Step by step

By Published On: February 10th, 2012

Congratulations! You’re the proud parent of an adorable new human. […]

Congratulations! You’re the proud parent of an adorable new human. Here’s what you can expect during the first exciting year.
sleepingnewborn0-1 month
By the 30-day marker, your little one will likely be gazing into your eyes and responding to sounds. In fact, she might even share some sweet nongas-related smiles with you (although only a handful of babies master an intentionally upturned expression in the first month). Her eyes are gaining better focus, and she’ll soon be able to follow an object briefly with her eyes. She’s also able to clearly see black and white patterns, so break out those high contrast toys and mobiles. Her neck will get a bit stronger each day, putting her well on her way to supporting her noggin on her own.
1-2 months
Sweet gurgles and coos make many a mama melt in month two. Head and vision control will continue to advance, and if you haven’t yet been graced with a toothless grin, your luck might be changing this month—the truly fortunate may even get a giggle too. Your wee one should be engaging in daily tummy time (remember: back to sleep, tummy to play!), building up the muscles she’ll need to lift her head while lying on her stomach and eventually roll over.
2-3 months
Baby will add squeals to her newborn noise repertoire in the third month, and about half of children this age can also blow bubbles. Your infant should be able to hold her head steadily and easily track moving objects. If you hold your baby in a standing position, don’t be surprised if she puts a little weight on her legs. It’ll be months yet before she takes off on foot, but this “standing” stage gives you a great opportunity to get eye-to-eye with your babe without having to go horizontal and allows formerly unused muscles to prepare for their coming duties.
3-4 months
During the fourth month, your tot might begin grasping toys in her little hands. Help her master the skill by sharing small toys and rattles. She’ll also probably start looking for the sources of loud noises—whereas before she would simply startle in response to a sound, she now might turn her head in its direction. About 50 percent of tiny folks learn to roll from their tummy to their back this month, so be sure that you don’t leave your bambino unattended on an unsafe surface (such as a bed or couch).
4-5 months
Guess what? That beautiful baby you created is learning her name! She has also discovered her hands and feet, and likely tries to stick both in her mouth. Her eyesight allows her to distinguish between bold colors, and her hearing is also becoming better defined, so she’ll begin trying to find the source of new sounds, even those that aren’t startling. Entertain her with musical toys and noisemakers. If your infant mastered the tummy-to-back roll last month, she’ll likely begin going back-to-tummy around this time.
5-6 months
Make a sound like “baba” or “dada” and listen to your sweet girl babble back to you. By now she should be able to imitate simple sounds. In other exciting mouth-related news, most babies begin snacking on solids at six months, and many are the proud owners of a shiny new tooth or two. Your bambino might be able to sit without support and easily pass objects from hand to hand. Advanced tots may begin lunging forward, getting ready to mobilize via the crawl.
6-7 months
Place a toy just out of baby’s reach, and she’ll reach out to grab it and drag it toward herself. (If you’ve been waiting to babyproof, now is the time!) Most babies begin getting ready to crawl this month,by rocking or lunging from a sitting position. Vocally, your teeny babe is probably quite the accomplished jabberer, combining syllables and singsong-y sounds. You might also be happy to hear that you are officially your baby’s favorite person. It’s around this time that many infants begin experiencing stranger anxiety, clinging to a familiar family member when someone new shows up.
7-8 months
Many 8-month-olds have the ability to stand while holding onto something, and about half have become crawling pros. Those tiny fingers are finally coming into play as baby points at objects or people or picks things up with her thumb and finger. Begin playing simple games of hide-and-seek with her toys (tuck a doll behind your back or cover it with a blanket, then help her “find” it), since your tot is starting to understand object permanence around her eighth month.
8-9 months
Your bubbling babe is likely getting comfortable in a vertical position, although she might still prefer holding on to something while standing. Some kids will begin cruising the furniture during this time, meaning that independent steps could happen in the next couple months. Month nine is the time when many tots begin banging objects together, and an advanced few might be able to say (and mean) “mama” and “dada” in reference to the correct parent.
9-10 months
Those small fingers are getting more proficient by the day, making it easier for your baby to pick up objects, including bits of foods. Your crawler should be accomplished by now, completely lifting her belly off the ground, and she’ll also be better able to communicate by indicating her wants and needs with simple gestures. A big moment for most babies (and moms) this month: the heartmelting bye-bye wave.
10-11 months
Watch out, world! Baby can stand on her own two feet (even if only for a few short seconds). The majority of children will be agilely cruising the furniture, readying themselves for solo steps; in fact, a few kids might even be able to walk on their own! Patty-cake and peekaboo are great games for babies this age to play, and it’s also time to introduce games of put-and-take (dropping small toys into a container and taking them out again).
11-12 months
Can you believe it’s been a year? Your little one’s vocabulary is expanding beyond “a” sounds, and she’s making her opinion known by sharing her wants via gestures and, unfortunately, the occasional fit. The word “no” is now understood and probably frequently used, and many kiddos aren’t too keen on the idea of someone else calling the shots. Your budding genius might be able to grasp and scribble with a crayon, meaning your refrigerator is about to be covered in beautiful works of art.
It’s incredible how children can change, grow and show off their own distinct personalities and preferences over the course of 365 days. As you enter your baby’s second year, continue to encourage new skills and abilities, and remember that all children master tasks in their own time. She’ll be a big kid before you know it, so relish in the baby days and always be proud of her, just the way she is.