From the first smile and laugh to that first eight-hour sleep (maybe!), there are many wonderful moments in your baby’s first six months. But when is your little one supposed to do all these things? We’ve mapped out some developmental milestones to watch out for as your baby grows.
And if you're so inclined, you can shop these beautifully illustrated Milestone Cards to help document your little one's development and capture precious memories for years to come.
Newborn Milestones: From Birth To A Few Weeks Old
Congratulations! You are the proud parent of a gorgeous bundle of cuteness.
Your newborn is already pretty smart, and will have a toolbox of basic motor responses to help them survive and thrive in their brand-new environment. They might be learning to:
- Develop muscle tone.
- Root, suck and swallow.
- Demonstrate reflexes.
- Regulate their body temperature.
Month 1: The Communication Game
A month is a long time when you’ve just had a baby, so you’re probably feeling way more confident than when you first cradled your little one in your arms. And if you’re not – don’t worry. It’s very early days and all you really need to focus on is resting and getting to know your baby.
Don’t expect much more out of them at this point, but this is what your baby can do at one month:
- Coordinate their movements.
- Watch your face.
- Listen to your voice.
- Feed more efficiently.
- Show an interest in black and white patterns.
Month 2: Learning By Interaction
By eight weeks, your infant will be realizing that there’s more to life than just eating, sleeping, and pooping! Babies develop by interacting with the world around them. Hold them, talk to them, sing to them, read to them, play with them and watch them bloom. Here’s what your baby can do at two months:
- Kick their legs and wave their arms more smoothly.
- Follow people and objects with their eyes.
- Coo, and react and turn towards noises.
- Lift their head briefly during tummy time.
Month 3: Lights, Camera, Smile!
Let the cuteness commence! At three months, your baby is becoming a real little person. They may be more responsive, holding eye contact, babbling to you and smiling properly.
Your little one may also now sleep for longer at night (we’re not promising anything!). Your three-month-old baby may also be learning to:
- Recognize your face and other familiar people from across the room.
- Smile. Nope, it’s not gas, your baby is now genuinely thrilled to see you!
- Coo. The more you chat back, the more they will learn to communicate – win-win.
- Move. Your baby is getting stronger and you’ll be delighted with their new tricks.
Month 4: Social Skills Boom
At four months old, your baby will be a social butterfly. They’ll be ready to play games, have fun and babble to lots of different people. You can lay them down on an activity gym or play mat and enjoy watching as they interact with bright colors and patterns.
Their hand-eye coordination may be improving (time to stop wearing dangly earrings!) and they might even be rolling over. Here’s what else your baby can do at month four:
- Spot and reach for their toy.
- Hold up their head, bring their hands to their mouth and hold on to toys.
- Smile, babble and cry with real feeling.
Month 5: All About Personality
By five months, your baby will be all personality and you’ll be reaping the rewards. Expect lots of peekaboo, giggles and adorable coos. At five months, your baby might be learning to:
- Play. Hide-and-seek games are a winner!
- Roll over, but don’t worry if they’re not there yet.
- Sit up with support.
- Pick up larger, easy-to-grasp objects like soft balls and blocks.
- Learn that their behavior has an impact on others – namely you!
Month 6: The World Awaits
Wow, your tiny newborn has turned into a beautiful, bouncing baby! So much has changed in just half a year. By now, your baby will be a mini-explorer and want to experience the world. At six months, your baby might be learning to:
- Understand the difference between parents and strangers and may have separation anxiety if they’re not with you.
- Sit up on their own.
- Be increasingly interested in the world around them, grabbing things that are out of reach.
- Develop language skills, responding to sounds by making them and maybe even having ‘conversations’ with you.
Baby Milestones - Use Them As A Guide
Although babies follow predictable patterns of development, all infants are different. It's great to be aware of baby milestones, but no one knows your child better than you. If you’re worried, talk to your baby’s care provider or read about what to do when something’s not right. You can also complete a checklist with CDC’s free Milestone Tracker app.
Remember that babies develop at their own rates, in their own time and pretty much everything and anything goes. Savor these precious first few months as your baby blossoms and enjoy every second (despite the lack of sleep!).
For more developmental milestones and advice, visit our blog.