Infant milestones: a mum lifting her baby up high.

Your baby’s milestones: development during the first year

The first twelve months of your baby's life will be an amazing journey full of milestones, developments and changes. From their first smile to their first steps - each of these moments is a precious gift that you will remember for a long time. We have summarised the most important developmental milestones that you can look forward to.

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Infant milestones: a baby learning to crawl.

Your baby’s milestones during their first year

During your baby’s first year of life, they will not only grow rapidly, but they will also constantly be learning new things, exploring the world and developing their own personality. In short: the first year of life will be a very special adventure, full of first times and memorable moments.

However, every child develops at their own pace. Whilst some babies reach certain milestones early on, others may take more time to develop their skills. Whilst some babies are learning to crawl, others may be learning to sit instead. Each baby develops at their own individual pace and this is something parents do not need to worry about. Give your baby the time they need and support them on their way.

Your baby’s milestones after birth

After your baby has arrived, it will need time to settle in and get used to its new environment. At this point, a lot of its movements and actions are merely reflexes. For example, sucking is reflex which encourages your baby to suck on anything that is held up to its mouth. Similarly, your baby will clutch anything you put in its little hands.

At this stage, your baby is not able to move purposefully yet, but this will change over the next few months.

Your baby’s milestones: what to expect in the first year

The milestones that we have summarised here are just a general guide and are merely intended to show you what you can look forward to during the first year of your baby's life.

Your baby’s 1-month-old milestones
  • During your pregnancy, your baby could already hear sounds and learnt to recognise your voice. Shortly after being born, it will already be able to distinguish its parents' voices from those of others. At around one month of age, it will learn to recognise different voices and will react to these more so than to monotonous sounds.

  • Theoretically, your baby will already be able to react to different tastes by two months of age.

Your baby’s 2-month-old milestones
  • During the second month, you may see your baby smile for the first time. This is their first attempt at making conscious contact with you. Initially however, your baby will smile at everyone. Between the sixth and eighth month, they will learn to recognise specific people and react to them in different ways.

  • When you pick your baby up, it may start to reach out to you more consciously.

  • Shortly after birth, your baby was only able to recognise you from about 20 to 30 cm away. From the ninth week onwards, your baby’s three-dimensional vision will improve and it will become better at recognising objects that are further away.

Your baby’s 3-month-old milestones
  • Until this point, you always had to support your baby’s head. From the third month onwards, your baby may gradually start lifting its head and looking around on its own.

  • At three or four months of age, your baby may try to move forwards by kicking its legs.

  • During the third month, your baby may start to babble and make sounds when they feel happy.

Your baby’s 4-month-old milestones
  • You may notice from four months of age that your little darling will start reaching for things more purposefully.

  • Your baby will also learn to combine different movements into a single sequence. For example, if it reaches out for something and does not get it, it will correct its own movement and try again.

  • At this point the phase begins in which your baby wants to examine everything extensively. They do this by chewing and sucking on everything. From now on, everything your baby gets their hands on they will put in their mouth.

  • Your baby may also start laughing by the fourth month and the sounds they make will also become more varied. Even if your baby can't speak yet, they will begin to understand more of what you say to them.

Your baby’s 5-month-old milestones
  • Some babies may start to roll from their tummy to their back (or vice versa) on their own at five or six months.

  • Other babies may try to crawl or sit up for the first time. However, these first attempts are usually not successful and you can help your baby with this.

  • In general, you will notice that your baby’s reflexes shortly after being born will change.

Your baby’s 6-month-old milestones
  • From the sixth month onwards, some babies may start teething.

  • Over time, your little one will learn that every action is followed by a reaction. For example: when it throws an object on the floor it makes a sound. This will teach your baby that they can get what they want if they keep trying. This strengthens their self-confidence.

Your baby’s 7-month-old milestones
  • At this age, your baby may be able to sit on its own if you prop them up.

  • Between the seventh and eighth month you may be able to see their first little teeth.

Your baby’s 8-month-old milestones
  • Now your baby’s urge to move gets stronger and they try to propel themselves forwards any way they can. They usually do this by rocking back and forth.

  • From this point on, you may also notice that your baby can grab toys with their thumb and index finger. This is a complex fine motor skill.

  • From the eighth month onwards, your little darling will be able to recognise faces and will now know which people are familiar and which are strangers. Initially, your baby will reject strangers. However, this is a completely normal stage of development and is merely a phase that will quickly pass if you make your baby feel safe and secure.

Your baby’s 9-month-old milestones
  • At nine months of age, a lot of babies learn to crawl. In preparation for this, some babies first stand on all fours and rock back and forth.

  • Your little one will start to examine objects with their hands more than with their mouth. This process also includes tossing the object aside after they have inspected it. The sound it makes teaches your baby if the object is soft and quiet or hard and loud.

Your baby’s 10-month-old milestones
  • Every baby develops individually. Some babies are already crawling by 10 months, whilst others can sit up on their own.

  • From ten month on, your baby may say their first word. Spoken words now take on more meaning (e.g. your baby can point to something and specifically say "there"). They already understand many more words and are constantly learning new ones.

  • Some babies also bounce up and down whilst sitting when they are having fun.

Your baby’s 11-month-old milestones
  • By the eleventh month, your baby may become quite active and they may start to pull themselves up on objects.

  • Some babies may also take their first steps with your support.

Your baby’s 12-month-old milestones
  • From now on you can practice walking with your baby regularly. When exactly they will start to walk on their own is different for each baby. So be patient with your little one and let them learn in their own time.

  • Your baby will also learn to say words more clearly and learn new ones.

Tip

Once your baby can walk on its own, it is considered to be a toddler. Sometimes a baby’s first birthday is considered the end of infancy, however, in this case the ability to walk on their own is the key milestone.

However, before your little treasure starts to walk and talk, you will have a whole year ahead of you in which your baby can explore the world around them and you can grow into your role as a parent. To make sure you are well prepared for the adventure ahead of you, we have put together some useful articles about how to look after a newborn.

The first days with a newborn: a mum and dad cuddling with their baby.

How to care for a newborn: tips for new parents

Hurray, your baby has finally arrived! Once you are back home, you can spend lots of time with your baby. To ensure that you can focus all your attention on your little angel and enjoy your time together, you can prepare some things in advance. We will explain what you should keep in mind during the postpartum period, what preparations you can make and what you can generally expect during the first few days with your baby.

How to care for a newborn
How to dress your baby: a mum dressing her baby after changing its nappy.

How to dress a baby for every season

Newborns cannot regulate their body temperatures yet. This is why they always need to be dressed according to the season. To prevent your baby from getting too hot or too cold, you can layer different items of clothing. This way you can easily remove or add a layer of clothing if needed. We will explain what to look out for when dressing your baby, which items of clothing make changing your baby easier and we will give you some recommendations for different seasons and temperatures which you can use as a guide.

How to dress a baby for every season
How to dress your baby at night: the right environment is important for getting restful sleep.

What to dress a baby in at night

To ensure your little one sleeps well they shouldn’t get too warm or too cold at night. To create the right sleeping environment for your baby, we will tell you at what temperature babies sleep best and how to combine a bodysuit, pyjamas and a sleeping bag for each season. You can use this as a guide to adapt your baby's clothing to their specific needs.

How to dress a baby at night
Postpartum clothes: a mum holding her baby and gazing out of a window.

Postpartum clothes: the right clothing for your postnatal period & tips for postnatal outfits

After your baby has arrived, not only does your life change but so does your wardrobe. Your body has gone through a lot and now it needs time to recover. This is completely normal. Give yourself time and be patient with yourself. However, you deserve to feel comfortable and look chic in your outfits. With these tips and tricks, you can put together outfits that are not only practical for nursing, but will also make you look great.

Comfortable and stylish postpartum clothes

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References and further information

https://www.marchofdimes.org/find-support/topics/parenthood/developmental-milestones-baby
(Last accessed on 14.12.2023)

https://www.thebump.com/a/baby-milestone-chart
(Last accessed on 14.12.2023)

The image sources in this text are in chronological order

Cover photo: iStock.com/Moyo Studio

  1. Image in text: iStock.com/Liudmila Chernetska

  2. Image in text: iStock.com/boggy22

  3. Image in text: iStock.com/Michele Pevide

  4. Image in text: iStock.com/olesiabilkei

  5. Image in text: iStock.com/SDI Productions

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