The birth of a baby can be a joyous occasion for many new parents. At the same time, it may also be a time when parents are faced with the sobering realization that they are responsible for both their child’s immediate survival and long‐term well‐being.
During the first year of life, your baby will grow and develop at an amazing speed. Their weight will double in 5 to 6 months, and triple by their first birthday. And your child will constantly be learning. Major achievements—called developmental milestones—include rolling over, sitting up, standing, and possibly walking.
No two babies are exactly alike. Your baby will develop at its own pace. Most babies reach certain milestones at similar ages. However, it’s not unusual for a healthy, “normal” baby to fall behind in some areas or race ahead in others.
The following milestones are only guidelines. Your baby’s health care provider will evaluate your baby’s development at each well-baby visit. Remember: Always talk to your child’s health care professional if you think your baby is lagging behind.
The overviews in this guide provide a glimpse into what you can expect at each stage of your child’s development, including:
- Physical development: Learn how your child’s body is growing and changing and take notice of the new motor skills they are gaining at each age.
- Emotional development: Discover what type of emotional changes your child is experiencing at each stage and the emotional development milestones kids in each age group meet.
- Social development: Read about how kids interact, develop friendships, and connect with the world around them at each pivotal stage.
- Cognitive development: Uncover the critical thinking and intellectual skills kids develop at each age and learn about their speech and language development, the way they play, and the key cognitive milestones they reach.
“Learn the Signs. Act Early.” materials are not a substitute for standardized, validated developmental screening tools.