Milestones: 7 to 12 months

Milestones: 7 to 12 months

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4 to 7 months


Your baby is fully engaged with the world now: She smiles, laughs, and has babbling "conversations" with you. And she's on the move – by 7 months she can probably roll to her tummy and back again, sit without your help, and support her weight with her legs well enough to bounce when you hold her. She uses a raking grasp to pull objects closer and can hold toys and move them from one hand to another.

Your baby is more sensitive to your tone of voice and may heed your warning when you tell her "no." She also knows her name now and turns to look at you when you call her.

Peekaboo is a favorite game and she enjoys finding partially hidden objects. She views the world in full color now and can see farther. If you move a toy in front of her, she'll follow it closely with her eyes. Watching herself in a mirror is sure to delight her.

Your role

Your baby thrives on the interactions she has with you, so integrate play into everything you do with her. Shower her with smiles and cuddles, and reply when she babbles to encourage her communication skills. Read together every day, naming the objects you see in books and around you.

Give her lots of opportunities to strengthen her new physical skills by helping her sit and positioning her to play on both her stomach and back. Before she can crawl, be sure to childproof your home and keep her environment safe for exploring.

Provide a variety of age-appropriate toys and household objects (like wooden spoons or cartons) to explore. Work on establishing a routine for sleeping, feeding, and playtime.

By 6 months, she may be ready to start solid food.

Red flags

Each child develops at her own pace, but talk to your child's doctor if your baby:

  • Seems very stiff or floppy
  • Can't hold her head steady
  • Can't sit on her own
  • Doesn't respond to noises or smiles
  • Isn't affectionate with those closest to her
  • Doesn't reach for objects

8 to 12 months


Look at your baby go! He's become an eager explorer, and it might surprise you how quickly he can get around when he crawls or scoots. He can sit on his own now and grabs anything he can to pull himself up to standing and "cruise." He might even take some solo steps before his first birthday.

His babbling sounds more like real conversation, and you'll hear his first words – often "mama" or "dada." Soon he'll talk in simple phrases, but in the meantime he uses gestures to indicate what he wants – or doesn't want! – and pays close attention to your words.

His hands are increasingly nimble: He amuses himself putting things in containers and taking them out again. He can use his thumb and finger in a pincer grasp to eat finger food. Your baby loves to be just like you by combing his own hair, drinking from a cup, and pretending to talk on the phone.

While he may seem outgoing, he's probably reserved around strangers. And when you leave him, he may become distraught – separation anxiety is normal at this age.

Your role

Keep talking to your baby: This is a critical time for his language development. Describe your routine, what you're doing now and what you're going to do next, and what you see. Describing how you think your baby is feeling helps him learn emotions. Keep reading together and play peekaboo, hide-and-seek, and turn-taking games.

As he gets more active, it's important to provide a safe space to explore. He may not be walking quite yet, but you can help him get ready by holding him in a way that puts weight on his legs or by propping him up against the sofa.

Pay attention to what he enjoys, and give him the freedom to use all his senses to play and discover. Offer him crayons and paper, stacking blocks, empty food containers, and pots and pans to play with.

Praise and reward good behavior. If he gets into mischief, a brief "no" and redirection is usually enough. Although he's too young to understand and obey rules, you can start showing him which behaviors aren't allowed and helping him find more appropriate activities.

Be respectful of his separation anxiety: Build trust by giving him time to get used to new caregivers and always saying goodbye before you leave.

Red flags

Each child develops at his own pace, but talk to your child's doctor if your baby:

  • Doesn't crawl
  • Seems to drag one side while he's crawling for a month or more
  • Can't stand with support
  • Doesn't try to find objects you've hidden in front of him
  • Doesn't say any words
  • Doesn't use gestures, such as shaking his head "no" and pointing

On to the next stage: 13 to 24 months

Back to the previous stage: 1 to 6 months

Return to the baby development page.

Watch the video: Baby milestone chart 1 to 12 Months (July 2022).


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