Key Developmental Milestones To Watch For During Your Child’s First Year

Every child develops at a somewhat different rate, but at the same time, development does follow a pretty predictable path. Physicians and researchers usually use the term "developmental milestones" to refer to specific skills and behaviors children are expected to achieve by a certain time point. Failure to achieve these milestones can be a sign of a developmental issue or underlying health condition. So what are some of the developmental milestones you can expect your child to reach during their first year?

Reacting to faces

The brain quickly learns to recognize faces as different from other objects and items. Babies usually start reacting to human faces by one month of age. Your baby may smile, coo, and move their limbs when they see a face, and in particular, your face.

Rolling over

Babies should start to roll over by the time they're about 7 months old. Some will first roll from their stomach to their back, and others may learn to roll from their back to their front first. Most will learn to roll the second direction shortly after learning to roll the first direction.


Babies have to learn how to pass items from one of their hands to the other hand. They should be able to do this with their toys and other items by the time they're about 8 months old.


Most babies do not learn to walk by the age of 1, although some do. It is considered to be a developmental milestone for children to crawl by the age of 1. There is some variety in how children learn to crawl. Some first pull themselves along on their arms, while others go straight to moving on all fours. What is important is that they are crawling.

Using the "pincer grip"

In other words, babies should know how to grip something between their thumb and fingers by the age of 1. Younger babies usually just grip things between all of their fingers, ignoring the thumb.


Some babies have a whole vocabulary by one year, and others only speak a few words. The developmental milestone they are expected to reach, however, is saying "dada" and "mama" by this stage. It's only partly because these sounds are the names of these parents — it's also that these sounds are the easiest to make.

If you are worried whether your child is reaching these milestones, talk to their physician. There is not necessarily anything wrong, but it is important that your doctor take a look. Contact a child development clinic for more information.