Your Baby - Development

The purpose of this section is to act as a rough guide; all babies develop at their own pace. You will no doubt encounter enough competitive mothers whose baby’s are always well ahead of the rest (but only in their eyes), to last a lifetime. But these “baby geniuses” rarely end up being top of the class. So don’t worry if your baby doesn’t do things at the milestones below, it has no reflection on their future progress.

Obviously if you are worried that your baby is struggling to progress then speak to your GP or health visitor.  Otherwise try to relax and enjoy your baby, the cliché, “they’re not babies for long”, is all too true.

0-1 Month

  • She will be able to focus on faces and objects in close proximity to her.
  • She will turn towards your breast looking for food, this is the rooting instinct.
  • She will grip objects put in her hand.
  • She will start to make little noises as she tries to talk to you.

1-2 Months

  • She will begin to give proper smiles rather than windy ones.
  • She will start to notice that she has hands and will be fascinated by this.
  • She will make cooing noises.
  • She may be able to hold her head up for short periods of time.
  • As her eyesight improves she will begin to recognise you (cue more smiling).

2-3 Months

  • She will laugh.
  • She will become more vocal and her face will be more expressive.
  • She gains more muscle control, allowing her to hold her head steady for increased lengths of time.
  • By 3 months she maybe sleeping for up to 10 hours at night (or maybe not!).  She will probably be having short daytime naps with one longer daytime sleep. Establishing a bedtime routine will be beneficial.

3-4 Months

  • She puts everything in her mouth; fists, fingers, toys and she sucks on her clothing.
  • Will grasp objects because she wants to, not due to reflex.
  • Enjoys being put on her tummy, it helps strengthen her muscles. Always supervise her like this.
  • Will turn towards the sound of your voice.
  • She will want to see what’s going on around her.
  • She will become more active; kicking her legs and moving her arms vigorously. She may be able to move herself in circles whilst still on her back.

4-6 Months

  • She will kick even more forcefully. Likes to kick at objects like a baby gym.
  • She can roll over independently. At 6 months she may be able to manoeuvre herself around the room doing this.
  • She will grab objects and swap them from one hand to the other.
  • She will experiment even more with the sounds she can make, such as blowing raspberries.
  • May try to hold her bottle.
  • She may show signs that she is getting ready to crawl.

6-9 Months

  • She will most likely start to crawl at this stage.
  • Or she might bum shuffle instead.
  • She can sit herself up.
  • She could get her first tooth.
  • Some babies of this age start to become clingy, becoming wary of strangers.
  • She’s trying really hard to copy sounds, maybe even managing “mama” or “dada”.
  • She may shake her head to mean no (a sign of things to come).
  • At 6 months it is time to start weaning her. Try baby rice and thin fruit and veg purees with no lumps as first foods.
  • Babies can sleep for around 11 hours at night and 3 hours in the day at this age.

9-12 Months

  • This is a stage where she tries to copy what you do and be more independent (stubborn).
  • She wants to feed herself (equalling stained clothes, carpet, walls).
  • She can understand lots of words.
  • She is mastering new words and may repeat them frequently.
  • She may use the furniture to pull herself onto her feet.
  • This usually leads to babies “cruising” around using chairs and tables for support.
  • She may even take a few steps alone before she reaches her first birthday.
  • She could sleep for up to 12 hours at night with two daytime naps.