Major Milestones the First Year

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As a first time parent, some of the most exciting moments for me were watching my son accomplish some major milestones as he began to learn and grow. Like many new moms, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect (or when). However, after reading and speaking to my pediatrician, l learned that there are several major milestones that you can expect your little one to master as they discover and develop through their first year. Read on to learn about them and see where your little one falls!


One of the first major milestones; your baby’s smile will melt your heart. Noticeable at around three months your baby will begin to grin when they see you (even when you’re not smiling back at them at 2 am!).


By four months of age (or so – every baby develops differently), you can expect to hear your baby giggle or belly laugh when you make faces at them or play peek-a-boo. My son seems to think Mickey Mouse is hilarious and emits a high pitch squeal every time he sees him.

Sleep Through the Night

This can be tricky. Some babies sleep in the cradle through the night at just six weeks of age while it takes some babies an entire year to make it through a six or seven-hour stretch. But, the average baby is sleeping through the night at about four months of age. Regardless, once they do, you’ll never forget that moment.

Wave Bye-bye

By about nine months, your baby is able to make connections with gestures and meaning. You’ll notice them waving hi or bye, and will even give you a hug or kiss when you ask for one. Be sure to practice this around seven months of age and one day, they will be surprising you by making these movements all by themselves!

Eat Finger Food

I can’t tell you how much I loved when my son began picking up and eating his own food. At about 7  months, he began picking up snacks and soft foods like bananas, saving me tons of time because my hands were freed up to cook and clean (but obviously I supervised him). While he began doing this on the early side, most babies are ready to put their pinching and picking up skills to the test at nine months of age.


By about eleven months, your baby should be able to stand on their own while holding onto something for support. Some babies will do this much earlier, and some a little later. But, once you notice your baby standing, get ready to get your shoes on because you’ll spend a lot of time chasing them around your house as they prepare to take their first steps.

Say their First Word

How exciting! No one will forget the day that their baby says, “Mama” or “Dada.” This usually happens right around their first birthday. You may think that you sometimes hear them say these words while they are babbling, but by this age, they are ready to declare words loud and clear!

Being a parent is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs there is. And, these little milestones make everything worthwhile. All babies grow and develop at different paces, so be sure to have an open and ongoing discussion with your child’s pediatrician.  And, don’t forget to jot down these little milestones so you can always remember when and where your little bundle of joy had these important first moments in their life.


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