Baby Milestones: The First 12 Months

baby above the huge measuring tape

Buckle up, parents -- your baby’s first year will likely present a whirlwind of emotions and milestones! You’ll see them take their first bottle, hear their first cry, and possibly witness them take their first steps!

During the first year of their life, your baby will grow and develop at an amazing speed.

Their weight will increase rapidly within the first 5 to 6 months, and even triple by their first birthday. And they’re also constantly learning about the world around them!

While no two babies are exactly alike and likely to develop at their own pace, there are some developmental milestones for most babies in a similar age range.

These include learning how to roll over, sit up, and even begin toddling around! It’s possible they’ll utter their first words too in their first year.

Take the following milestones we’re about to share as a guideline. Keep in mind that your baby’s paediatrician is best equipped to evaluate your baby’s development and address any concerns you may have!

From 0-3 months

Cute newborn asian girl sleeping on furry cloth

Your baby will be focused on feeding, sleeping, cuddling, and communicating their needs (mostly through crying though!) with you as well as developing their sense of alertness.

You may notice your baby:

  • Be able to lift their head as they gain more neck strength

  • Reach out to touch and explore things with their hands

  • Start to watch and follow your face and other objects

  • Start to smile, laugh, coo and make baby noises

  • Prefer human faces to other objects

  • Display signs of emotions such as interest, happiness or discomfort

  • Turn their head when their cheek is touched

  • Be startled by loud sounds and look in the direction of the sound

  • Shut their eyes (or blink) in the presence of bright light

  • Lift their head up when placed on their tummy

  • Kick their legs and play with their hands and feet

  • Begin to develop some hand-eye coordination

From 3-6 months

Cute 6 months baby wearing insect hood

At this stage, your baby is starting to become more communicative. They’re showing their emotions more clearly and have begun building a stronger bond with you (or the main caregiver).

They’ll likely display these signs:

  • Have better control of their head movements

  • Be able to roll from their laying on their tummy to their back

  • Start sitting up with support

  • Recognise and respond to their name when being called

  • Build attachment to familiar caregivers and show signs of anxiety in the presence of strangers

  • Communicate through smiling, making eye contact, making sounds

  • Have conversations (in baby language) with you!

  • Watch people’s faces and mimic expressions

  • Reach out, grab things (and put them in their mouths)

  • React to familiar people and things with positive expressions such as laughing, squealing or by showing excitement

  • Enjoy watching people and looking at new or colourful objects

From 6-9 months

Nine months old baby boy crawling on floor. Asian family at home, living lifestyle indoors

Your baby will be moving around and trying to communicate even more with you. Your little one may start to show some understanding of oneself as well.

Here are some things you may notice your baby doing:

  • Being able to hold items such as food and passing it from one hand to another

  • Start to self-feed some finger foods