One of the most exciting parts of being a new parent is watching your child grow and develop new skills. Helping your little one meet their developmentally appropriate baby milestones is one of the most fulfilling and exciting parts of parenting.

It is important to remember that all children will develop and meet these milestones at different times and in different ways. By developing an understanding of what the most common and important baby milestones by month are, you can better support your child and be prepared to discuss any concerns you may have with your pediatrician.

What Are Baby Milestones?

Physical, cognitive, language, and social and emotional skills are the four areas of baby milestones that you as a parent can record, track, and help promote. One way to think of baby milestones by month is to think of them as developmental checkpoints.

Your child’s brain is growing at an accelerated rate during the first few years. As they make new neural connections, strengthen muscles, and engage in the world around them, they will begin to exhibit behaviors that demonstrate how well these connections are being made.

Having a general framework for appropriate child development can assist you as a parent in helping your little one develop these important skills and help you introduce activities that can enrich your little one’s growth.

How To Use Milestones

It is important to remember that any list of developmental checkpoints or milestones is not a one-size-fits-all checklist that should be expected to be completed in order or uniformly on time. Every child will learn these skills and reach them in their own time.

Some children will reach some of their baby milestones early. You may find that your child advances through physical milestones with ease but is slower to meet their language milestones. All of this is normal, and your little one will progress through their development in their own time.

For example, if you notice that your child is especially proficient in their language development, don’t become alarmed if they are behind on their motor skills. Remember, your baby’s brain is exploding with new information all the time and can’t possibly learn everything all at once. In fact, your little one can only learn skills that they have had the opportunity to practice regularly or that they have been exposed to.

This is perhaps the most effective way to utilize baby milestones by month as a new parent. By tracking your child’s progress, you are able to notice which skills they may need more exposure and practice on. This allows for early intervention and the addition of activities such as tummy time, playing with props, or other enrichment activities.

Download Kinedu for FREE and track your baby’s milestones and progress!

Parents of premature babies should also note that when assessing or tracking developmental benchmarks for their child that they should always use the corrected age provided by their pediatrician for a more accurate picture of their baby’s development.

0-18 Baby Milestones Month By Month

At Kinedu, we believe that knowledge is power when it comes to supporting your child’s early development and growth. We have compiled a list of baby milestones by month for you to use as a guide and to help you understand where and what your little one is learning, developing, and experiencing during their first 18 months.

In our app, you will not only find a milestone tracker – you will also receive activity plans personalized to your baby’s unique needs as you complete their milestones. Download it for free here

Newborn

Newborn reflexes are the main milestones for this age. Your baby: 

  • Reacts to being touched
  • Grasps a finger placed in their hand (Grasping Reflex)
  • Smiles reflexively (for example: while sleeping or after being fed)
  • When startled, throws their arms in the air with the palms facing up, stretches the back and neck; and then quickly retracts arms back to chest (Moro Reflex)
  • Stretches and spreads toes when the sole of their foot is stroked (Babinski Reflex)
  • Sucks automatically when something touches the palate (Sucking Reflex)
  • Opens their mouth and turns toward your hand when you stroke their cheek (Rooting Reflex)
  • Keeps hands clenched in tight fists

1 Month

A one-month-old baby usually:

  • Brings their hands to their mouth
  • Pushes down on their legs when their feet are placed on a firm surface
  • Holds their head up while lying face down (tummy time)
  • Kicks when lying face up
  • Calms down when they hear familiar voices
  • Reacts with joy towards signs of affection
  • Turns towards the direction of a sound
  • Opens and closes hands
  • Can turn their head to either side when lying face up
  • Pays special attention to faces
  • Makes guttural sounds (“ga”, “gu” or “gr”).
  • Turns to look at or towards someone who is talking to them

2 Months

A two-month-old baby:

  • Looks at the person speaking to them.
  • Voluntarily directs their attention towards a person or situation
  • Pays attention to an object or person for at least one minute
  • Can turn their head left and right when upright.
  • Recognizes their parents
  • Holds their head steadily, but still needs support when carried upright and moved around
  • Stretches arms and legs while lying face down
  • Pays attention to their surroundings
  • Raises their legs about 4 inches from the ground while lying face up
  • Can fix their eyes on objects up to 18 inches away
  • Smiles at people when they make eye contact

3 Months

A three-month-old baby usually:

  • Looks back and forth between two objects
  • Supports their head completely
  • Reacts to different tones of voice
  • Brings objects to mouth
  • Looks at their hands
  • Explores one hand with the other
  • Shows an interest in new things they have not seen before
  • Shakes objects
  • Makes vowel sounds (“eh” or “ah”).
  • Follows an object’s movement by turning their head
  • Can hold a small object placed in their hands

4 Months

A four-month-old baby:

  • Opens their hands when you hand them something
  • Shakes their arms when something catches their attention
  • Attempts to sit up when pulled by the hands while lying face up
  • Makes deliberate movements to grab objects that are within reach
  • Expresses likes or dislikes through facial expressions
  • Enjoys looking at themselves in the mirror
  • Holds their feet with their hands when lying face up
  • Lifts their head and chest using their elbows and forearms while lying face down
  • Looks around when they are somewhere unfamiliar
  • Can support their own weight when held up with their feet touching a flat surface
  • Lifts their head when lying face up (early attempts to sit up)
  • Can stay seated if leaning on pillows or furniture
  • Likes to play with adults

5 Months

Here are some baby milestones for 5-month-olds. Your child:

  • Pushes their upper body upwards while lying face down
  • Closely observes how you do things
  • Pays attention to conversations
  • Responds differently towards a family member than towards a stranger
  • Stretches to reach an object and grabs it
  • Extends their arms forward while lying face down.
  • Makes consonant sounds (m, n, p, t, d…)
  • Bangs one object with another
  • Pulls an object towards themselves
  • Holds objects with the palm of their hand without using their thumb
  • Stretches out to reach something while lying face down
  • Holds large objects with both hands
  • Uses both hands to reach for an object

6 Months

A six-month-old baby usually:

  • Stretches their arms to be carried
  • Shows preferences for certain people
  • Explores their own body with their hands
  • Rolls over both ways (back to front and front to back)
  • Responds to their name by turning, crawling, or moving towards you
  • Laughs out loud
  • Holds two objects at a time, one in each hand
  • Rolls to face up position while lying face down
  • Rocks from side to side on their stomach while lying face down
  • Switches objects from one hand to the other
  • Uses legs to push themselves forward while lying face down
  • Remains seated by placing hands in front of their body
  • Varies the tone of babbling

Download Kinedu and see all baby milestones by month! 

7 Months

A seven-month-old baby:

  • Makes repeated syllable sounds (consonant and vowel, “baba, dada…”)
  • Experiments with cause and effect (drops an object and waits for you to pick it up)
  • Sits without support
  • Voluntarily lets go of objects they are grabbing
  • Holds objects with the palm of their hand, using all of their fingers, including the thumb
  • Looks for an object on the ground when they drops it
  • Can push or pull aside a toy to reach another
  • Reacts differently to different textures (smooth, rough, soft, or hard).
  • Reacts differently to hot and cold stimuli
  • Interacts with those familiar to them
  • Rolls or shuffles to get around
  • Plays alone
  • Imitates a simple, one-step action (shaking a rattle)

8 Months

Here are the main baby milestones of 8-month-olds. Your baby:

  • Babbles as if simulating a conversation (waits for their turn to “speak”)
  • Protests when their activities are interrupted
  • Prefers soft to coarse textures
  • Drags themselves to reach something
  • Babbles when someone talks to them
  • Positions themselves on hands and knees (crawling position)
  • Pays attention to the location of objects they have seen hidden
  • Takes objects out of a container
  • Rocks back and forth while on hands and knees (all fours position)
  • Shows attention and interest when being spoken to (appears to be listening)
  • Shows a preference for certain foods
  • Asks for help by babbling

9 Months

A nine-month-old baby usually:

  • Makes simple gestures (waves hello or goodbye)
  • Supports the weight of their upper body with one arm when lying face down
  • Repeats sounds or actions that get people’s attention
  • Pulls themselves up while holding on to furniture
  • Interacts with other children by babbling
  • Associates objects with their corresponding sounds (looks for the phone when it starts to ring)
  • Finds objects hidden under a blanket or other covers
  • Can go from sitting to kneeling
  • Imitates another person’s facial expressions (smiling when you smile, frowning when you frown)
  • Responds to music by attempting to move to the beat
  • Goes from lying down to sitting up
  • Picks up small objects using their forefinger and thumb (like a cookie from a jar)
  • Uses both hands simultaneously to handle objects (opening a box)
  • Reacts to smells
  • Wrinkles paper using both hands
  • Tears paper using both hands

10 Months

10-month-olds are ready to move and explore! Your baby:

  • Searches for hidden toys
  • Walks by “cruising” or leaning on furniture
  • Crawls
  • Flips through pages of a book (even if not one by one)
  • Asks for help by gesturing
  • Walks while holding on to someone with both hands
  • Changes directions easily when crawling
  • Places objects in a container
  • Imitates simple gestures (like clapping hands after seeing someone do it)
  • Climbs or goes around obstacles when crawling
  • Remains standing while holding on to something
  • Stands momentarily with help
  • Grasps objects using only their fingertips
  • Picks up very small objects between their thumb and forefinger (like  cereal)
  • Interacts with other kids during play
  • Explores alone when a parent or caregiver is nearby

11 Months

An 11-month-old baby usually:

  • Turns towards familiar objects or people when they are named
  • Explores how high or far they can crawl or climb furniture
  • Starts and stops a toy’s movement (like a toy car)
  • Understands the meaning of “no”
  • Uses the handle to open and close a door or drawer
  • Is shy or anxious with strangers
  • Goes from standing to sitting without your help
  • Says “mama”, “dada”, or “papa” when referring to parents
  • Points to an object they want
  • Moves toys that have wheels
  • Points to things they want you to look at
  • Knocks down block towers
  • Dances to a song’s beat

12 Months

Here are some baby milestones of 12-month-olds. Your child:

  • Tries to imitate words you say
  • Imitates a syllable pronounced by someone else (says “pa” after you do)
  • Crawls up stairs
  • Extends arm or leg to help when being dressed
  • Understands three-word phrases, such as “Look, the dog!”
  • Gives you an object when you ask for it
  • Goes from standing up to squatting
  • Moves small objects from one container to another using their forefinger and thumb
  • Stops a rolling ball with their hands or body
  • Stays balanced while standing up and playing with an object

13 Months

A 13-month-old baby usually:

  • Changes their play to imitate friends (starts making block towers when peers do so)
  • Can take a few steps without support
  • Uses two to three everyday objects for their intended use (like drinking from cup or dialing a phone)
  • Uses an object as a tool to pull or push another object
  • Moves a body part when asked to
  • Follows the beat of a song by clapping or pounding on an instrument
  • Answers simple questions with gestures, behavioral changes, or words
  • Uses an object properly after observing an adult (like holding a phone to their ear and simulates talking after seeing their mom on a call)
  • Goes from sitting to standing without any help

14 Months

Here are some baby milestones for 14-month-olds. Your child:

  • Stops to squat down to grab an object while walking
  • Follows simple, one-step instructions (like “Pick up the toy”)
  • Inserts objects into narrow spaces (like coins in a piggy bank)
  • Imitates actions that they have seen adults do involving more than one step (like taking a toy phone out of a purse and saying “hello”)
  • Kicks a ball while walking if held by the hands
  • Points to familiar objects when you mention their name
  • Shows affection to those familiar to them (hugs them)
  • Can carry an object (like a small toy) while walking
  • Stays balanced while standing without any help
  • Pushes or pulls toys while walking
  • Points to “Mom” and/or “Dad”
  • Holds a crayon with whole fist
  • Walks by themselves with short, unsteady steps
  • Goes from squatting down to standing up without any help
  • Can eat without help (with or without utensils)

15 Months

A 15-month-old baby:

  • Knows the name of at least three objects
  • Identifies animals by their sound
  • Can walk on narrow surfaces
  • Moves their hands up and down following your lead
  • Walks up the stairs with an adult’s help, alternating their feet
  • Crawls backwards to go down a few steps
  • Goes to get objects after tossing them
  • Walks down the stairs with an adult’s help, alternating their feet
  • Has a sense of location in familiar places (for example, knows where their parent’s room is)
  • Kicks a ball while standing
  • Walks up ramps
  • Knows how to use personal hygiene objects (like a hairbrush or a toothbrush)
  • Can run (picks up speed when toddling around)

16 Months

A 16-month-old baby usually:

  • Holds two objects with a single hand
  • Imitates animal sounds
  • Builds towers of at least two blocks
  • Understands that objects have a shape, texture, or sizeCan point to one or more specific body parts when prompted
  • Tries to sing along when they hear familiar songs
  • Scribbles randomly, making large shoulder movements
  • Points at an animal’s image when you make its sound (for example, points to a dog if you go “woof”)
  • Associates objects with the family members that use them (like their mom’s purse)
  • Attempts to catch a ball by extending their arms in front of their body

17 Months

These are the main baby milestones for 17-month-olds. Your child:

  • Says one or more words with meaning (says “hi”, or “coo” to mean “cookie”)
  • Twists a bottle cap on and off
  • Understands basic rules (for example, knows that paint goes on paper, not the table)
  • Plays simple pretend (for example, pretends to feed a doll)
  • Understands the difference between “up” and “down”
  • Understands the difference between “inside” and “outside” (places an object “inside” a box when asked)
  • Follows two-step instructions (like “Find your doll and bring it to me”)
  • Pays attention to an adult reading a book for a few minutes at a time
  • Moves their arms from side to side or in circles, following your lead
  • Turns objects that rotate (like a knob on a toy or a sink faucet)

18 Months

Your 18-month-old baby is turning into a toddler. Everything is changing so fast! Your child:

  • Recognizes themselves in a mirror (for example, tries to wipe off a mark on their face when they see it in the reflection)
  • Can use a spoon by themselves
  • Finds an object hidden under two or three covers
  • Runs towards a ball and kicks it
  • Runs with direction

Your Baby’s Milestones by Month

Remember that this list is designed to help you support, encourage, and track the development of your little one. Your child is wildly unique and will make their way through this list on their own timeline.

Download Kinedu and have fun finding ways to encourage and promote these developmental milestones with your child. If you have any concerns about your baby’s development never hesitate to consult with your pediatrician.