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6 - 12 Months

Developmental Milestones for Babies (6-12 months)

Discover the key developmental milestones for babies aged 6-12 months, including red flags to be aware of in this month-by-month guide.

author
Jessica Guht

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The first 6 months of your baby’s life were spent with some exciting firsts. Their physical development allowed them to hit milestones such as holding up their head and rolling (opening a whole new world of movement!) Your baby’s vision and recognition also improved, so they can now recognize you when you walk into a room and offer a smile to anyone familiar. 

The milestones won’t slow down for this second half of their first year, either. Crawling, sitting unassisted and waving are all in store, but let’s break the milestones down month-by-month so that you know when to expect what. 

7-Month-Old Baby Milestones

A 7-month-old baby is continuing to develop their personality, and this includes mimicking the emotions of those around them. However, they’ll be joyful most of the time, especially when looking at themselves in the mirror.

Another big milestone for your baby at 7 months is their ability to respond to their own name! They may also start to respond to “no,” a word which you may find yourself saying more often as they find joy in throwing their food or toys just to see your reaction. 

Here are the other developmental milestones for a 7-month-old baby:

Speech and Language

  • Laughs
  • Babbles consonant sounds, like “bbb” or “mmm”
  • Responds to their own name
  • Makes specific sounds tied to emotions, such as frustration or happiness
  • May recognize specific words (e.g., dog or ball)
  • Strings vowel sounds together, like “ah” and “oh”
  • Begins responding to “no”
  • Distinguishes emotions based on your tone of voice

Movement

  • May begin crawling (can be a normal crawl, army crawl, backward crawl, scooting crawl, or crab crawl)
  • Reaches with one hand
  • Bounces when in a standing position
  • Can roll both ways, front-to-back and back-to-front
  • When laying on back, reaches for and grabs toes

Sensory

  • Has a clear response to noise and visual stimulation
  • Distance vision matures
  • Better able to track moving objects

Feeding

  • Gets 24-30 ounces of breast milk or formula a day, 4 to 9 tablespoons of fruit, vegetables, or cereal, and 1 to 6 tables of protein foods

Strength

  • Sits without support
  • Bears more weight on legs
  • When sitting, may lean forward onto hands to support the upper body

Independence and Self-Help

  • Passes objects from one hand to the other
  • Responds to strangers by crying or reaching for a caregiver

Play and Behavior

  • Enjoys interacting with others
  • Turns things side to side and upside down to investigate
  • Interested in mirror images
  • Responds to the emotions of others
  • Is joyful often

7-Month-Old Developmental Red Flags

All babies develop at their own rate, but reach out to a pediatrician if you notice that your child does any of the following at 7 months:

  • Doesn’t respond to familiar voices, faces, or sounds
  • Doesn’t learn or try to make sounds
  • Doesn’t roll over when playing on the floor
  • Doesn’t swap objects between hands
  • Doesn’t play with feet
  • Is very stiff or very floppy
  • Refuses to cuddle
  • Shows no affection for you or other caregivers
  • Struggles to bring objects to their mouth
  • Doesn’t follow near (1 foot away) or far (6 feet away) objects
  • Does not bear some weight on their legs

8-Month-Old Baby Milestones

At 8 months, your baby will start to make sounds back to you when talked to, so make sure you keep up a dialogue during the day. Narrate everything you do and engage them in your conversation; they’re picking up more than you might think!

This is when some babies may also start to make the ascent to standing, holding onto nearby furniture, or even the railing of their crib and bouncing. Get ready for them to get into things they shouldn’t because their movement will only increase from here!

Here’s the checklist of milestones for an 8-month-old baby: 

Speech and Language

  • Makes sounds back when talked to
  • Understands basic words
  • Uses consonant sounds more consistently
  • Looks for family members if you ask for them

Movement

  • Passes objects from one hand to the other
  • Rocks back and forth on hands and knees
  • Crawls
  • Moves from seated to all fours and back
  • Bounces when standing

Sensory

  • Has better depth perception
  • Can spot things from across the room
  • Can recognize you and other familiar faces from further away
  • Is interested in different textures and shapes

Feeding

  • Starts cutting back on formula or breastmilk and eats more solids
  • May try to feed themselves or hold a drink bottle by themselves

Strength

  • Pulls into a standing position near furniture
  • Sits unassisted
  • Can reach for and grab things better

Independence and Self-Help

  • Picks up objects between the thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp)
  • May develop an attachment to a toy, blanket, or stuffed animal
  • Looks for things they have dropped

Play and Behavior

  • Bangs blocks together
  • Tries to find toys after seeing them hidden
  • Enjoys peekaboo and finding toys
  • Explores books, especially brightly colored ones

8-Month-Old Developmental Red Flags

Reach out to a pediatrician if you notice any of the following in your 8-month-old:

  • Shows no interest in games of peek-a-boo
  • Does not babble
  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Doesn’t follow moving objects with their eyes
  • Doesn’t turn their head toward sounds or voices
  • Doesn’t smile
  • Is very stiff or floppy
  • Can’t sit up without help
  • Uses one hand a lot more than the other
  • Struggles to eat solid foods
  • Has lost skills that they once had

9-Month-Old Baby Milestones

Buckle up, parents, because, by this point, it’ll start feeling like your baby is learning something new every day. Whether they’re getting the hang of crawling or waving “bye” to a grandparent, their activity level is exploding. 

9 months is also when you will start to see your baby standing up on their own (but with the help of some furniture), and with you holding their hands, they may even give walking a try.

Here are the milestones for a 9-month-old baby, broken up by developmental category. 

Speech and Language

  • Looks at you when you call their name
  • Shows several facial expressions (e.g., happy, angry, sad, surprised)
  • Makes a lot of different sounds, like “mama” and “dada”
  • Will point while babbling
  • Waves “bye-bye” when prompted

Movement

  • Moves things from one hand to the other
  • Imitates gestures, like shaking their head “no”
  • May walk while holding onto your hands
  • Picks up things using their fingers and thumb together

Sensory

  • Reacts strongly to new tastes and smells
  • Has a favorite toy that they reach for often
  • Recognizes familiar sounds

Feeding

  • Uses fingers to “rake” food toward themselves
  • Can feed self
  • Eats three meals a day
  • Reduces formula or breast milk as solid food becomes a bigger part of their diet
  • Begins eating thicker pureed foods
  • Starting to drink from a cup with a straw

Strength

  • May start to stand up unassisted
  • Gets to a sitting position by themselves

Independence and Self-Help

  • Reacts when you leave (e.g., reaches for you, looks, cries)
  • Lifts up their arms when they want to be picked up
  • Looks for objects when they are dropped out of their sight
  • Sits without support

Play and Behavior

  • Is shy, fearful, or clingy around strangers
  • Smiles or laughs when playing peek-a-boo
  • Bangs things together
  • Explores how things work
  • Loves opening and closing things
  • Clings to adults they are familiar with
  • Claps hands

9-Month-Old Developmental Red Flags

All babies develop at their own rate, so your 9-month old might not hit all the milestones listed above. However, reach out to your pediatrician if they display any of the following:

  • Can’t sit without assistance
  • Won’t respond to own name
  • Doesn’t babble
  • Doesn’t look where you’re pointing
  • Doesn’t put weight on their legs
  • Doesn’t recognize adults they know
  • Doesn’t play games involving back-and-forth play
  • Can’t transfer toys between hands

10-Month-Old Baby Milestones

Walking continues to be the primary skill developed at 10 months, and many babies at this age will start getting into a standing position at all times, especially when in their crib. Babies at 10 months old may also be starting to get their first few teeth. 

Cognitive development at 10 months is also significant, with babies understanding simple one-word phrases, and some even able to respond to simple questions in their own special way. To keep growing this skill, whenever your baby points to an object, chat to them about it. 

The milestones for a 10-month-old baby include:

Speech and Language

  • Responds to the word no
  • When you leave the room, they may cry for you
  • Understands simple one-word phrases or requests
  • Looks when their name is called

Movement

  • Crawls well
  • Pulls to stand
  • May try to crawl up stairs

Sensory

  • Imitates speech sounds
  • Object permanence is much more developed; they know that you exist somewhere in the house even if you’re not with them
  • Develops preferences for tastes and textures

Feeding

  • Drinks from a cup held for them
  • Tries to hold a spoon when eating by themselves
  • Shows preferences for different foods

Strength

  • Walks with someone holding both of their hands
  • Stands up unassisted

Independence and Self-Help

  • It is easier for them to pick up objects using a “pincer” motion
  • Shows curiosity and explores how things work

Play and Behavior

  • Can clap and wave
  • Pokes things using their pointer finger

10-Month-Old Developmental Red Flags

You know your child better than anyone, so if you’re ever concerned about their development or notice any of the following, reach out to your pediatrician:

  • Doesn’t making eye contact
  • Doesn’t follow moving objects with their eyes
  • Doesn’t babble
  • Can’t sit unassisted
  • Uses one hand more than the other
  • Doesn’t turn their head toward sounds or voices
  • Doesn’t respond to your voice, smile, or other facial expressions
  • Doesn’t smile or show when they’re happy or sad

11-Month-Old Baby Milestones

As you near the end of your baby’s first year, it’s exciting to look back and see all that they’ve accomplished. The infant who struggled to hold their head up is now standing on their own, and some adventurous kids might even be trying for those first few steps. Even more, the baby who could once only recognize words may even begin to say some of their own, with “mama” and “dada” being the most common. 

Here’s a chart for all the 11-month-old milestones:

Speech and Language

  • Uses hands more often to communicate
  • Says one or two words
  • Vocalizes to songs
  • Stops what they’re doing when they hear “no”
  • Responds to simple instruction (e.g., come here)

Movement

  • Partakes in some type of mobility: crawling, walking independently, cruising
  • Is perfecting the pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger)

Sensory

  • Can make out a face from 20 feet away
  • Looks and listens at the same time
  • Like to poke, prod, and rip things

Feeding

  • Eats three meals a day while also nursing or drinking formula
  • Better at picking up foods
  • May attempt to use an open cup
  • Makes faces when they eat something they do not like

Strength

  • Throws objects
  • Stands for a few seconds

Independence and Self-Help

  • Copies your sounds and gestures
  • Raises arms to be picked up
  • Likes learning how things work
  • Cooperates more when getting dressed

Play and Behavior

  • Finds toys when they are hidden under something
  • Bounces to music
  • Rolls a ball back to you

11-Month-Old Developmental Red Flags

Talk to your pediatrician if you notice any of the following in your 11-month-old:

  • Doesn’t follow moving objects with their eyes
  • Doesn’t babble
  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Doesn’t turn their head toward sounds or voices
  • Doesn’t smile or show when they’re happy or sad
  • Can’t sit unassisted
  • Doesn’t cruise or crawl

12-Month-Old Baby Milestones

It’s the big one: one year. Your baby has officially traveled all the way around the sun with you, and while it’s crazy to think that a year has already passed, it’s clear just how long it’s been based on how much your baby has learned to do. And, of course, the fact that they’re now three times their birth weight and over 50% taller!

Your 12-month-old is continuing to expand their vocabulary and will start to say some words besides “mama” and “dada.” They’re also getting better at standing and walking, their balance improving as their muscles strengthen. 

Here’s a list of developmental milestones for a 12-month-old: 

Speech and Language

  • Calls a parent “mama,” “dada,” or another special name
  • Understands “no”: briefly pauses what they’re doing when you say it
  • Responds to their name
  • Can say one or two words besides “mama” and “dada”
  • Understands simple commands
  • Tries to imitate animal sounds
  • Babbles with inflection
  • Uses exclamations like “uh-oh!”
  • Pays more attention to speech
  • Connects names with objects
  • Looks at the correct picture when the image is named

Movement

  • Waves “bye-bye”
  • Walks, holding onto furniture or holding one hand
  • Tries to imitate scribbling

Sensory

  • Follows fast-moving objects
  • Shakes, throws, bangs, and drops objects to explore

Feeding

  • Drinks from a cup without a lid if you hold it
  • Drinks from a cup with a straw
  • Starting to wean off bottle
  • Picks up small bits of food between their thumb and pointer finger
  • Finger feeds self

Strength

  • Pulls up to stand
  • Stands without holding on to anything

Independence and Self-Help

  • Sits down without help
  • Participates in getting dressed by raising arms
  • Experiences separation anxiety and may cling to caregivers

Play and Behavior

  • Plays games with you, like pat-a-cake
  • Puts things in containers — like a block in a cup — and takes them out
  • Looks for what you hide, like a toy under a blanket
  • Turns through the pages of a book by flipping multiple pages at once
  • Begins pretend play
  • Finds hidden objects easily
  • Enjoys imitating people in play

12-Month-Old Developmental Red Flags

Since each child develops at their own rate, it’s impossible to know when your child will perfect a particular skill. However, if your baby exhibits any of the following signs, talk to your pediatrician:

  • Drags one side of their body while crawling (for over a month)
  • Does not crawl
  • Does not search for objects that are hidden while they are watching
  • Cannot stand unsupported
  • Says no single words
  • Does not point to objects or pictures
  • Does not learn to use gestures, such as shaking their head or waving
  • Doesn’t pull to stand
  • Doesn’t have a word/word approximation for their caretaker(s)

Find the Best Care for Your 6–12-Month-Old Baby

Month-by-month, you’re always looking to give your baby the best possible care, whether that’s to improve their physical development or their social skills. 

At Coral Care, we will help connect you with the specialized pediatric care your infant deserves, whether that is an occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, or physical therapist. Find the best care for your 6-12-month-old now.

Find effective support for developmental delays, quickly.

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