Baby Developmental Milestones Chart - Birth to 12 Months

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You and Your
Foster Child
Birth to 12 Months
Birth–12 Months
Infants go through many changes during their first 12 months, and no two
infants develop at the same pace. One infant may reach a milestone early,
another later. Infants born prematurely tend to reach milestones a little later.
It is also not unusual for infants to regress in one skill or another from time
to time. Many infants, for example, develop sleep problems when their teeth
begin to come in.
Use these milestones as a general guide. What matters most is that your infant
progresses from one stage to another at a fairly steady pace. Reaching a
milestone earlier or later generally does not indicate whether an infant will be
advanced or delayed later in life.
Milestones during an infant’s first
12 months
The following is a general guide to some
basic milestones for physical, cognitive,
language, and social and emotional devel-
opment from birth to 12 months.
Newborn to 1 month
Physical development milestones:
Infants develop basic reflexes needed
to survive, such as sucking, swallowing,
coughing, gagging, elimination, grasping,
blinking, and startling.
Infants keep their hands clenched in fists
most of the time.
Their eyes are not coordinated and may
appear to cross.
They cannot organize their hands and
eyes to work together.
Cognitive development milestones:
Infants will watch an object about
12–15 inches away, especially if it is
moving slowly from one side of their
field of vision to the other.
Infants investigate their own hands
and fingers.
Infants show a preference for their
mother’s voice.
They can distinguish smells and taste.
They may prefer sweet-tasting liquids
and will recoil from unpleasant smells.
Language development milestones:
Infants communicate mostly by crying
but sometimes by making other noises.
They develop preferences for certain
sounds. For example, they may settle
or become still when they hear music
or familiar voices.
They will turn in the direction of a
familiar voice.
Social and emotional development
Infants will sleep, on average, between
17 and 19 hours a day. But they do it in
a series of short sleeping periods.
They enjoy being held and rocked.
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