In its first year of life, your newborn baby will grow rapidly, gaining weight and height and achieving new development milestones every month. The transformation from a sleepy newborn to an active toddler will be remarkable, and happen right before your eyes.

Your newborn baby will spend the first few weeks after birth sleeping all day, waking up only for feeds or a diaper change. Yawning, sneezing, hiccoughs, stretching are some of the actions that your newborn baby will display. This is the first stage of baby development and will not last long.

All babies develop at a different pace

While all babies share the same development milestones, each baby will have their own growth and development pace because of various hereditary and environmental factors. Don’t worry if your baby seems a bit slower. Remember: genius scientist Einstein was regarded as a very dull student during his earlier days.

Clinical Professor Victor Samuel Rajadurai, Emeritus Consultant, Department of Neonatology, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group, share what are the main baby milestones you can expect during the first 6 months of life.

Baby development milestones month by month

1 month:

At one month, babies sleep less and are awake for longer periods. They will look at you when you speak to them and may open and close their mouths as if they are speaking to you. They can follow moving objects, and see dangling, bright-coloured toys in front of them. They begin to smile at this stage of baby development.

2 months:

Babies will smile if you speak to them or stimulate them in any way. This is called a social smile. They will also begin to coo at this stage and will be able to move their head and follow a moving person or object for almost 180 degrees. They will be able to hold up their head, but it will bob recurrently since they don’t have full head control.

3 months:

Babies’ head control is better and they will be able to lift their head fairly high when placed on their belly. At this stage of baby development, they become more attentive and may watch the movement of their own hands curiously. Not only do they will smile when you talk to them, they may also respond with squeals of delight. They will be able to hold a rattle or toy placed in their hands.

4 months:

Babies can now hold their heads up constantly. If you place them on their belly, they will be able to keep their head and chest well above the ground. They will enjoy playing with their hands. They will also love to shake a rattle, delighting at the sound it makes. They are curious and constantly look around. They are fun to play with and may laugh loudly if you tickle them.

5 months:

Babies have full head control by now, and are also able to grasp toys firmly. They enjoy playing with toys, crumpling paper and splashing water in the bathtub. They smile a lot, smiling when you speak to them as well as smiling at their own image in the mirror.

6 months:

Babies can roll on their sides at the halfway mark of their first year. Their legs are stronger and will be able to bear their weight when you make them stand. They are more playful at this stage of baby development, and will happily grab their own feet and suck their toes. They may blow bubbles and stick their tongue out playfully. They will enjoy playing peek-a-boo with you but may become coy if a stranger joins in the game. They may start showing stranger anxiety and may also express likes and dislikes for certain foods. Your baby may begin to make sounds such as ‘da, ba, ka’.

Read on to learn about the next 6 months of baby development milestones.

Ref: R14