Milestones are the waymarkers in your child’s development which are windows when we typically see babies learning or mastering a new skill. They are useful to help you keep an eye on how well your baby is moving forward.

But of course, all babies are different! Some may crawl at 5 months old, others may never crawl and go straight to walking at 10 months old! Some may say a word or two before they start sitting up, others may stay silent until they’re 2 years old. The key is not always your baby meeting their milestones at or before a specific time, but that they are making progress in all areas.

Stay in close contact with your health visitor as the first port of call if you have any concerns about your baby’s development who will be able to direct you on the best course of action or reassure you. As a cord blood bank that stores stem cells to treat over 80 conditions, we understand how important your family’s health is. Early intervention is best if babies are not moving forward in their milestones. You will have a couple of check ups with the health visitor during the first year and at the end of your baby’s first year – these differ depending on your location, but support is always just a phone call away.

These milestone guidelines are a good indication as to when you might expect your baby to start showing signs of each of these new skills.

Birth to 3 month milestones

Birth to 3 months old is commonly known as the fourth trimester – a time that can feel strange for mother and baby as they adjust to being separate from one another for the first time. As you might expect, it takes a newborn a little while before they’re able to do anything that you’d find particularly noteworthy, but here are some steps you can look forward to in the first few months:

  • Tracking objects with eyes
  • Smiling
  • Raising head and chest in tummy time
  • Reaching for hanging objects
  • Gripping objects in hands
  • Laughing.

4 to 6 month milestones

As your little one emerges from the fourth trimester and is no longer counted as a “newborn”, things become more and more exciting. You’ll notice them starting to engage with you and other close friends and family more. Here are the things to watch out for in these months:

  • Rolling from front to back
  • Babbling and cooing
  • Moving toys from hand to hand
  • Better head control
  • Sitting with support
  • Eating finger food.

7 to 9 month milestones

Between 7 and 9 months, you’ll notice your baby becoming more interested in the world around them and wanting to explore that. This is when you’ll begin to see signs of them wanting to get on the move, many will begin scooting or crawling at this age, and by the end of this period, they may be starting to pull to stand!

  • Sitting without support
  • Respond to familiar words/names
  • Scooting/crawling
  • Clapping
  • Waving
  • Pulling up to standing.

10-12 month milestones

As they approach their first birthday, you’ll notice even more big changes in your little one’s development. There may be first steps or first words at this stage, for many they will likely focus on one or the other first, and for some these may not come until after they turn 1. Here are some of the exciting things you might experience in these few months:

  • Crawling
  • Cruising around furniture
  • Standing
  • Pointing
  • First steps
  • Using pincer grasp
  • First words.