Scientists suggest that babies pick up a language even before they are born. But how? By listening to their mother, of course. And when they are born, their cry has the same patterns and melodies as their mother’s native language. This just proves that babies are truly creatures from out of this world.

If you want to know more about how babies develop in their first year, you’re in luck! Bright Side has collected important milestones that babies reach every month from their birth all the way to their first birthday.

So, here you are. A new parent. Probably living off coffee, hormones, tiredness and your baby’s delicious smell. The first few months aren’t easy and in case no one told you yet today — you are doing a fabulous job. And in between diaper changes you may be wondering: how long till your baby is a bit more independent and can actually do stuff on their own? And what are they supposed to do at different ages?

Please note, that every baby develops differently and if your baby does something later or doesn’t do it at all, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. Always consult with your doctor.

1 month old

  • Turns head side to side
  • Keeps hands in tight fists
  • Has strong reflex movements
  • Focuses only 8 to 12 inches away
  • Prefers high-contrast patterns
  • Recognizes their mother’s smell
  • Hearing is fully developed
  • Head flops back if unsupported
  • Jerky movements

2 months old

  • Starts smiling at people
  • Coos, makes gurgling sounds
  • Turns head toward sounds
  • Puts hands in the mouth to self-soothe
  • Focuses on certain parts of your face
  • Smoother movements
  • Can hold their heads up and begin to push themselves up when lying on their stomachs

3 months old

  • Lifts head and chest when lying on the stomach and supports their upper body with the arms
  • Opens and closes the fists
  • Grasps and shakes hand toys
  • Follows moving objects
  • Recognizes familiar objects and faces from a distance
  • Smiles at the sound of your voice
  • Begins to babble

4 months old

  • Smiles consciously at people
  • Copies movements and expressions
  • Responds to affection
  • Uses eyes and hands together (reaches for toys when in sight)
  • Holds head steadily when unsupported
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface

5 months old

  • Can sit for longer periods of time when supported
  • May sleep through the night
  • Color perception has sharpened
  • Holds things using all of the fingers
  • Rolls over to the stomach and back

6 months old

  • Likes looking at themselves in the mirror
  • Responds to their own name
  • Puts consonants and vowels together (“mama”, “baba”, “dada”)
  • Brings things to the mouth
  • Sits with no support
  • May start teething
  • May start crawling

7 months old

  • Reaches with one hand
  • Transfers objects from hand to hand
  • Develops full-color vision
  • Distance vision matures
  • Distinguishes emotions by voice tone
  • Can find partially hidden objects

8 months old

  • May develop separation anxiety
  • Starts to stand up while holding onto things
  • Pulls self up
  • Picks up things using an index finger and a thumb
  • Starts expressing anger
  • Shows more emotions
  • Starts dancing when music is heard
  • Plays peekaboo

9 months old

  • Has favorite toys
  • Understands “no”
  • Makes a lot of different sounds and noises
  • Copies sounds and gestures of others
  • Picks toys they want to play with
  • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other

10 months old

  • Squats to pick something up off of the floor
  • Mastered the pincer grasp
  • Understands and follows simple commands
  • Asks to be picked up by raising the arms
  • Can drink from a sippy cup without help

11 months old

  • Points to things when asked where they are
  • Stands with no support for a short period of time
  • Cruises around holding onto furniture or your hands
  • Experiments with standing on one foot or the toes
  • Hand-eye coordination improves
  • Feeds themselves finger foods
  • Throws temper tantrums

12 months old

  • May start walking
  • Pulls themselves up to stand
  • Puts objects into a container and takes them out
  • Pokes with the index finger
  • Tries to imitate scribbling
  • Pays increasing attention to speech
  • Says, “mama” and “dada”
  • Uses simple gestures
  • Tries to imitate words
  • Explores objects in different ways (throwing, banging, shaking)
  • Begins to use objects correctly (brushes hair, drinks from a cup, “talks on the phone”)
  • Shows preference for toys or people

Let us know down in the comments what cute things your baby did in their first year!

Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for

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