Your baby will be very busy in her first two years, with key stages along the way called developmental milestones. 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 persondevelops 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 child development milestones that your baby will be developing throughout their childhood:
Physical or motor skills like walking
Social skills such as sharing
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Between two and three months you'll notice your baby becoming more confident with holding up their own head, whether during tummy time or while being held. A three-month-old baby lying on their back will have learned how to hold their head up for brief periods of time.
Some babies are noiser than others (although they all master crying quite quickly!) whether its a babble or a coo, or just blowing raspberries. It's all your baby learning about how to make sounds. Even from a very young age there are things you can do to help them develop their speech. Try out these five ways to teach your baby to talk.
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, between four and 12 months of age, your little one will begin to interact with objects and people more by grabbing and trying to move around more on the floor!
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.
There is a huge range when it comes to what is 'normal' for baby hair. Some babies are born with luxurious locks from the get go, others will have downy newborn baby hair, and some will have none at all. As for baby hair growth, again it varies from baby to baby. Tips on how to cut your baby's hair at home.
Most children learn to stand unaided (often before crashing back down on their bottom) by the time they’re 14 months. Standing unaided is the first step towards this huge moment in your baby's development. You may also notice them cruising - using furniture to support themselves. Read more about these walking milestones here.
Congratulations, it's time to celebrate the first year of your beautiful baby's life! Whether you’re planning a big bash for your tot or fancy something a little more laid back, we’ve got oodles of first birthday ideas for you to take a look at.
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:
Though every child is different, most will walk between eight and 18 months. While you wait with baited breath for those tentative first baby steps there are a couple of simple tricks you can do to encourage your little one to get moving.
Potty training your toddler can be a milestone that’s as eagerly anticipated as it is dreaded! So try our expert potty training tips to find out how to know when your tot is ready to potty train, the best potty to buy, and how to go about it like a pro.
Your tot's growth happens in fits and starts, with rapid increases in length or height and weight. Your baby's weight and progression will be checked by health professionals throughout their early years, but you can use this chart as a rough baby growth guideline.
Sharing a book with your baby not only aids her language development, but teaches her the physical skills she’ll need to one day read a book for herself. Even newborns can benefit from books, such as these black and white baby books.
Of course, alongside the big milestones and precious moments like the first time your baby smiled, or laughed or said "muma", there are those things that you will never, EVER be able to get out of your head.
Awful experiences that yes, you can laugh about now, but at the time, it was a different matter entirely. Scroll through the gallery below and let us know if these strike a chord with you.
The time your baby rolled off the mat
You turned your back for ONE SECOND, it was probably less than one second and yet baby took a tumble. Icy fear gripped your heart and guilt, that uncontrollable guilt.
The first shower of puke
Once upon a time you didn’t really know that if you held your baby up high just after she’d eaten, then she would be sick over your face. You know that now. Oh yes do you know that now.
The first shower of wee
You take your little boy’s nappy off and before you know what’s happening, he pees straight up into your face. How can his aim be that good, how come there is so much, how come you didn’t know to move out of the way?
The first blood bath
You decided to cut your baby’s toenails, the tiny little shells on the end of her toes, carefully done with tiny little scissors. And then something happened and you cut her. And there was a river of blood, and tears, and screaming and you felt like the worst mother on the world.
The first unbelievable nappy
First of all a filled nappy was something wonderful, “my baby actually did that”, then it became humdrum. Until one day you saw something so big, something that smelled so foul that you couldn’t actually believe it came out of something so cute. Your eyes still water at the thought.
The first time they fell over
Your boisterous toddler is always falling over, grazing her knees, scraping her hands, crying, getting over it and cheerfully doing it all again. But that wasn’t always the case. The first time she fell over and let out that blood-curdling scream, you swore never to let her out of your sight ever again, and to only dress her in padded clothes.
The first time they swore!
Babies are like sponges, someone told you that once. You didn’t really get what that meant until the first time your little one blurted something rude you had said in the privacy of your own home, one the bus. Loudly. And everyone heard.
The first temper tantrum
Before you became a mum and you saw a toddler having a screaming tantrum in the middle of supermarket you thought to yourself “that will never happen to me” and it never did, until the first time...
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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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