by Osceola Regional's Pediatric Unit

As the parent of a young child, you want to be absolutely sure that your child is developing at the right pace and hitting the correct milestones. Babies change and learn at such a rapid rate that often parents feel as if they can't keep up. With our easy-to-follow guide on baby milestones, you'll be able to keep track of your kiddo's progress and still enjoy this time with your little bundle of joy.

Keep in mind that each child will progress at their own rate, some faster or slower than others. If you have questions or concerns, please consult your pediatrician.

0-3 Months:

  • Babies develop mouth reflexes very early on including turning their head when touched near the mouth. These reflexes are important as they learn to feed.
  • Newborns usually keep their fists clenched and tight, but as they grow, they will begin to open their hands, swipe at objects or people near them, and stretch their arms and legs.
  • Usually, sometime during the second month, your baby will be better able to see people or items more than 15 inches away and can now hold your gaze.
  • While your little one will certainly be very good at crying from the start, and at about three months old, they will start to make cooing and squealing noises as they progress towards laughter.
  • Babies also begin to practice turning and lifting their head at this stage, slowly gaining strength in their neck.

4-6 Months:

  • At four months, your baby is developing binocular vision. This means that they can use both eyes at the same time to improve their depth perception as they reach for toys. Additionally, your baby can now track moving objects with their eyes.
  • For many babies, the sixth month is when they are finally able to sit up on their own. This process can be slow, and often they use their arms for balance as their back muscles strengthen and they learn how to balance.
  • At six months your baby is using “baby babble” to talk and combined with body language, they are able to begin communicating. At this point, they are able to understand that when they alter the shape of their tongue and mouth, they can make different sounds. This is when the “ba-ba” sound often changes to “da-da.”

7-12 Months:

  • At this stage, your baby will make leaps and strides in their development. The two biggest changes are crawling and picking objects up with their thumb and forefinger, which allows them to move around independently and get into just about anything.
  • Babies are also gesturing to communicate now, pointing down to the ground to indicate that they want to be put down, lifting their arms up to you when they want to be picked up, or pointing to food when they want a snack.
  • As your baby gets closer and closer to walking, they will begin to experiment with standing up. Usually, they’ll hold onto furniture to help them balance as they get stronger and more capable.
  • Every baby learns to walk at their own pace, usually between 9-16 months.

The most important part of any baby’s development, no matter the pace they move through the milestones, is that they have you to cheer them on and support them as they grow.

Osceola Regional Medical Center is here for you as you watch your little one grow. Our Pediatric ER is staffed by highly trained pediatric emergency specialists, and our separate pediatric waiting room, exam rooms, and treatment areas with family-friendly decor will make your child feel at home should you need to visit us.

To learn more, visit our Pediatric Emergency Services page.