What Are the Major Baby Milestones?

The day has finally come. Your precious little bundle of joy has been born!

As a new parent, you’re probably feeling more than a little overwhelmed. You and your baby are about to embark on a wonderful journey filled with changes for both of you.

While every child develops at their own pace, it can be good to have a general idea of when they’ll hit certain milestones. Keeping track of this, and mentioning any irregularities to your pediatrician, can help with early intervention if it is ever necessary.

Plus, it’s fun to watch and understand how your child is developing and growing — Let’s take a sneak peek at the exciting months before you!

Baby’s First Month

Within the first week of birth, your baby can recognize your voice and the foundations of language are being laid. By week four, you should start to hear them babbling and making sounds apart from just crying.

By week two, as their eyes develop, they can focus on objects between 8 - 14 inches away — perfect for them to focus on your face during feedings. Try moving your head and watch their eyes track you.

Babies have trouble moving on their own during the first few weeks of life, and the movements they make are uncoordinated and jerky until around week three. 

Baby’s Second Month

Throughout this month, their movements become smoother. They still can’t hold their head up, but supervised periods on their tummy will help them start developing those muscles.

Watch for your baby’s smile, as it’ll start showing up around now. Plus, they’ll start reacting to sounds and enjoying colorful objects.

Baby’s Third Month

Babies are interested in everything during this stage. Sounds are fascinating and you’ll start hearing a wider range of sounds from them as they experiment. They’ll spend more time awake and are interested in all sorts of games and activities.

They’ll discover their hands around now, which will provide endless hours of entertainment. Offer them lots of objects with different textures so they can feel and experiment with their hands and develop motor skills!

Baby’s Fourth Month

You can expect more of the same, more babbling, cooing, and interest in the world throughout this stage.

However, your relatively stationary baby is about to get active. Around week 15 or so, many babies figure out how to roll over. Make sure they get plenty of tummy time (even if they don’t like it) to help their muscles develop in preparation for sitting up and crawling.

Baby’s Fifth Month

Baby’s personality starts showing up in a big way. They interact more with people and may start making sounds like “dada,” though at this point they are mostly just random sounds.

Baby’s Sixth Month

At this point, many babies are quite mobile. They’ve solidified rolling over and many start crawling or inchworming across the floor.

As your child becomes more active, it may be helpful to place your child in a playpen like hiccapop’s 69” playpen for short stints. That way you can rest easy for a few minutes knowing your baby isn’t crawling off somewhere dangerous. There’s even a dome for shade if you want to take the portable pen outdoors!

Baby’s Seventh Month

Remember that baby milestones vary somewhat and this is just a guide. Some babies will start walking by this time and others will still be rolling across the floor — both are normal.

Babies may get a little more shy around strangers at this point. They know who their parents are and may show distress when you’re not around.

They’ll also be actively using their hands more. Many will start dropping things on the floor and picking them up, clapping, or “wiping” their food tray as they imitate you using a fork and knife.

If they can hold their head up, open their mouth when food comes near, swallow food, and have doubled in size since birth — they’re ready for solid foods.

Baby’s Eighth Month

Most babies are actively crawling by this point. They’re going to be picking up more things and putting them in their mouths, so watch out for small objects on the floor.

Many babies will start standing and leaning against furniture. But they’ll be falling a lot, so make sure they practice these skills in a safe place (like the hiccapop playpen!).

Baby’s Ninth Month

If your baby wasn’t pulling themselves up yet, most start by this time. Their legs are stronger and their movements are more coordinated. Encourage standing, but be there for the inevitable tumbles!

You’ve been reading lots of baby books to your baby and you’ll start to see this paying off. They start understanding simple words and forming solid memories by this point.

Baby’s Tenth Month

Watch out! Most babies are quite active by this point. They may be walking or crawling, but they are on the move!

They’re watching you closely and may be imitating your movements, like brushing their hair.

Their memories are getting stronger and they may start requesting their favorite story. They’ll remember that things exist even when they can’t see them and may look for a lost toy under a blanket.

Baby’s Eleventh Month

Many babies insist on feeding themselves by this time. As their independence grows, they’ll show preferences for certain activities or people.

Babies need boundaries at this point to help keep them safe. Though a gate may still be necessary, it doesn’t hurt to teach them that they shouldn’t try to go up or down stairs by themselves just yet.

Baby’s Twelfth Month

Lots of exciting things have happened with more on the horizon! Your baby may be walking or they may hold off for a few more weeks. It’s all normal!

You’ll probably start hearing your name and they may start using other words too. Speak to them slowly and clearly to help them pick up new words.

Keeping Your Baby Safe

All this growth is exciting, but a mobile baby can be exhausting for you. You are constantly on alert to ensure that your baby doesn’t get into something that will hurt them.

The hiccapop playpen gives your baby a safe place to play while you get dinner ready or work. You don’t have to worry about them wandering off to something dangerous. They’ll still need supervision, of course, but at least you know they won’t be falling down the stairs!

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