Imagine Life Visual Artistry, LLC | The First Year of Life

The First Year of Life

January 11, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It's Maddox Avery's (my nephew) 1st Birthday this week and as his first year of life comes to an end, I'd like to honor all of the cool things that happen to babies in their first year!  

From feeding to sleeping and soothing and pooing, babies and family are going through a lot in their first month.  By three months, baby can smile, raise their head and grab objects.  6 months brings rolling, laughing, babbling and sitting up and around 9 months they start to walk, feed themselves and formulate words.  Here is a full break down of all the amazing things baby learns in his or her first year:


   Baby Development: One to Three Months

During this first development stage, babies’ bodies and brains are learning to live in the outside world. Between birth and three months, your baby may start to:


  • Smile. Early on, it will be just to herself. But within three months, she’ll be smiling in response to your smiles and trying to get you to smile back at her.
  • Raise her head and chest when on her tummy.
  • Track objects with her eyes and gradually decrease eye crossing.
  • Open and shut her hands and bring hands to her mouth.
  • Grip objects in her hands.
  • Take swipes at or reach for dangling objects, though she usually won’t be able to get them yet.


   Baby Development: Four to Six Months

During these months, babies are really learning to reach out and manipulate the world around them. They’re mastering the use of those amazing tools, their hands. And they’re discovering their voices. From 4 to 6 months old, your baby will probably:


  • Roll over from front to back or back to front. Front-to-back usually comes first.
  • Babble, making sounds that can sound like real language.
  • Laugh.
  • Reach out for and grab objects (watch out for your hair), and manipulate toys and other objects with her hands.

Sit up with support and have great head control.


   Baby Development: Seven to Nine Months

During the second half of this year, your little one becomes a baby on the go. After learning that he can get somewhere by rolling over, he’ll spend the next few months figuring out how to move forward or backward. If you haven’t baby-proofed yet, better get on it!


  • During this time period, your baby may:
  • Start to crawl. This can include scooting (propelling around on his bottom) or “army crawling” (dragging himself on his tummy by arms and legs), as well as standard crawling on hands and knees. Some babies never crawl, moving directly to from scooting to walking.
  • Sit without support.
  • Respond to familiar words like his name. He may also respond to “No” by briefly stopping and looking at you, and may start babbling "Mama" and "Dada."
  • Clap and play games such as patty-cake and peekaboo.
  • Learn to pull up to a standing position.



   Baby Development: 10 to 12 Months

The last development stage in baby’s first year is quite a transition. She isn’t an infant anymore, and she might look and act more like a toddler. But she’s still a baby in many ways. She’s learning to:


  • Begin feeding herself. Babies at this developmental stage master the “pincer grasp“ -- meaning they can hold small objects such as O-shaped cereal between their thumb and forefinger.
  • Cruise, or move around the room on her feet while holding onto the furniture.
  • Say one or two words, and "Mama" and "Dada" become specific name for parents. The average is about three spoken words by the first birthday, but the range on this is enormous.
  • Point at objects she wants in order to get your attention.
  • Begin “pretend play” by copying you or using objects correctly, such as pretending to talk on the phone. 
  • Take her first steps. This usually happens right around one year, but it can vary greatly.

    Your Child’s Development -- Month by Month

    This table shows common developmental milestones that babies reach each month during their first year, in four major categories. Keep in mind that all babies are different and every baby grows at his own pace. There's no precise time that most of these skills first appear. If your child hasn’t reached a milestone by the month it is listed on this chart, it is usually a perfectly normal variation in child development. Watch for progress, not deadlines.



    Gross Motor

    Fine Motor




    1 month

    Moves head from side to side when on stomach

    Strong grip

    Stares at hands and fingers

    Tracks movement with eyes

    2 months

    Holds head and neck up briefly while on tummy

    Opens and closes hands

    Begins to play with fingers

    Smiles responsively

    3 months

    Reaches and grabs at objects

    Grips objects in hands


    Imitates you when you stick out your tongue

    4 months

    Pushes up on arms when lying on tummy

    Grabs objects -- and gets them!

    Laughs out loud

    Enjoys play and may cry when playing stops

    5 months

    Begins to roll over in one or the other direction

    Is learning to transfer objects from one hand to the other

    Blows “raspberries” (spit bubbles)

    Reaches for mommy or daddy and cries if they’re out of sight

    6 months

    Rolls over both ways

    Uses hands to “rake” small objects


    Recognizes familiar faces --caregivers and friends as well as family

    7 months

    Moves around --is starting to crawl, scoot, or “army crawl”

    Is learning to use thumb and fingers

    Babbles in a more complex way

    Responds to other people’s expressions of emotion

    8 months

    Sits well without support

    Begins to clap hands

    Responds to familiar words, looks when you say his name

    Plays interactive games like peekaboo

    9 months

    May try to climb/crawl up stairs

    Uses the pincer grasp

    Learns object permanence -- that something exists even if he can’t see it

    Is at the height of stranger anxiety

    10 months

    Pulls up to stand

    Stacks and sorts toys

    Waves bye-bye and/or lifts up arms to communicate “up”

    Learns to understand cause and effect (“I cry, Mommy comes”)

    11 months

    Cruises, using furniture

    Turns pages while you read

    Says “mama” or “dada” for either parent

    Uses mealtime games (dropping spoon, pushing food away) to test your reaction; expresses food preferences

    12 months

    Stands unaided and may take first steps

    Helps while getting dressed (pushes hands into sleeves)

    Says an average of 2-3 words (often “mama” and “dada”)

    Plays imitative games such as pretending to use the phone


Congratulations Maddox, on all that you have accomplished this year! Auntie Loves you!





Creatively Yours,


Amanda Pratt


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