11 Major First Year Milestones & When to Expect Them

Can’t wait for baby to wave hello or pull up to stand on her own two feet? Milestones are as exciting for you as they are for the little ones who are learning to explore their worlds in new ways. Here you’ll discover 11 of the big ones that’ll happen in Baby’s first year. Remember, no two children are alike – your child might reach milestones at different times and that’s okay. Talk to your baby’s doctor if you have any questions or concerns.


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photo: Brian via flickr

Smiling: 2 Months
Is that a gas pain? No, it’s a real social smile! At about two months, baby will start to flash you that not-so-toothy grin when she’s happy. Soak it up – you’ve earned it. Now you’ll probably be doing anything to see that smile. It won’t be too long until they bust out the laughs and giggles.


photo: Thomas via flickr

Voluntary Grasping: 3-4 months
Around three to four months, your little one will be able to grasp objects like blocks. She still can’t pick up smaller objects like peas – that comes later with the pincer grasp. Anything she picks up will probably go into the mouth for taste testing so now is the time to pay attention to what’s in Baby’s reach.

Baby crawling-Ian Grove-Stephensen-flickr

photo: Ian Grove-Stephensen via flickr

Rolling Over: 4-5 Months
Watch out! Baby is on the move. By about four months, most babies can roll themselves over from belly to back. By six months, they’ll probably be able to roll from back to belly, too, and you might have your first “Where did he go?!” moment.

Baby laugh-Lars Plougmann-flickr

photo: Lars Plougmann via flickr

Laughing: 4 Months
Someone’s got the giggles! Time to ramp up your peekaboo programs, because this is about the time you’ll start to hear those sweet baby laughs.

Baby sleeping-Pedro Serapio-flickr

photo: Pedro Serapio via flickr

Sleeping Through the Night: 4 to 6 Months
At this point, sleeping through the night means six hours at a time. And not all babies get there. Or if they do, as soon as you start bragging to your friends, they’ll start waking up again. Still, baby is capable of sleeping through the night now, and you should be getting a little relief from that newborn exhaustion.


photo: Emergency Brake via flickr

Sitting Up: 5-6 Months
By now, your baby should be strong enough to sit on your lap or assisted with a pillow, allowing for a whole new worldview and new games. He should be able to play and enjoy peekaboo around six months, too. And by seven to nine months, baby can sit up unassisted; first for a minute or two at a time, and then longer and longer.


photo: Donnie Ray Jones via flickr

Crawling: 6-10 Months
Some babies never crawl; they scoot, roll and scooch until it’s time to walk. Others never learn to crawl with their bellies off the floor. Others crawl for months and take their time learning to walk. No matter how your little one moves, you’re probably going to be doing a lot of moving, too! It’s time to start expanding your baby-proofing operations.

Baby pulling up-Sean Freese-flickr

photo: Sean Freese via flickr

Pulling Up: 8 Months
Put the crib mattress at the lowest setting: baby can pull up! Soon, she’ll learn to cruise – take small steps while holding on to furniture. Then, you can encourage her to take some small steps in between the couch and you, and you’ll have a walker on your hands.

Baby waving-Dean Wissing-flickr

photo: Dean Wissing via flickr

Waving: 9 Months
Bye bye, Baby! Some babies wave much earlier, but by about nine months, they’ll be using their “hello” and “bye bye” waves in context. Be ready for your heart to melt the first time you leave your little nugget and get a little wave.


photo: Ly Thien Hoang (Lee) via flickr

Walking: 10-18 Months
Walking is a huge milestone that Baby has to work up to slowly, so there’s a wide range of when kids start moving on two feet. Most will take their first shaky steps by thirteen months or so. Some kids start out wobbly and stay wobbly for a while, and others prefer to wait until they feel a little more sure. It all depends on their personality, development and motivation.

Baby walking talking-Philippe Put-flickr

photo: Philippe Put via flickr

Talking: One Year & Beyond
By the year mark, you’ll probably be hearing those golden “mamas” and “dadas” that you’ve been longing for. As the second year develops, baby will add more and more vocabulary, and by his second birthday, grammar will develop enough for two-word sentences like “Mama read” or “Me eat.”

What milestone are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the Comments!

—Kelley Gardiner


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