Important First-Year Milestones

Make sure your baby's development is on track with these common motor skill, speech and cognitive milestones from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Important First-Year Milestones
 

BIRTH TO 3 MONTHS

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS
• Raises head up slightly when placed on stomach
• Momentarily holds up head when supported
• Alternately kicking legs while on their back
• Thrusts arms in play

FINE MOTOR SKILLS
• Closes hand on your finger
• Fixates on your face from 12 inches away
• Smiles in response
• Coos with pleasure or displeasure
• Looks at their own hands

SPEECH/COGNITIVE SKILLS
• Stops moving or becomes quiet as a response to sound
• Turns head toward sounds
• Startles in response to sounds
• Fixes gaze on a spoon, bottle or other object
• Becomes quiet when picked up
• Sucks well using lips, cheeks or tongue appropriately
• Coos and gurgles

3 TO 6 MONTHS

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS
• Lifts head and chest when on stomach; props on forearms
• Bobbles head while in a supported position
• Rolls from side to side, and from stomach to back
• Sits briefly with upper extremity support

FINE MOTOR SKILLS
• Holds a toy for one minute
• Recognizes parent
• Smiles at mirror
• Begins stranger anxiety
• Exhibits separation anxiety from parent
• Plays peek-a-boo
• May begin to eat soft foods (pureed fruits and veggies)

COGNITIVE/SPEECH SKILLS
• Moves eyes in the direction of sound
• Produces single syllables, such as “ba” and “da”
• Smiles upon sight of others’ faces
• Looks in response to hearing name
• Vocalizes for attention
• Sucking becomes more voluntary
• Mimics movements or facial expressions
• Responds to affection
• Follows an object with eyes

6 TO 9 MONTHS

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS
• Reaches for objects while on stomach
• Pulls self forward on stomach
• Sits alone briefly
• Moves from sitting to lying on stomach
• Stands with support 

FINE MOTOR SKILLS
• Transfers toys between hands
• Uses pinches to pick up small objects
• Claps hands
• Shows dislike for certain people/things
• Shows others toys
• Explores environment
• Tests parents’ reactions
• Expresses several emotions
• Opens mouth to wait for a spoon to enter
• Uses top lip to clean the spoon
• Eats soft cookies or lumpy foods
• May drink from a straw
• Begins practice drinking from a cup (9 months)

SPEECH/COGNITIVE SKILLS
• Responds to facial expressions
• Understands parents’ gestures
• Differentiates between a few words
• Looks at common objects when named
• Understands “no”
• Uses a wide variety of sound combinations
• Babbles with intent while looking at others
• Imitates intonation patterns and speech sounds
• Shouts to attract attention
• May say “dada” or “mama”
• May be clingy to parents

9 TO 12 MONTHS

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS
• Sits alone with trunk rotation
• Pivots and scoots in sitting
• Pulls to stand
• Cruises
• May begin walking independently

FINE MOTOR SKILLS
• Shakes toys
• Resists adult control
• Gives toy to adult
• Develops sense of humor
• Desires to be the center of attention
• Displays independent behavior
• Says “no”
• Imitates adult behavior
• Exhibits separation anxiety
• Foods with various textures introduced
• May take most liquids from a cup
• May have controlled/sustained bite (12 months)
• Puts things into a container and takes them back out

SPEECH/COGNITIVE SKILLS
• Turns head immediately to own name
• Responds with searching movement in response to the question, “Where’s the...?”
• Understands and follows simple commands regarding body action
• Understands some descriptive words like “hot”
• Vocalizes during play
• Jargon begins as babbling decreases
• Uses a question inflexion
• May acquire first true words (10-18 months)