Mother and Baby

Baby development milestones

Baby milestone crawling

Your baby will be very busy in her first two years. With crawling, walking and weaning to contend with, she’ll experience a whole load of firsts over the next few years, so it's important to cherish this very special time in her life as it'll fly-by quicker than you think! 

So know what to look out for (and roughly when you’ll need your camera at the ready to remember those amazing memories) we've created this guide to your baby's development milestones. But remember, every small person develops at her own rate so use these as a guide – not a certainty.

There are so many different types of development milestone that your baby will soon reach, here are just a few different kind of milestones that your baby will be developing throughout their childhood:

  • Physical or motor skills like walking
  • Social skills such as sharing
  • Emotional skills 
  • Cognitive ability including recognising sounds
  • Communication skills such as hearing and talking

0 - 3 months baby milestones

From their very first smile to controlling their head, a lot happens in your baby's first three months in the world.

Following objects

As you'll probably already know, babies aren't born with perfect vision and their eyesight improves a lot during the first few months of their lives. Find out more about your baby's vision plus when they'll be able to follow objects with their eyes here

Tummy time 

You've probably already heard the term 'tummy time' quite a bit in the lead up to giving birth. Tummy time is a huge development milestone for your little one, so it's important to know how your baby can get the most out of their tummy time and the benefits of this important phase. You can read more about tummy time here. 

First smile

Nothing in the world can make you feel better than when your baby gives you one of those big old gummy, heart-warming smiles. Discover when she'll start flashing you a grin and what you can do to help here. 

First laugh

There's nothing quite like hearing your baby laugh for the first time! If you're desperate to hear their first giggle, have a read of our top tricks and techniques that'll have your baby laughing their tiny socks off in no time! Learn how to make your baby laugh here.

Other milestones during this time: 

  • Holding head up
  • First sounds
  • First bath

​Swimming

According to the NHS, you don't need to wait until your baby has had their injections for them to be able to go swimming so you can start your little one's watery adventures as soon as you want. Swimming can be an amazing sensory experience for your baby as they love the sensation of being in the water. Wondering where on earth to begin? Check out our piece on baby swimming with advice from Rebecca Adlington.

4 - 12 months baby milestones

During this time, your little one will begin to interact with objects and people more by grabbing and trying to move around more on the floor! 

Rolling over

As your baby starts to move more, you might notice them trying to roll over. This is a huge movement milestone for your tot which you can read more about here

Crawling

As with any milestone, each baby is different and while some babies are happy crawling until they HAVE to walk, some skip the crawling phase altogther! And when it comes to crawling, there are loads of different ways your tot can crawl! Read more about the different crawls here plus, tips on encouraging your little one to crawl. 

Sitting up

When your baby learns to sit up on their own, it's a milestone worth remembering. What a difference it makes for your little one, who will have a whole new perspective on the world. From the age babies usually start to sit up to the ways you can help your baby reach this milestone, read more about when babies start to sit up here. 

First word

Desperate to hear what your baby's first word will be? Find out more about when your baby will begin to form words plus more about how you can help your baby's language develop. Read more about your baby's speech and first word here. 

First tooth

Any parent knows how painful the teething phase can be for babies. Knowing the signs and symptoms to look out for however can help you find the right ways of soothing their pain to make this milestone as bareable as possible for your tot. Find out more about the signs and symptoms of teething here as well as the important remedies that can help. 

Other milestones during this time: 

  • Weaning
  • First curl
  • Standing  
  • First birthday

12 - 18 months baby milestones 

This is perhaps the most exciting time for your little one as they'll soon be able to get around and explore a lot easier during these months. 

Some of the milestone highlights to lookout for include: 

  • First steps 
  • Scribbling 
  • Playing
  • Potty training  
  • Growth spurts
  • Storytime and reading together 

More milestones and firsts

When do babies' eyes change colour?

Wondering when your baby's eyes are likely to change colour? Find out more about when your tot's eyes will change colour, what factors can affect their eye colour and the science behind it here

  • Sleeping through 
  • First bed
  • First bedroom
  • First bike
  • First Christmas
  • First Easter

 

Keen to record all your baby's special firsts? We love these clever tips from mum, Emily Norris! 

  • Author: Lorna White Lorna White
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Lorna is the digital executive and regular contributor for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website which specialises in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, she has now brought her expertise to the UK's #1 leading pregnancy and parenting magazine. Lorna specialises on a range of topics from potty training and nutrition, to everything and anything that will keep your tot occupied!

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