Your child’s development: the first year

Sep 24 • 2014
Your child’s development: the first year

From first smiles to first words, your child will achieve many memorable milestones and develop a combination of physical, social and sensory skills during the first year.


Cherish each special moment, but know that not every child will achieve these milestones at the same time. Just because your child crawls a little later than your friend’s child isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. Many factors, including genetics, weight and having a sibling, play a role in when your child advances to a new skill.


Take advantage of the many well-child checkups during their first year to talk with the pediatrician about your child’s progress and what to expect next.


From 0-3 months, he will:

  • Raise his head, open and shut his hands, bring his hands to his mouth
  • Begin to develop a social smile, enjoy playing with people, be more communicative
  • Follow moving objects, recognize familiar people, start using hands and eyes in coordination

From 4-7 months, he will:

  • Roll both ways, sit up, reach with one hand
  • Enjoy social play, have interest in mirror images, respond to expressions of emotions
  • Find partially hidden objects, explore with hands and mouth, struggle to get objects that are out of reach


From 8-12 months, he will:

  • Get to a sitting position without help, crawl forward on belly, get into crawling position
  • Be shy or anxious with strangers, prefer certain people and toys, finger-feed himself
  • Find hidden objects easily, look at the correct picture when an image is named, imitate gestures


For a complete list of what to expect at each stage, click here or download the American Academy of Pediatrics’ free app for the latest information about what to expect in your child’s development.


Recommended review by a pediatrician