Baby's First Year

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Congratulations! You have a new baby! Here are some of the many wonderful things your baby will learn during the first year of life. Remember, each child is different and may learn and grow at a different pace.

1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 •  10 • 11 • 12

1st Month

  • Cognitive
    • alert about 1 out of every 10 hours
    • quiets when held or seeing faces
    • cries to let you know she needs you
  • Emotional/Social
    • eyes fix on parent’s face and eyes
    • listens to your voice
    • adjusts posture to body of person holding him
    • responds to a voice
  • Physical
    • hands usually closed or slightly open
    • thrusts out arms and legs in play
    • rolls part way to side from back
    • brings hand to mouth
    • turns head to both sides when on tummy and back
    • stares at things without reaching for them
    • briefly grasps toy placed in hand before dropping

2nd Month

  • Cognitive
    • becomes excited in anticipation of objects
    • knows the difference among voices, people, tastes
    • enjoys watching brightly colored objects
    • vocalizes more
  • Emotional/Social
    • shows excitement, delight, distress
    • smiles or vocalizes to talk and touch
    • quiets self with sucking (fist, pacifier, bottle)
    • makes brief eye contact during feeding
  • Physical
    • holds head up to 45° angle for a few seconds on tummy
    • holds rattle briefly
    • tries to hold head up, but it still bobs
    • kicks feet one at a time
    • turns head to both sides on tummy
    • looks at surroundings
    • prefers looking at moving objects
    • eyes will follow toy that moves in a circle
    • eyes will follow toy up and down or side to side

3rd Month

  • Cognitive
    • shows memory, waits for feeding
    • explores her own face, eyes and mouth with hand
    • begins to recognize different family members
  • Emotional/Social
    • interacts with cooing, gurgling, and facial expressions
    • protests when left alone
    • smiles!
    • crying decreases
  • Physical
    • on stomach can lean on elbows and hold head up
    • on stomach may lift head for many minutes
    • sits when held with little head wobbling
    • moves arms and legs vigorously
    • lifts head and chest when pushing up on tummy
    • looks at fingers instead of fist
    • stops sucking to listen, sucks and looks at same time
    • turns head to look for sound
    • may hold and wave a toy

4th Month

  • Cognitive
    • may be responsive for an hour or more at a time
    • Adjusts responses to different people
    • smiles and laughs while socializing
    • splashes and kicks in bath
    • may sleep through the night
    • stares at place from which toy drops
  • Emotional/Social
    • cries if play is interrupted
    • enjoys play, games, and toys
    • quiets to music
    • tries to calm self
    • may briefly stop eating to play
  • Physical
    • rolls from side to side on stomach
    • can turn head in all directions when lying or sitting
    • holds toy placed in hands
    • may roll over
    • can reach for toy
    • bats at toys
    • pulls dangling toy to mouth
    • can focus at different distances
    • turns head and eyes to follow sound or toy

5th Month

  • Cognitive
    • Vocalizes with inflection and intonation of adults
    • says vowel sounds and a few consonants (d,b,l,m)
    • knows family, may fear strangers
    • mouths and shakes toys
    • imitates sounds or movements
  • Social/Emotional
    • smiles and “talks” to get attention
    • protests when adult tries to take toy
    • makes a variety of noises
    • stops crying when hears mom or dad’s voice
    • likes to play at mealtime
  • Physical
    • on back brings feet to mouth and lifts head
    • rolls from back to stomach or stomach to back
    • may move by rocking, rolling, kicking, twisting
    • head steady when held in sitting
    • transfers toy from one hand to other
    • good aim when grabbing toy
    • reaches with one or both hands
    • plays with rattles

6th Month

  • Cognitive
    • inspects toys for a long time
    • has abrupt mood changes and different emotions
    • can say more consonants (f,v,th,s,sh,z,m,n)
    • makes lots of sounds
    • coos or listens to music
  • Social/Emotional
    • plays with your face and hair
    • turns head when own name is heard
    • would rather play with people than toys
    • recognizes familiar people
  • Physical
    • rolls from stomach to back and back to stomach
    • balance well when held in sitting, can lean and reach
    • may creep on tummy by pushing or pulling
    • shakes and bangs toys
    • loves to be held in standing position
    • sits well in chair
    • holds toy in each hand
    • tries to reach for dropped toy
    • plays with food
    • may begin to hold cup
    • sleeps through the night

7th Month

  • Cognitive
    • makes more sound combinations (ma, mu, di, da)
    • may try to imitate sounds (cough, da-da-da)
    • pulls cloth off of face for Peek-a-Boo
    • makes several sounds in one breath
  • Social/Emotional
    • wiggles in anticipation of play
    • begins to tease and show sense of humor
    • resists doing something he doesn’t want to
    • begins to learn “no” by tone of voice
  • Physical
    • may crawl with tummy off floor
    • creeps with toy in hand
    • sits alone for several minutes
    • prefers noisy toys
    • explores body with hands
    • plays with toes
    • loves baths

8th Month

  • Cognitive
    • begins imitating people out of sight
    • remembers past events, anticipates future
    • enjoys games “So Big”, “Pat-a-Cake”, “Catch me”
    • looks where someone points
  • Social/Emotional
    • plays for long periods of time
    • shouts for attention
    • pushes away something she doesn’t want
    • is strongly attached to mother and fears separation
    • may have trouble sleeping
  • Physical
    • crawls – may be backwards at first
    • rocks on hands and knees
    • pivots when on stomach
    • can bounce, lean, and reach while sitting
    • can get to sitting by self
    • uses furniture to pull to standing
    • can pick up small objects with thumb and first two fingers
    • claps and waves hands

9th Month

  • Cognitive
    • can follow a couple of directions (wave bye-bye)
    • may use “mama” and/or “dada” as names
    • uncovers toys he sees hidden
    • understands many words
    • gets into everything!!
  • Social/Emotional
    • starts games (Peek-a-Boo, Pat-a-Cake)
    • Deliberately chooses toys
  • Physical
    • crawls with toy in hand
    • can turn around when crawling
    • feeds self cracker
    • uses thumb and pointer finger to pick up small objects
    • claps and bangs toys together
    • drinks from cup with handle
    • may side-step or “cruise” along furniture
    • takes toys out of container
    • enjoys rough and tumble play

10th Month

  • Cognitive
    • looks for toy that rolls away or is hidden
    • imitates (combing hair, talking on phone, feeds others)
    • may repeat word or sound
    • performs for audience
  • Social/Emotional
    • seeks attention and companionship
    • imitates sounds, facial expressions, gestures
    • shows moods (looks hurt, sad, happy, angry)
  • Physical
    • stands with little support
    • steps along furniture
    • climbs on and of chairs, stairs
    • sits down from standing
    • holds two small toys in one hand
    • tries to fit things together
    • drops toys on purpose
    • begins to help with dressing

11th Month

  • Cognitive
    • obeys commands and understands “no”
    • recognizes words (looks for ball, mama, dada, bottle)
    • speech has lots of gibberish with few recognizable sounds
  • Social/Emotional
    • seeks approval
    • rolls ball back and forth with parent
    • repeats action or game for attention
    • doesn’t always cooperate
  • Physical
    • stands alone, can turn
    • lowers self to floor from standing
    • picks up very tiny objects
    • begins to get spoon to mouth
    • pulls off shoes and socks
    • puts objects into a container
    • turns pages of a book
    • drinks from cup
    • throws toys, balls

12th Month

  • Cognitive
    • follows simple directions (come here, give it to me)
    • points to some body parts or pictures of animals
    • says first words
    • plays by self
    • can match two similar objects
  • Social/Emotional
    • gives hugs to people and favorite toys
    • interested in what adults do and imitates it
    • explores drawers and cupboards
    • recognizes self in mirror
    • helps put things away
  • Physical
    • may begin to walk by self
    • can walk with hands held
    • gets to standing in middle of room
    • can reach for toy without looking
    • puts things together
    • makes tower of two or three blocks
    • cares for doll (feeding, combs hair, hugs, washes)
    • scribbles with crayon
    • enjoys books
    • prefers to feed self