The first year of your baby’s life is a profound time of change - for both you and her! Your little miracle will go from a tiny, totally dependent newborn into a talking, toothy toddler in the span of a few short months. Like most parents, you’ll eagerly watch your baby’s progress, diligently recording every inch of growth and anticipating every developmental milestone. It’s a magical time.

As your baby grows, it’s helpful to know the typical schedule of development, so you know what to expect. But, let me emphasize something incredibly important: there is a very wide range of “normal.” Progressing slower than what’s outlined on milestone charts is not an indication of abnormalities or decreased intellect and progressing faster is not an indication of any type of physical superiority. You may feel conscientious at a playdate that your friend’s 7 month old baby is crawling all over the place while your 8 month old seems to have no interest in independent mobility at all. But, as Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Just as every child is unique, their development is also unique. Don’t compare your child to others (he probably excels at hidden things you’re not witnessing at a playdate). Enjoy who your child is and know that he will learn all of these skills in due time.

With that said, here’s a general outline of developmental milestones developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help you understand what to expect in the first year.

Click here to download a PDF of baby's first milestones!

Let me reiterate: every child will move through these milestones at a different pace and that’s perfectly healthy. Of course, if you ever have any concern, discuss it with your pediatrician. And, if by age eight to twelve months your baby displays any of the following indicators of potential developmental delay outlined by the AAP, alert your pediatrician.
  • Does not crawl
  • Drags one side of body while crawling (for over one month)
  • Cannot stand when supported
  • Does not search for objects that are hidden while he watches
  • Says no single words (“mama” or “dada”)
  • Does not learn to use gestures, such as waving or shaking head
  • Does not point to objects or pictures
Many things can influence your baby’s development - whether or not he has siblings, being born prematurely, natural temperament, and more. The most important thing you can do (besides providing healthy food, promoting sound sleep, and creating a safe environment) is to spend quality time with your baby - talking, touching, hugging, loving. Human interaction is vital to healthy development - luckily, it’s what most parents instinctively desire!

Enjoy your baby every single moment you can. While her developmental schedule may not be certain, one thing is: she’ll grow faster than you can believe.