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Baby Brain and Growth Development Timeline

Baby Brain and Growth Development Timeline

Let's take a journey through your baby's growth and development milestones, from those first adorable coos to their confident first steps.

As your baby’s brain develops, they become more and more capable of communicating, moving, and revealing more of their personality! Growth and brain development is not a race; it’s a journey. We encourage everyone to support your children with as much nutrition, education, and love as you can to support them in that journey, and celebrate the following milestone moments when you reach them.

Baby Developmental Milestones

As your baby grows, they reach significant milestones that mark their progress in various areas of development. Here's a glimpse at the key milestones to anticipate:

  • Gross Motor: Rolling over, crawling, and eventually taking those first steps.
  • Fine Motor: Grasping objects, feeding themselves, and exploring with their fingers.
  • Language: Babbling, saying their first words, and starting to form sentences.
  • Cognitive: Understanding simple concepts, recognizing familiar faces, and exploring their surroundings.
  • Social-Emotional and Behavioral: Bonding with caregivers, expressing emotions, and interacting with others.

Newborn Brain Development

In those early days, your baby's brain is like a little sponge, soaking up everything around them! Every sound, touch, and cuddle is shaping their brain. It's incredible how much growth happens in such a short time.

Age Range

Developmental Milestones

0-3 months Rapid formation of neural connections; basic reflexes like sucking and grasping.
3-6 months Increased social awareness; smiles and responds to familiar faces; begins to babble.
6-9 months Improved motor skills; reaches for objects; explores surroundings with curiosity.
9-12 months Enhanced understanding of simple words and gestures; may take first steps; increased cognitive development.

Baby Vision Development

Ever wondered why your baby stares at your face with those big, curious eyes? Well, their vision is still developing! At first, they see the world in fuzzy shapes and high contrast colors. As they grow, so does their sight!

Age Range

Developmental Milestones

0-3 months Limited vision, focusing on objections 8-12 inches away; begins to track moving objects with eyes.
3-6 months Ability to distinguish colors, especially high contrast ones; improved depth perception.
6-9 months Can see across the room; exploring objects with hands and eyes.
9-12 months Continuing to refine visual skills; beginning to recognize familiar objects and faces from a distance.

Baby Speech Development

Babble, coo, gurgle - it's all music to your ears! Your baby's speech journey starts with those adorable sounds they make. They're learning to control their mouth and tongue to mimic the sounds they hear around them. So, talk to them, read to them, and respond to their babbling. It's not just adorable; it's building the foundation for their future language skills!

Age Range

Developmental Milestones

0-3 months Communicates through cries, coos, and gurgles; begins to imitate some sounds.
3-6 months Starts babbling repetitive sounds like "ba-ba" or "ma-ma"; experiments with vocal cords.
6-9 months Understands simple words and gestures; may respond to their name.
9-12 months Begins to say first words, though they may not be perfectly clear; continues to expand vocabulary and language skills.

Major Newborn Milestones

Editor’s note: The following are for illustrative purposes and not meant to forecast exact timelines. Each every baby’s monthly development may vary, and many of these milestones may happen several months earlier or later than indicated. Please consult your pediatrician for more specific guidelines that pertain to your baby.

At 1 month, your baby may:

  • Try to lift their head off the ground when lying on their tummy
  • Stop crying when picked up and talked to

At 2 months, your baby may:

  • Make first smile, responsively
  • Vocalize, gurgle and coo
  • Follow objects with their eyes
  • Become aware of their own fingers
  • Hold their head off the ground for a few seconds

At 3 months, your baby may:

  • Hold up their head for a few minutes when propped sitting up
  • Visually track an object moving slowly across the room
  • Use a variety of sounds and gestures as "conversation"

At 4 months, your baby may:

  • Shake a rattle to make a noise
  • Start to roll from front to back

At 5 months, your baby may:

  • Hold their head upright, although still a bit wobbly
  • Grab their toes
  • Smile at their own face in the mirror

At 6 months, your baby may:

  • Sit with support
  • Listen closely when hearing their own name
  • Try to roll over in both directions
  • Act shy with strangers and exhibit fear

At 7 months, your baby may:

  • Hold a spoon
  • Support themself in the crawling position
  • Hold a two-handled cup and drink from it

At 8 months, your baby may:

  • Start to pick up objects using thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp)
  • Pass an object from one hand to the other frequently
  • Begin to understand the meaning of words, particularly "no"

At 9 months, your child may:

  • Begin to pull themself up to stand
  • Search for a hidden object
  • Hold a string and pull a toy

At 10 months, your child may:

  • Communicate with gestures
  • Wave goodbye
  • Bang objects together
  • Hold arms out to show a desire to be picked up

At 11 months, your child may:

  • Sit down from standing
  • Cruise (walking by holding on to furniture and other objects)
  • Pass objects pack and forth between hands easily

At 12 months, your child may:

  • Stand without support
  • Put objects into a container
  • Say a couple of words

Major Toddler Milestones

Your child's brain is still growing at a furious pace in the toddler years. As they move through different stages of brain development, you can expect great strides in developing cognitive, motor, social and communication skills.

Between the ages of 1 and 2, your child may:

  • Start to walk unaided (usually 11-18 months)
  • Start to crawl upstairs (12-15 months)
  • Begin feeding themself with a spoon (15-18 months)
  • Assist with dressing themself (15 months)
  • Know 4-6 words (15 months)
  • Make some animal sounds (15 months)
  • Begin having tantrums (15-18 months)
  • Be able to play alone for short periods (18 months)
  • Know certain body parts (18 months)
  • Start to show hand preference (18 months)
  • Enjoy helping with household tasks (18 months)
  • Climb into a chair to sit (18 months)
  • Point to and name objects (18 months)
  • Resist sharing toys (2 years)
  • Be able to run (2 years)

When to Worry About Baby’s Development

While every child develops at their own pace, there may be indicators of developmental difficulties such as…

  • Not seeming to see or hear things clearly
  • Frequent crossing of eyes
  • Stiffness or floppiness preventing arm and leg movement
  • Awkward posture, limping, or odd contortions
  • Can't sit up on their own by 9 months
  • Delay in rolling over by 5 months
  • Crawling or walking much later than developmentally appropriate
  • Difficulty communicating or socializing with others; lack of eye contact

If you have concerns for any reason, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician for guidance and support.

Join Enfamil Family Beginnings for More Exciting Developments!

Your parenting journey will be full of milestone moments, and we want to be there for you every step of the way. Join Enfamil Family Beginnings® for more guidance on your baby’s development, plus access to our 24/7 ask-a-nurse feature, and countless ways to earn points towards rewards and prizes exclusively for our members! There’s no cost to become or remain a member–only benefits that we sincerely hope you take advantage of and find useful. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Enfamil family!

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All information on Enfamil, including but not limited to information about health, medical conditions, and nutrition, is intended for your general knowledge and is not a substitute for a healthcare professional's medical identification, advice, or management for specific medical conditions. You should seek medical care and consult your doctor or pediatrician for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment, care, or help because of information you have read on Enfamil.