Skip to content
  • Signs and symptoms

Developmental milestones from birth to age 1

By Amanda Morin

Babies develop skills quickly during the first year, and it can be hard to know if your baby is on track. In the first year, babies develop new ways to think, communicate, and solve problems (called cognitive skills ). They develop physically and learn to interact with people.

If you’re not completely sure what skills are typical for this first year, take a look at this list of developmental milestones. It will give you a better idea of which skills are typically expected to develop at this age and whether there are possible developmental delays to discuss with the pediatrician. You can also learn more about:


Physical milestones

  • Makes reflex movements like sucking and startling

  • Has jerky, uncontrolled arm and leg movements

Cognitive milestones

  • Learns about things by feel, sound, sight, and smell

  • Begins repeating movements to help brain growth and memory

Social and emotional milestones

  • Starts learning to be comforted by caregivers

  • Begins getting attached to caregivers

3 months

Physical milestones

  • Props up on arms when on belly

  • Holds head up unsupported for a short time

  • Follows an object with eyes from one side to the middle, but not all the way around

Cognitive milestones

  • Starts paying attention to, watching, and recognizing faces

  • Recognizes familiar people at a distance

  • Shows signs of boredom (fussiness) when doing one thing too long

  • Uses eyes and hands together and plans, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it

Social and emotional milestones

  • Smiles spontaneously

  • Likes to play with people

  • Coos and babbles

  • Develops different cries for different needs (hungry, tired, wet)

  • Responds to love and affection

  • Shows happiness and sadness

  • May imitate facial expressions

5 months

Physical milestones

  • Reaches for and grabs objects

  • Rocks on tummy; may be able to roll from tummy to back

  • Puts weight on legs when feet are flat on the floor

  • Moves things from hand to hand

Cognitive and language milestones

  • Is curious about things out of reach and looks at new things

  • Explores things by putting them in mouth

  • Responds to conversation by making sounds

  • Recognizes and responds to own name

Social and emotional milestones

  • Starts to recognize and react to strangers

  • Tries to get caregivers to play (sticks out tongue, pats toys, etc.)

7 months

Physical milestones

  • Rolls from back to tummy and tummy to back

  • Sits without support

  • Does “push-ups” and starts trying to move forward

Cognitive and language milestones

  • Practices turn-taking when “talking” with caregivers

  • Jabbers with vowel sound combinations (eh, ah, oh) and starts using sounds like b and m

  • Starts testing cause and effect, such as seeing what happens when shaking a toy

Social and emotional milestones

  • Is interested in looking in the mirror

  • Uses sounds to express happiness, sadness, and anger

9 months

Physical milestones

  • Gets into and out of a sitting position

  • Starts scooting, creeping, or crawling

  • May stand with support

  • Picks up small objects using thumb and fingers (pincer grasp)

  • Follows a falling object with eyes

  • Looks for hidden object, but only if your baby sees you hide it

  • Plays peekaboo and patty-cake

  • Starts to understand no

  • Makes vowel-consonant sounds (mama, baba)

  • Points and copies other gestures

Social and emotional milestones

  • Begins having stranger anxiety

  • May be upset when separated from caregivers

  • Has favorite objects or toys

12 months

Take a more in-depth look at developmental milestones for 1-year-olds .

Physical milestones

  • Walks holding on to hands or furniture

  • May stand alone

  • May take a few steps alone

  • Can let go of items without help

  • Points

Cognitive and language milestones

  • Finds hidden objects

  • Looks at or points to a picture when you name it

  • Bangs, throws, and shakes things to see what happens

  • Explores everyday objects, both in correct ways (using a cup to drink) and incorrect ways (puts a toy in a cup)

  • Follows one-step directions

  • Shakes head no and waves

  • Tries to repeat words

Social and emotional milestones

  • Uses inflection and pauses to make sounds that sound like talking

  • Uses simple words like mama or uh-oh

  • Responds to name

  • Plays favorites with people

  • Is a little fearful of new things

  • Uses gestures or sounds to get your attention

Keep in mind that babies develop at different rates. If your baby isn’t reaching some of these milestones, don’t panic. But be sure to discuss this with the pediatrician. You can talk together about whether to consider an early intervention evaluation .

And take a look forward at developmental milestones for 1-year-olds and 2-year-olds .

Key Takeaways

  • Babies typically crawl, scoot, or cruise by the end of the first year.

  • By the end of the first year, babies might be saying mama or uh-oh and responding to their own name.

  • If you have concerns, be sure to talk to your baby’s health care provider about what you’re seeing.

Related topics

  • Signs and symptoms

Tell us what interests you

See your recommendations

Tell us what interests you

Select the topics you want to learn more about

See your recommendations


Did you know we have a community app for parents?

Learn More About Wunder

Share Developmental milestones from birth to age 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom

Share Developmental milestones from birth to age 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom