Baby and mum playing pat-a-cake

Baby developmental milestones

Baby developmental milestones are something every parent looks out for. Of course, it's important to remember milestones are only a guide and each child develops at their own pace

One month

Your new baby will already be starting to recognise you. In their first weeks they may start to focus on your face and follow it. By two weeks, most babies can recognise their parents.

Babies can also respond to sounds. Help your child develop by cuddling them, making eye contact and talking to them.

A health professional, such as a health visitor, will carry out a new baby review. This will include weighing your baby and talking to you about feeding your child.

Newborn fast asleep

Two months

By two months your baby may have started to gurgle. They may also be able to follow faces, as well as objects and hold their head up for a short period.

This is the time your baby will be due a series of vaccinations, including pneumococcal and diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccinations.

After the injection your baby may be upset for up to 48 hours. They may have a mild fever and a small lump where they had the injection. Speak to your health professional about any queries you have.

Young baby with eyes open

Three months

By three months your baby may be able to laugh and hold their head steady. They will be due to have scheduled vaccinations for meningococcal conjugate (MenC) and diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP/IPV/Hib).

After the injection your baby may be upset for up to 48 hours and may have a mild fever and a small lump where they had the injection.

Baby playing with feet

Four months

By four months your baby will enjoy making new and different sounds. Your baby will be given their scheduled vaccinations for meningococcal conjugate (MenC), pneumococcal and diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP/IPV/Hib).

After the injection your baby may be upset for up to 48 hours and may have a mild fever and a small lump where they had the injection.

Smiling baby lying on tummy

Five months

Watch your baby starting to reach out for toys and other objects as their muscles develop. They may often put things in their mouth to explore taste and texture. They'll also enjoy shaking things, such as rattles. Help your baby develop by playing with them. Teach them through playing, singing and reading.

Baby playing with blocks

Six months

By six months your baby will be making repetitive noises. Your baby will also be learning how to pass things from one hand to another. Have fun singing nursery rhymes, playing and reading to them.

Now is a good time to start weaning your baby. "When you first start weaning, the texture of the food you serve should be smooth and slightly runny, so the baby sucks it off the spoon," says Boots Parenting Club nutritionist Vicky Pennington. "Start out with a few teaspoons of baby rice, once a day. Mix it with some of your baby's usual milk, whether that's breast or formula." 

From about six months, you may also have noticed your baby's first tooth, although some babies take more than a year to develop teeth. If your baby experiences discomfort, you may wish to use a teething ring.

Smiling baby in highchair

Seven months

By seven months your baby will be much more receptive to sound. They will sometimes be able to respond to quiet noises and may turn if they hear your voice across the room. Remember, the more you talk to them, the better their communication skills are likely to be.

Look to give your baby foods that are chopped, minced, grated or mashed. "You can start to introduce small, soft lumps of food and thicker purees and pieces of finger food, such as small fingers of toast, sticks of carrots or pieces of cheese," says Vicky Pennington, Boots Parenting Club nutritionist.

Baby and mum smiling

Eight months

By eight months, your baby may have learned to sit without assistance. If you have any concerns about this, speak to your GP. Watch your baby in the cot, in case they start to climb out.

Smiling baby sitting up

Nine months

Between six and nine months, your baby may start to crawl. Some may crawl backwards or shuffle along on their bottoms. Fit safety gates to stop your baby from climbing and falling downstairs.

Your baby may also start pulling themselves upright, using surrounding furniture.

Baby crawling

Ten months

Your baby can now let go of things or hand an object to someone. Play with them to help them develop these skills. As your child approaches 12 months, you can use toys to help develop recognition of colours and shapes.

Over the next few months, you may also see your baby start trying to walk on their own. Encourage your child to walk with you (using reins for safety) as soon as he or she is able. It might slow you down, but it's a great way for you both to get some exercise. If your child is not walking by 18 months talk to your health visitor or GP.

Baby playing with foam letters

Eleven months

From 11 months, many babies will be eating three meals a day and two snacks a day - once mid-morning and one mid-afternoon. Continue to chop their food up into small pieces to make it easier for them to manage by themselves.

Smiling baby

Twelve months

Your baby may now able to say words like mama and dada, addressed to the correct parent. They will also be able to make noises that sound like other words. Use lots of repetition when you play with them so the names of different objects start to embed themselves in their mind. Playing games like peek-a-boo are great for this. Your baby will also start to understand simple instructions.

If you have any questions about your baby's progress, be sure to raise them in your child's first health check, due around now.

Smiling baby over mum's shoulder

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