Infant Developmental Milestones: Birth-6 months

Infant developmental milestones - image

Your baby’s development from birth to 6 months is a magical journey. These early months are filled with wonder, awe-inspiring changes, and adorable firsts. Each milestone is a celebration of their development and a testament to the nurturing environment you provide. Let’s take a closer look at the key infant developmental milestones during these formative months.

Month 1: Awakening to a New World

In the very beginning, your baby is adjusting to life outside the womb. Infant developmental milestones in this first month are all about:

  • Reflexes: Your newborn will display instinctual reflexes, such as rooting and sucking, which are essential for feeding.
  • Alert Periods: Look for brief periods when your baby is alert and absorbing their new environment.
  • Sounds: While communication is mostly through crying at this stage, comforting and talking to your baby is crucial for emotional bonding.

Month 2: Social Beginnings

By the second month, your baby starts to interact more with the world. Infant developmental milestones include:

  • First Smiles: Those first real smiles begin to appear, lighting up the room and your heart.
  • Coos and Gurgles: Your baby will start making adorable cooing sounds, marking the beginning of vocal exploration.
  • Following Movement: You’ll notice your baby beginning to track objects and people with their eyes, showing an interest in their surroundings.
  • Stronger Neck Control: You’ll notice your baby starting to lift their head during tummy time, a sign of strengthening neck muscles.
  • Fontanelle closing: By month 2, the posterior fontanelle has closed

Learn more: Soft Spot Newborn: Understanding Your Baby’s Fontanelle

Months 3 & 4: Exploring and Learning

Developmental milestones in these months are characterized by rapid development in movement and awareness:

  • Laughter: Your baby’s first laughs may emerge. Get ready–your parent heart will burst with joy at these sounds!
  • Grasping Objects: Your little one will start to grab and shake toys that are placed in their hand, exploring how to interact with objects.
  • Rolling Over: Many babies will achieve the milestone of rolling over from tummy to back during this period.
  • Babble Begins: Those coos evolve into babbling sounds, resembling conversation. Your baby may begin to squeal to show pleasure and has less crying during their wakeful periods.
  • Reflexes Fading: By month 3, many of baby’s newborn reflexes have faded, like the grasping reflex
  • Demands Attention: By 4 months, your baby will begin demanding attention by fussing and becomes bored if left alone. Social interaction becomes very important to your little one.

Months 5 & 6: Becoming Active Participants

As your baby approaches half a year, their personality and abilities continue to grow. Look for the following infant developmental milestones:

  • Sitting Up: With some support, your baby may start sitting up, offering them a new perspective on their world.
  • Advanced Babbling: Expect babble conversations, with sounds that begin to mimic speech patterns.
  • Responding to Their Name: This is when you’ll notice your baby turning their head when you call their name, understanding that it signifies them.
  • Solid Foods Introduction: Around 6 months, many parents begin introducing solid foods, marking a significant developmental and nutritional milestone as they explore a world of tastes and textures.
  • Stronger Core: At 6 months, many babies can lift their head, chest, and upper abdomen when on the ground for tummy time, and can bear weight on their hands
  • Voluntary Grabbing: Your baby now can voluntarily grasp objects. Look out for your glasses and earrings!
  • Social Butterfly: Baby will now smile at their image in the mirror and can tell the difference between family and strangers. They’re more enthusiastically playful and enjoy a game of peekaboo.

Infant Developmental Milestones: Encouraging Your Baby’s Development

  • Engage and Play: Regular playtime, songs, reading, and talking to your baby stimulate their senses and support language development.
  • Encourage Movement: Provide safe spaces for your baby to move, explore, and practice new skills like rolling or sitting. Encourage daily tummy time to strengthen neck and shoulder muscles, which is important for rolling over and sitting up.
  • Responsive Care: Responding to your baby’s needs and signals strengthens your bond and is the foundation for a trusting parent-child relationship
  • Routine Checkups: Regular visits to the pediatrician are crucial for monitoring your baby’s growth and development.

Infant Developmental Milestones: Remember, Every Baby is Unique

Celebrate your baby’s milestones, but remember that every child develops at their own pace. Development is not a race! Some may reach certain milestones earlier or later than the typical age range, and that’s perfectly okay. If you ever have concerns about your baby’s development, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your pediatrician.

The first six months of your baby’s life are a time of incredible growth and joy. By understanding and looking forward to these infant developmental milestones, you can better support your baby’s development and cherish each one as a leap forward in your baby’s impressive journey.

Center for Disease Control. CDC’s Developmental Milestones. Retrieved at

Cook, W. and Klass, K. (2020). Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Years, 2nd Edition.

Hockenberry, M. and Wilson, D. (2011). Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children, 9th Edition. pgs 465-484.

Meet Katie Griffin

I’m a registered nurse, Lamaze certified childbirth educator, and the mother of 7. I help women realize their dream of a natural, intimate, and empowering hospital birth.

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Your baby’s development from birth to 6 months is a magical journey. These early months are filled with wonder, awe-inspiring changes, and adorable firsts. Each milestone is a celebration of