Merck Manual

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Developmental Milestones From Birth to Age 12 Months*

Developmental Milestones From Birth to Age 12 Months*

Age

Milestone

Birth

  • Sleeps much of the time

  • Sucks

  • Cries in response to discomfort and disturbances

4 weeks

  • Brings hands toward eyes and mouth

  • Moves head from side to side when lying on stomach

  • Follows a moving object that is in front of the face

  • Responds to a noise in some way, such as startling, crying, or quieting

  • May turn toward familiar sounds and voices

  • Focuses on a face

6 weeks

  • Regards objects in the line of vision

  • Begins to smile when spoken to

  • Lies flat on stomach

3 months

  • Holds head steady when sitting

  • Raises head 45 degrees when lying on stomach

  • Opens and shuts hands

  • Pushes down when feet are placed on a flat surface

  • Swings at and reaches for dangling toys

  • Follows an object that is in front of the face from one side to the other

  • Watches faces intently

  • Smiles at sound of caretaker's voice

  • Begins to make speechlike sounds

5–6 months

  • Holds head steady when upright

  • Sits with support

  • Rolls over one way, usually from stomach to back

  • Reaches for objects

  • Recognizes people at a distance

  • Listens intently to human voices

  • Smiles spontaneously

  • Squeals in delight

  • Babbles to toys

7 months

  • Sits without support

  • Bears some weight on legs when held upright

  • Transfers objects from hand to hand

  • Holds own bottle

  • Looks for dropped object

  • Responds to own name

  • Responds to being told “no”

  • Babbles, combining vowels and consonants

  • Wiggles with excitement in anticipation of playing

  • Plays peekaboo

9 months

  • Sits well

  • Works to get a toy that is out of reach and objects if toy is taken away

  • Crawls or creeps on hands and knees

  • Pulls self up to standing position

  • Gets into a sitting position from stomach

  • Stands holding on to someone or something

  • Says “mama” or “dada” indiscriminately

12 months

  • Walks by holding furniture ("cruising") or others' hands

  • May walk one or two steps without support

  • Stands for a few moments at a time

  • Says "dada" and "mama" to the appropriate person

  • Drinks from a cup

  • Claps hands and waves bye-bye

  • Speaks several words

*The age at which children meet milestones varies greatly. The age ranges here represent the average age.