the changes with them as they sprout through infancy, into the toddler years and beyond.

Of course, each baby’s journey through the first year of life is different. Your baby may not develop at the same pace as another baby, and it’s important to keep this in mind as you’re tracking milestones.

“If your baby reaches one milestone sooner, she may reach another one later, because she’s so busy perfecting the other skill,” Jennifer Shu, MD, pediatrician shared with WebMD. 

Common Baby Developmental Milestones 

Photo of an baby girl playing with a toy walker at home with mom in the background

Getting familiar with newborn milestones by week and month can help you get an idea of what to expect as your baby develops during the first year of life. 

As you read through this list of common milestones, remember that one baby’s developmental track may be different from the next. These milestones are placed inside of a range of expectancy, but they’re not concrete. If you’re worried that your baby hasn’t reached a milestone at a similar rate to these expectations, get in touch with your pediatrician. But keep an open mind that these milestones may be achieved at different times.

Here are some of the most common development milestones for baby during the early weeks of life and beyond:

First Few Weeks

Your baby can start to reach milestones the moment they get home from the hospital or birthing center. You may notice that your little one is starting to open their eyes and get more comfortable with their surroundings. The first few weeks of development are when the baby starts to express curiosity and by the first month, you’ll start to notice that your baby is consistently more alert and aware

Month 1-3

The first three months of your baby’s development shows them getting more comfortable with their environment and adapting to everyday life. This is when they start to raise their hands to their face, turn their head from side to side and clench their fists as they reach for objects. At this time you’ll also notice more noises and reactions; by the third month, your baby will likely crack a smile at you and other caregivers in their life. For some mothers, this is around the time when you start to see the true connection between you and your baby. 

Month 4-6

Baby seems ready to face the world between months 4 and 6, showing major milestones in their physical and verbal development. The most common 5-month-old baby developmental milestones include rolling over and reaching with both arms, keeping a steady head, and sitting upright without support from you. These milestones are considered proof that your baby may be ready to incorporate solid foods into their diet while continuing to supplement with breast milk. 

At this time, your baby will also be more chatty than ever before, and may even let out a laugh every once in a while. This is also when a baby becomes responsive to their name, recognizes people and can identify strangers. 

Month 7-9

By this point in your baby’s infancy, they are fully ready to explore the world and make use of their newly developed senses as well as fine and gross motor skills. 

At this stage, they’ve been using their hands and moving around more, so they’re excited to explore on their own and play around with you. Between months 7 and 9 your baby might begin to crawl, pull themselves up to stand, clap their hands, and use fingers to point. 

Month 10-12

By this point in your child’s development, your little one can make it verbally known when they need you, and they have a better understanding of your words and the way you communicate as well. They may use their voice to express their emotions and start to show signs that they’re ready to form words like “mama” or “dada.” You may also notice them throwing, shaking and holding objects and copying gestures.

This is also when your baby starts to show more signs of mobility. Your little one may be ready to run before they walk, or they’ll start slow by walking while holding on to furniture. 

Embrace The Milestones with KeepsakeMom

When it comes to the first year of a baby’s life, most say “don’t blink” because it happens so fast. Celebrating the milestones along the way can be a simple way to admire your growing baby and embrace the changes you’ve made together during the new and exciting stages of infancy. 

KeepsakeMom can help you continue the celebration with our unique, one-of-a-kind breastmilk jewelry. Each piece is made with love and attention to detail to represent the unconditional, emotional, everlasting bond between you and your baby. 

Let us help you capture your breastfeeding journey and celebrate all of the milestones! Browse our breastmilk jewelry today.

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