Parenting Tips · February 10, 2022 0

Newborn Development Stages: Month By Month

Newborn development stages from birth to first year are a guide for parents who have a lot of questions about how their baby is developing. Babies develop differently at their own rate, but these milestones can help you understand what to expect and when your child enters each phase.

Many of these milestones go unnoticed — we don’t realize some of these milestones have been achieved until a friend or family member points it out. This is especially true in the case of a baby whose development vaults forward rapidly, mastering three new skills in a single day. Try as you might, remembering the subtle changes day-to-day is almost impossible.

A baby’s development can be tracked month by month, starting at week 1 after conception. The stages of development include the following:

Newborn Development Stages From 0-12 Months

First 8 weeks of a baby’s life!

Baby development in the first 8 weeks of a baby’s life from conception to the eighth week (weighing about 8 ounces) is marked by rapid changes and developments in a baby.

In the first eight weeks of life, babies go through a lot, from their first meeting with mom to exploring their surroundings. It’s a good idea to plan your newborn’s routine while you’re with your new baby in these early weeks. Put things in place before your baby arrives so you can focus on enjoying more time with them.

In the early weeks, babies rapidly develop their sense of sight, sound, touch, and taste. During this period, half the neurons in the brain develop fully before the end of the 8th week. In fact, in many countries, this period of development is often called the fourth trimester, which helps communicate how important these first eight weeks are for babies’ overall health and wellbeing.

Milestones for a 1-month-old baby

During your first few weeks at home with your infant, you’ll most likely be focused on the fundamentals of child care. However, as you and your baby get to know one other, you will be astounded at how rapidly they change and grow.

Every baby develops at a different pace, but there are some developmental milestones that most infants reach around 1-month-old.

Your baby should:

  • Respond to sounds by moving their head or body toward the sound source.
  • Recognize familiar faces and voices and be soothed by them.
  • Start to smile at people, especially during feedings and when being talked to or sung to.
  • Follow moving objects with their eyes, including a dangling toy in front of their face.
  • Recognize and respond to changes in light (for example, a dimming light at bedtime).
  • Start making cooing and gurgling noises.

Milestones for a 2-month-old baby

You’ve made it to two months as a first-time parent! (Or maybe you’re a veteran, and this is your second or third.) Milestones for a 2-month-old baby can include smiling, tracking objects with the eyes, and vocalization.

At two months old, babies are getting more hand-eye coordination and are becoming more interactive. In addition, they have developed their sleep patterns.

Babies are more communicative at this age according to VeryWellFamily.com. Here are some baby milestones parents can expect to see:

  • Pays more attention to faces, especially Mom and Dad’s
  • Recognizes familiar objects and people at a distance
  • Begins to smile at people
  • Starts following moving objects with eyes
  • Shows some hand-eye coordination (starting to reach for things)
  • Language/Communication
  • Responds to sounds by making sounds
  • Can briefly calm self (for example, stops crying when picked up)
  • May cry differently to indicate different needs (hungry or sleepy)
  • Social/Emotional
  • Enjoys playing with other people and may cry when playing stops
  • Makes gurgling sounds during playtime with family members
  • Physical Development (movement)
  • Holds head steady when upright with support

Newborn development stages from 9-12 weeks
(3 months)

From 9 to 12 weeks, your baby becomes more aware of her surroundings. She’ll start to smile, play with her hands, and learn how to use her tongue. And she may even begin to recognize you.

From 9 weeks, you’ll be impressed by how active your baby is: They’ll grab things (including their own feet) and shake rattles. They’ll also become more aware of themselves and sense when mom is close by. That means they will more easily find their pacifier and even recognize themselves in a mirror. 

Nine to twelve weeks is one of the most fascinating stages in human development. During this period, babies learn to mimic others and develop fine motor skills like reaching and grasping. They also become more focused, stay awake longer, and have better control over their breathing and movements. This is also when they start interacting with you!

Milestones for a 3-month-old baby

Congratulations, you survived the first three months of parenthood! Now that your baby is no longer an actual newborn, it’s time to start thinking about baby milestones.

It’s the age when babies start to develop a social smile,” and he may even mimic facial expressions and gestures as he watches people interact. (Have fun making faces at him!)

He can now grip toys you place in his hands and transfer them from one hand to another. And he’s starting to notice his feet and toes — he’ll look down to try to find them and kick at objects that touch his feet.

You may be able to get him to sleep through the night by now, as well. Some babies will sleep eight hours straight by this age.

At three months, your baby can:

  • Roll over in both directions
  • Raise their head and chest when laying on their stomach
  • Reach for toys with both hands and bring them to their mouth.
  • Supports upper body with arms when lying on stomach.
  • Reaches for dangling objects with hands.
  • Brings hands to mouth.
  • When held, pushes down on legs with feet.

Newborn development stages from 13-24 weeks
(4-6 months)

An amazing learning curve has taken place in the last 12 weeks. Your baby has learned to make new facial expressions and noises had his first laugh and sat with support for a few moments.

Babies can now interact with objects by grasping them and releasing them at this age. They are very attached to their parents, so most infants develop separation anxiety.

Your baby is growing in many ways, gaining weight and building strength. Some infants can sit unassisted as early as six months, others not until they’re nine months or older.

The most crucial development stages for infants from 13-24 weeks are physical and motor development. You will see below that a baby’s physical and motor development is expected to progress during this period.

Milestones for a 4-month-old baby

Make way for your little one’s big personality! Your 4-month-old is growing more curious by the day, taking in the world around her with wide eyes and an even wider smile. As each day passes, she’s learning and gaining new skills, from holding her head upon her own to cooing at you.

Of course, she’s still very much a baby at this age. She’ll spend a lot of time sleeping — after all, it’s exhausting being this busy! — and will rely on you for most of her needs. But there’s no question that your child is changing by leaps and bounds every single day.

Here are some developmental milestones to keep an eye out for this month:

  • Rolling over (front to back, then back to front)
  • Reaching and grasping for objects
  • Grasping and shaking toys
  • Bringing hands to mouth
  • Pushing down with legs when feet are on the ground
  • Recognizing familiar faces and objects from across the room

Milestones for a 5-month-old baby

You’re probably getting more sleep now as your baby’s sleeping more at night. Still, you may only get one to two hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time. It’s not enough, but it is progress! The good news is that there are some exciting changes on the horizon for your 5-month-old baby this month.

Your baby’s getting better at expressing his emotions and needs as he becomes more social, and he may be able to recognize himself in a mirror by this point. Here’s what else you can expect from your 5-month-old baby:

  • Rolls from front to back and back to front
  • Can hold head up and begin to push up when lying on tummy
  • Tummy time becomes more accessible and more enjoyable for the baby.
  • Starting to sit with, and then without, support of their hands (may need to be propped at first)
  • Reaches for toys and brings them to mouth
  • Passes objects from hand to hand
  • Gets hands within midline (center of the body)

Milestones for a 6-month-old baby

Six months is a significant milestone for you and your baby. After six months, your baby will be more mobile, more vocal, and ready to participate in a broader range of activities.

Mobility: Your baby may be able to roll from back to stomach and stomach to back. She may sit up while supported at the base of the spine (with her hands beside her), though she still won’t have complete control over her head. She’ll likely rock on all fours but find it hard to move forward. You can help her practice these skills by placing toys out of reach and encouraging her to get them.

Language: Your baby’s babbling will start sounding more like actual words now, and you’ll probably be able to tell what she’s trying to say most of the time. They will repeat noises like “ma-ma-ma” or “bah-bah-bah” to gain attention or communicate feelings.

Feeding: If you haven’t already introduced solids, you can start now if your baby seems ready for them (she’ll look interested when you’re eating, will stay in a sitting position without help, and will be able to swallow food rather than pushing it out with her tongue). Talk with your

At this age, most babies can:

  • Roll over in both directions (front to back, back to front)
  • Sit with, and then without, support of her hands
  • Reach with one hand
  • Transfer objects from one hand to the other
  • Eat thicker solids with more texture
  • Play interactive games, such as peekaboo and patty cake
  • Respond to his name when he hears it

Baby’s development stages from 25-36 weeks
(7-9 months)

The first year of life is the most exciting and fast development period in a baby’s life. Baby’s development stages from 7 to 9 months are vital for your baby’s growth and development. During this period you will see your baby reaching developmental milestones day by day.  …

From 25-36 weeks is a busy time for babies to develop skills and abilities. Your baby will acquire essential skills such as grasping, sitting steadily and crawling. This developmental period can be fun for bonding with your little one since it’s the first time she will sit for much longer than just a few minutes in front of you. You can capitalize on her newfound sitting session by engaging her in some do-it-yourself activities.

At this point, it’s not just a matter of getting bigger – many new developments affect their behavior, how they communicate with the world around them, and how they learn. It can be quite a challenge to keep up with your baby’s changing needs when you’re bombarded with so much information, whether it’s observed through their play or your observations of their development.

Milestones for a 7-month-old baby

Activity: Expect to see her display a much stronger sense of who she is and what she can do. She’ll be more confident at using her hands, whether to grab toys or food or scribble with crayons. She might even start to crawl by now! And if you haven’t already, you can start giving your baby water in a sippy cup so she can practice drinking.

Crawling: Your baby is busy practicing her new crawling skills, which means she’s probably getting more mobile — and more mischievous! She’ll love being able to get into all sorts of things she couldn’t before, so make sure anything dangerous is out of reach. But remember that not all babies crawl at this age (some babies never crawl), and that’s OK too. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong or that they’ll develop slower than their peers.

Standing up: Some babies are also starting to pull themselves up onto their knees and stand when they’re supported, usually by grabbing onto furniture or your legs. If this is the case with your little one, make sure you’re helping her well and keep an eye on her as she can topple over easily. Don’t worry if your baby.

Milestones for an 8-month-old baby

Diet: By now, your baby has probably been eating solid foods for a few months. They may even have started to reject purees in favor of finger foods like cheerios or small pieces of soft foods like avocado, banana or well-cooked vegetables. If you’re still offering purees, it’s a good idea to introduce more texture and less liquid. 

Activity: You can tell that your 8-month-old is becoming more independent and aware of the world as she becomes more mobile and develops better hand-eye coordination. She will likely sit by herself, pull up to a standing position, and crawl around the room. She might even be able to cruise around the furniture or take a few steps with assistance.

It’s time to baby-proof the house! Your 8-month-old is on the move — and this means crawling around, exploring, and getting into everything. 

Language: Your baby’s language development is heading into high gear now, but she won’t be saying “Mama” or “Dada” yet. Instead, expect her to make lots of cooing sounds, as well as babbling combinations like “baba” or “da-da.” Some babies even begin combining consonants and vowels, such as “baba” or “bobo.” An 8-month-old baby also understands simple words, such as “no,” so you can begin teaching her how to respond when you speak.

Milestones for an 9-month-old baby

Activity: A 9-month-old baby may not be walking on his own, but he’s learning a ton of other valuable skills, from crawling to holding his bottle. He’s probably getting the hang of clapping and may even be starting to wave “bye-bye.”

Crawling: He’s able to crawl and stand up without help. He’ll enjoy being able to explore the house on his own, so make sure any dangerous areas are gated off or kept out of reach.

Motor skills: His motor skills have come a long way in the past nine months. With better control over his hands, he can pick up small objects and pass them from hand to hand, and he’ll likely start trying to feed himself, albeit with mixed results. Be patient: He may get food on the floor more often than into his mouth in these early days of self-feeding.

He’s still developing fine motor skills, so don’t expect him to be able to dress just yet. But he might delight you by starting to wave bye-bye or clap with glee as he watches you sing songs or play peekaboo with him.

Baby’s development stages from 37-48 weeks
(10-12 months)

The first year of life is the most exciting and fast development period in a baby’s life. Baby’s development stages from 7 to 9 months are vital for your baby’s growth and development. During this period you will see your baby reaching developmental milestones day by day.  …

Milestones for an 10-month-old baby

Cognition: One of the most significant milestones for your baby this month is the realization that things still exist even when he can’t see them. Up until now, if his toy rolled out of sight under the sofa, he would have thought it was gone forever. But your baby’s mind has developed enough that he knows the toy is still there and might be retrieved by moving the couch or crawling under it.

Personality: Your baby is a natural little person with a distinct personality at this age. He’s also becoming more independent and aware of who he is compared to others. The world is full of fascinating things for him to discover, so it’s no wonder that he spends so much time investigating it all.

Language: Your 10-month-old’s speech will still be limited to a few words, but he’ll understand what you say and follow directions like “Give me the ball.” He can now say two words together, such as “mama up.”

Physical development: Your baby may crawl all over the place, but his favorite method is probably the commando crawl; on his belly, pushing with his arms and legs. He’s also likely to pull himself up into a standing position if you hold him under his arms or if he’s able to grab something sturdy (like the coffee table). And he can probably bounce when you’re holding him in a standing position (if not, he will soon).

Motor skills: Your baby can now pass objects from one hand to another and stack two blocks on top of each other. He’ll also try to imitate you as much as possible — banging on pots with a spoon, for example. He may even wave bye-bye or clap — although it may not be on purpose yet.

Milestones for an 11-month-old baby

Physical development: By 11 months old, your baby is probably walking, standing without support and may even be trying to run (watch out!). He’s definitely into everything and can probably climb onto furniture. 

Little explorer: Your baby is still exploring the world with his mouth at this age, so don’t let him play with dangerous objects such as plastic bags or coins. To keep him safe, always keep one hand on him when he’s on a high surface (such as the changing table).

Motor skills: Your baby’s motor skills will continue to improve this month. He may even start walking with one handheld or holding on to furniture. His older skills are getting stronger too. He’ll be able to stand without support for more extended periods and may even try climbing stairs.

Language: He’s also babbling more, learning simple words, and understanding a lot of what you say. 

Milestones for an 12-month-old baby

By 12 months, your toddler is probably walking and maybe even running. Though he still has a lot to learn, he now has the mobility to get into more mischief. This is also a very social age as your baby becomes more aware of other children and is eager to play with them.

At this age, most babies can:

  • Use simple gestures like waving bye-bye or nodding their head for yes.
  • Imitate others’ actions
  • Pretend play (feeding a doll)
  • Understand the basic meaning of no
  • Walk alone or take steps without holding on to anything.
  • Say single words like “mama” or “dada” (although it may not be clear which parent they’re referring to)

Some babies may have taken their first steps by now; others are just starting to stand up independently. Some will be content to cruise around furniture while others are busy taking their first steps. Your baby might still be crawling, too — and that’s fine!

There’s no need to worry if your child isn’t walking yet. Every child develops at their own pace, and you don’t want to push your child before he is ready. You can support your little one by giving him lots of tummy time and encouraging him to crawl or pull himself up to a standing position.

Newborn Development Stages
Newborn Development Stages

Conclusion On Newborn Development Stages

Whether you’re happy, sad, worried or excited about your new arrival, one of the first things you’ll probably want to know is your baby’s development milestones and how they compare to other newborns.

When it comes to newborn development phases, keep in mind that your child will not develop at the same rate as others; no two infants are the same. If you have any doubts, speak with your pediatrician and do your homework, but don’t be disheartened if your newborn does not reach a given milestone by a certain age.

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