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Milestones 0-12 months

Baby with toys

Milestones are achievements that can be useful to see how your baby is developing emotionally, socially and physically. Each baby will grow and develop at their own speed, so use milestones as a rough guide only and don’t compare your baby to everyone else’s! But if you do have concerns about your baby’s development, speak with your doctor.

2 months

  • Lifts head

  • Responds to loud sounds

  • Follows you with their eyes

  • Smiles

  • Brings hands to mouth

Be concerned if your baby:

  • Can’t lift head

  • Doesn’t respond to loud sounds

  • Doesn’t watch things as they move

  • Has white or cloudy pupils (the black part of the eyes)

  • Doesn’t smile at you

  • Doesn’t bring hands to mouth

  • Doesn’t move both arms and legs

4 months

2 month milestones plus:

  • Holds head up steadily

  • Coos when you talk

  • Reaches for toys

  • Can put some weight through their legs

  • Might roll over

  • May be ready for solids

Be concerned if your baby:

  • Can’t hold their head steady

  • Doesn’t coo or make sounds

  • Doesn’t push down with legs when feet are placed on a hard surface

  • Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions

  • Persistently cries for > 3 hours a day (it’s normal for babies to cry for about two hours a day, with crying peaking at 6-8 weeks)

  • Has an unusual cry eg. a high-pitched squeal

6 months

4 month milestones plus:

  • Recognises own name

  • Turns toward sounds and voices

  • Imitates sounds

  • Laughs and squeals, blows bubbles

  • Rolls in both directions

  • Reaches for objects and mouths them

  • Begins to sit without support

  • Is ready for solids

Be concerned if your baby:

  • Doesn’t try to get things that are in reach

  • Shows no affection for caregivers

  • Doesn’t respond to sounds

  • Has difficulty getting things to mouth

  • Doesn’t make vowel sounds (“ah”, “eh”, “oh”)

  • Doesn’t roll over in either direction

  • Doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds

  • Seems very stiff, with tight muscles

  • Seems very floppy, like a rag doll

9 months

6 month milestones plus:

  • Says "dada" and "mama" to both parents (isn't specific)

  • Understands “no”

  • Points to things

  • Plays “peek-a-boo”

  • Passes object from hand to hand

  • Bangs objects together

  • Picks up things between thumb and index finger (pincer grip)

  • Sits without support and can get into a sitting position

  • Begins to crawl

  • Pulls to stand and can stand while holding onto something

Be concerned if your baby:

  • Doesn’t babble eg. “mama”, “dada” , “baba”

  • Doesn’t sit

  • Doesn’t put weight on legs with support

  • Doesn’t play any games involving back-and-forth play

  • Doesn’t respond to own name

  • Doesn’t seem to recognise familiar people

  • Doesn’t look where you point

  • Doesn’t pass toys from one hand to the other

12 months

9 month milestones plus:

  • Says "dada" and "mama" to the right parent (is specific)

  • Says one word besides “mama” and “dada” and copies sounds

  • Cries when mum or dad leaves

  • Copies others

  • Indicates wants with gestures eg. shakes head “no”, waves “bye bye”

  • Puts things in and out of a container

  • Can find things that are hidden

  • Understands simple instructions eg. “pick up the book”

  • Walks holding onto furniture (furniture cruises)

  • Stands alone for a couple of seconds

  • Takes a few steps

Be concerned if your baby:

  • Doesn’t say single words like “mama” or “dada”

  • Doesn’t point to things

  • Doesn’t learn gestures like waving or shaking head

  • Doesn’t search for things that she sees you hide

  • Doesn’t crawl

  • Can’t stand when supported

  • Loses skills they once had

NOTE: Being a month or two out from an expected milestone can still be normal. But if you have any concerns about your child’s development, speak with your doctor. They will be able to check your child and advise if there is a problem or if your child’s development is still within the expected range for their age.


Related Book

Baby's First Year journal

Baby's First Year: A keepsake journal of milestone moments by Annabel Karmel

A beautifully illustrated record book to chronicle all the special moments in a baby's first year. A month-by-month section allows the parents to keep track of their baby's constant achievements and changing behaviour. Eight recipes are punctuated throughout the book to inspire parents to make delicious, healthy food for their babies. Pockets and spaces for photographs are included throughout to ensure that every landmark is chronicled.

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