Printable Timeline

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Harvard Medical School
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Chrome 2001
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Printable Timeline

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Child Development Timeline — Printable Version

Newborn

Newborn

Physical:

A newborn baby needs time to gain strength and coordination. He can move both sides of his body equally, and he might lift and turn his head when lying on his tummy. He probably will be able to focus on faces and objects held about 12 inches from his eyes.

Mental/Language:

Your baby won't be born fluent in your language, but that doesn't mean he can't communicate with you. Although his speech skills are limited to crying, that's all the language he requires to get his needs met. Soon you may be able to distinguish what he needs based on the sound of his cry.

Social/Emotional:

It might seem that your newborn isn't much aware of you or his surroundings, but rest assured he's getting to know you and his world. He'll respond to faces, look alert when he hears voices, and quickly begin to recognize you.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your baby's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider. Newborn Visit.



One Month

1 Month

Physical:

Every day, your baby seems to get stronger. She is now able to lift her head when placed on her tummy, and she probably will follow an object or a face with her eyes.

Mental/Language:

You may find that your baby cries more now than she did during her first few weeks. She knows she is communicating with you when you respond to her cries by meeting her needs. But you probably hear sounds other than crying, too, such as short sounds like "uh" and "eh". Your baby also may look alert when she hears noises, like the rattle of a toy or the doorbell.

Social/Emotional:

By now your baby recognizes your voice and will look interested when she hears you speak. She also may make eye contact with you. But don't be hurt if she turns her gaze away; some babies find prolonged eye contact too stimulating.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your baby's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider. 1-Month Visit.



Two Month

2 Months

Physical:

Although a month ago your baby would follow an object only with his eyes, now he'll begin to turn his head to keep looking. When you place him on his tummy, he's strong enough to lift his head and upper chest. He might hold onto a toy briefly, if you place it in his hand.

Mental/Language:

No longer satisfied with simple cries or short sounds, your baby is beginning to experiment with other vocalizations. You're likely to hear his first coos now, and he might "speak" when you speak!

Social/Emotional:

At 2 months, your baby is ready to reward all your efforts to love him with his first social smile! You already may have seen an occasional random smile, but now you can be sure his smile is for you.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your baby's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider. 2-Month Visit.



Six Month

4 Months

Physical:

Her grip is getting stronger, and your baby can hold onto an object now. When lying on her tummy, she can lift her head 90 degrees - high enough to take a good look around. She might also be able to roll over from front to back. She'll probably master rolling over in the other direction in a matter of weeks. When you hold your baby up to stand, she seems to support her own weight and may even bounce up and down.

Mental/Language:

The appearance of your baby's smile was pretty special, and now you're in for more treats - laughs and squeals! When she's not expressing delight with you and the world around her, she'll be cooing more than ever.

Social/Emotional:

It's no accident that your baby perks up when she sees her familiar teddy bear or when Grandma walks into the room. She's recognizing familiar objects and faces now. She's also making her first attempts at conversation - she'll seem to listen to you when you speak, wait for you to stop, and then respond with her own sounds. Keep up your end of the conversation - your baby wants to hear your voice and has a lot to say in return!

Prepare in advance to get the most from your baby's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider. 4-Month Visit.



Four Months

6 Months

Physical:

By 6 months, your baby has made great strides in muscle strength and control. He'll roll over in both directions, and he'll push himself up when he wants to look around. He begins to sit alone, sometimes with his arms out in front of him for support. His little hands can reach for objects and bring them right to his mouth. He'll also transfer objects from hand to hand.

Mental/Language:

Now the babbling begins! Expect to hear your baby combining vowel and consonant sounds together and practicing them again and again. He'll use his vocalizations to tell you what mood he's in and what he wants. And if he's figured out how to make raspberry sounds (razzes), he'll probably love trading them with you.

Social/Emotional:

The laughs keep coming, and your little one now can express a range of emotions. He's firmly attached to his parents and can distinguish between familiar people and strangers. Rather than waiting for you to play, your baby might initiate interactions with you.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your baby's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider. 6-Month Visit.



Nine Months

9 Months

Physical:

It's time to get moving! At 9 months, you are likely to see your baby begin to master the crawl (though some babies never crawl, but instead go straight from sitting to walking). She then builds on these efforts by pulling herself up on the furniture. She's gained so much control over her fingers that she can pick up small objects, and she'll probably want to feed herself with her fingers as much as possible. Banging objects is a favorite pastime now - your baby will bang two objects together or bang one on the table. And now you'll see that index finger strike out on its own as your baby uses it to poke at things.

Mental/Language:

In addition to continuing her language practice with longer vocalizations, you'll find your baby communicating nonverbally - maybe she'll wave bye-bye. She may not be ready to speak, but she'll associate words with their meanings. She knows her name and will pay attention when she hears it. And if you hide a toy under a cloth, your baby will understand that the toy is still there and uncover it herself.

Social/Emotional:

Your baby has been attached to you for some time, but now she might exhibit signs of stranger anxiety, such as crying or turning away from unfamiliar people. This is a perfectly normal stage of development. Your baby might be up for endless rounds of peekaboo or pat-a-cake now; she'll delight in the use of her hands and the rhythm of the words.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your baby's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider. 9-Month Visit

Last updated May 29, 2011


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