Your Baby Development Milestones

Are there different baby development milestones if he or she is extra tall? Not necessarily. If all else is normal, motor/mental development is pretty consistent.

There’s bound to be a skill or two your baby doesn’t develop at this precise schedule, tall or otherwise, so try not to let these averages induce panic. Ask your pediatrician if a missed mark is noteworthy. Baby growth development fluctuates from baby to baby, as they're all individual personalities.

Check the American Academy of Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic websites, or other scientifically credible sources for more information.

In the meantime, commonly accepted baby development milestones include:

Newborn baby development: As a newborn, they only see light and shadow, just a few inches from their face. They can smell and hear as well.

1 MONTH – Can focus on a face. They noticeably respond to sounds. Can lift their head when on their tummy. (A few ahead-of-the-game babies can already smile, or hold their head as high as 45 degrees while on their tummy.)

2 MONTHS – Can gurgle or “coo”. May now be able to hold their head up at 45 degree angle while on tummy. They smile. The early developers may also laugh, might also be able to lift their shoulders and head, or put weight on their legs when held. They might be able to turn over or clasp their hands.

3 MONTHS – They develop head control when upright. Can hold their head steady and comfortably in a seated position or carrier for short periods. Gurgling may have become squealing. They easily track moving objects (and your face) with their eyes. They may even blow bubbles.

4 MONTHS - They smile. They can laugh. They can bat at, and grab toys. They now coo in response to your talking to them. They may begin teething. They turn in the direction of a voice readily. They can keep their heads in an even plane with their body when pulled to a seating position.

5 MONTHS – They play with hands and feet. They turn toward sounds and may recognize their name. They roll over in both directions. May sit in a splayed position, supported by hands. May press up to an elbow or higher “push up” while on tummy.

6 MONTHS - Ready for solid foods*. They begin to sit upright without a support. Move objects from one hand to another. They mouth objects. More rolling over, more easily and quickly! May imitate your sounds and jibber-jabber.

7 MONTHS - They continue to sit without support. May lurch forward or start to crawl. Sometimes they develop separation anxiety. Look for dropped objects around the play area or chair. They drag these kinds of objects on the floor.

8 MONTHS – They pass objects hand to hand often. May vocalize “Mama” and “Dada” but not necessarily to the correct parent! They stand or put weight on legs easily while in a lap or holding on to something. They're possibly able to point at things. Probably crawling. They can look for hidden things. “Peek-a-boo” may be more engaging for them now.

9 MONTHS - They may stand while holding on to something. More jibber-jabbering. May drink from a sippy-cut or eat with fingers. They may start banging objects together. They may pull themselves up from sitting to standing position.

10 MONTHS - They can grasp things with finger and thumb. Drag objects. Wave goodbye. They crawl comfortably. They can gesture for what they want. Play peek-a-boo hiding their own face. They say Mama and Dada to correct parent! They might pull themselves up to standing, or cruise (walk) while holding furniture.

11 MONTHS - They crawl well. They may stand for a second or two unassisted. They're still cruising around if holding furniture. They can understand “no”. Can put small toys into a container. May stoop after standing.

12 MONTHS - They can imitate others. They point at what they want. They can probably say another word besides Mama and Dada. May take a few steps unassisted. May be able to play patty cake. They might be able to stand alone momentarily.

13 MONTHS - They can vocalize two, three or more words. They bend over to grab things. May help you dress them by extending limbs. They tend to like mirrors and stare.

14 MONTHS – They toddle! They point at what they want. They point at body parts if questioned. they eat with fingers. Respond to simple requests. They imitate others more.

15 MONTHS – They may be able to walk backward. Play with a ball. Run. They imitate other even more. They speak more than 3 words regularly. They can scribble with markers or crayons. They may now love the word “no”.

16 MONTHS – Can turn book pages. Might get frustrated or have temper flares. They may now get attached to a blanket or toy. They learn to climb. Use a spoon. They can learn the use of simple objects.

17 MONTHS - Uses around 6-7 words commonly. Love toys to “ride”. They can play pretend, like "feed the doll”. They can throw a ball, dance or kick. They speak more clearly.

18 MONTHS – They scribble more. Speak phrases. May brush teeth with parent help. “Read” simple books (board books) turning the pages, with you. They can stack 3-4 blocks.

Funny how none of these baby development milestones feature baby growth development too, (height or length). That's for cross-referencing with the baby growth charts. Now, you can look at the baby development milestones inverted, (milestone to age). These are often the simplified questions daddies tend to ask:

"When will he/she be...

• Lifting up head when on tummy? Around 1 month

• Smiling? by around 8 weeks. (Sometimes laughing by then too)

• Head control? Around 3 months

• Rolling over in each direction? Around 4 months

• Sitting unsupported? Around 6 months

• Eating solid foods? Start around 6 months

• Crawling? Between 7 and 10 months

• Walking? Between 11 and 15 months

• Talking? First words around 12 months, with lots of variation on that statistic in particular.

A Small Social Challenge...

Sometimes the biggest baby development milestone challenges, are dealing with others' expectations. Your baby's length may make him or her look older, and well-meaning friends, or not-so-understanding strangers, may expect more of your baby than he or she is capable of!

This could mean some seemingly rude comments. "What's wrong? Why won't he sit up? solids? ...walk? ...speak better? ...behave differently? etc. etc."

If you're at the end of your rope, here's a suggested response that's worked before.

"He's only ___(age). He's just tall. Actually, he's very advanced for his age. Really baby-saavy folks can tell he's young by his face though, so it's usually understood." Then smile sincerely!

The judgmental comments are nipped in the bud by the, "really baby-saavy folks can tell" line. And those well-meaning commentators will just brighten at the information, and take another look at your baby's adorable face!

There is much more information available regarding baby development milestones online. See the suggestions above for references. And if your pediatrician says all is well with your baby development stages, take baby development milestones as just a point of interest to follow along with. Don't worry.

So how tall will your baby's adult height be? Who knows. Keep feeding him nutritiously, and check the baby development milestone of, "Shoots 3-pointers at 24 months." Good luck.

And remember this, as your baby progresses these baby development milestones, and becomes more mobile, a focus on safety becomes even more important. To learn about baby proofing techniques and other safety tips, click here.

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