Developmental Milestones for Babies – The First Six Months!

Posted on in Parent Tips

Developmental milestones are essential to keep track of as your baby grows. Certainly, your baby will reveal many things as they play, laugh, learn and absorb the world around him. 

Based on the latest developmental research from the CDC, the following brief guidelines will give you a good idea of what to expect as you care for your baby. However, it’s important to keep your pediatrician in the loop regarding your observations!

Baby Developmental Milestones Categories

You should be aware of several categories of development as a new parent. Generally, pediatricians break down developmental milestones into four main categories to watch for:

1. Baby Social / Emotional development

As your baby interacts with you and your family, they will develop social and emotional awareness. This process takes some time and requires support and stimulation. Most importantly remember that we are training little members of society!

2. Infant Language / Communication

As your baby observes you and your family interacting, she should start to pick up on the concept of interaction. He may even try to communicate with you in their own way as their brains prepare to take on language.

Baby Developmental Milestones Categories | Two, Four and Six Months Developmental Milestones

3. Cognitive Thinking of the baby

As your baby interacts with the world around them, she will start to see that she can affect her environment. For example, he will begin to develop concepts that we take for granted – like object permanence.

4. Movement / Physical Development

The last category involves how a baby physically grows and learns to manipulate its body in space.

Now that we have introduced the basic categories, let’s dig into what you can expect to see as your baby develops into a unique individual.

Babys’ First Two Months Milestones

Imagine what the first two months of life must be like. As adults, we don’t possess actual memories from this period in our lives. However, this time is significant for imprinting basic concepts and helps us set the stage and prepare for our little ones to become little knowledge sponges.

Two Month Developmental Milestones: What to Expect?

Generally, your baby should begin to recognize you and other people. This will be apparent in your baby’s reaction. He might smile at you or look for you when you aren’t in their field of view. The baby will show great interest in faces as learns how to tell people apart.

Consequently, you will hear them attempt to vocalize with coos, cries, and other sounds. They may even realize that their cries cause you to react.

The baby will start to show interest in the things around him, following people around with her eyes. Additionally, he might appear bored, fussy, or happy and will begin to develop distinct moods.

Physically, during the first two months, your baby’s movement will start to become more fluid and smooth. As a result, he will try to hold their head up and may attempt to push themselves upward if on their stomachs.

Signs to Look Out For Your Two-Month Old:

If you are concerned that your infant may be missing crucial developmental milestones, reaching out to your child’s pediatrician is vital. Early intervention is essential for identifying and treating learning disabilities and developmental disabilities.

For instance, if your child is not reacting to loud noises, doesn’t smile or engage visually with other people, doesn’t move correctly, or isn’t bringing their hands to their mouth, these could be signs that your child is missing a developmental milestone.

Stimulating Activities to Encourage Your 2 Month Baby Growth

This window of time is crucial for social and cognitive development. Spend time talking, laughing, and singing with your baby. The idea is to elicit reactions and responses from your baby and encourage them to engage with you.

Read to them, look at pictures with them and play with them. When they make noises and respond to you, make sure you respond and encourage communication.

Babys’ Four Months Milestones

By four months, a distinct personality will begin to emerge. Your baby will have gathered enough information through observation to start mimicking you and communicating with you through laughs, cries, coos, and grunts.

Four Month Developmental Milestones: What to Expect?

Four months in, you should see a continuation of the developments seen during the first two months. Clear and defined moods emerge. Your baby’s interaction will expand – she may act playful, cranky, sleepy, or silly due to her developing desires.

Babies will also start having expectations. Your baby may get upset if you stop playing with them or get excited before beginning a new activity. Expect them to develop more agency in their interactions with you. Your baby will be a more active participant.

He will mimic your sounds, facial expressions, and movements with increasing accuracy. Physically, their movements will become more integrated. For example, she or he will coordinate her or his hands and eyes to reach for something or someone he wants.

At four months old, your baby should be able to hold its head up unsupported. As their strength improves alongside the improved coordination of their limbs, you may notice them roll over or push up on their elbows as if they are almost ready to start crawling!

Signs to Look Out For Your Four-Month Old:

If your baby doesn’t appear to be hitting the above CDC developmental milestones, reach out to your pediatrician. By this point, you should reach out to a medical professional if your baby:

  • Doesn’t coo, laugh, cry or make intentional sounds
  • The baby doesn’t watch people or things as they move
  • Your baby doesn’t push down with legs if feet are placed on a hard surface like the floor
  • Your infant doesn’t bring objects to their mouth

Stimulating Activities to Encourage Baby Growth

By four months, your baby should have plenty of safe toys to explore within reach. Encourage hand-eye coordination by helping them reach out and grasp toys, encourage your baby to shake, feel and toss safe toys.

Stimulating Activities to Encourage Baby Growth - Baby Developmental Milestones Categories | 6 months baby playing

Also, continue talking, singing, laughing, and reading with your baby. Mimic their sounds but also speak normally to them. Games such as peek-a-boo are essential for developing object permanence, the cognitive ability to understand that people and things exist even when they are out of view. Also, consider putting a baby-safe mirror in view.

Babys’ Six Months Developmental Milestones

At six months, your baby should be able to tell strangers apart from family members. They should enjoy playing and interacting with familiar people but might act differently around unfamiliar people.

Six Month Developmental Milestones: What to Expect?

Your baby should recognize his own name at this stage, and his babbling will start to sound more speechlike, with clear vowel sounds emerging. Additionally, soft consonants – like “m” and “b” will emerge from the babbling.

He will vocalize moods – making distinct sounds when happy and sad or fussy. Talking with your infant should be more conversational, with you and your baby taking turns making noises.

Physically, your baby should be able to sit with support and have little trouble rolling from their backside to front and vice versa.

They will show curiosity when handling objects and should begin to coordinate passing toys from one hand to another.

Signs to Look Out For Your Six-Months Old:

At six months, your baby should be meeting the CDC developmental milestones covered above. Look out for the following warning signs:

  • Your baby cannot make clearly distinguishable vowel sounds – no “ahs,” “ehs,” “ohs,” for example
  • He shows little to no reaction to caregivers
  • Baby’s limbs are too floppy or too rigid
  • Your baby doesn’t respond to sounds
  • He can’t bring objects to their mouth

Keep Track of Your Baby’s Developmental Milestones!

Remember, it’s crucial you monitor your baby’s development milestones. We covered the first six months, but your child will develop for years till they reach adulthood. If your baby needs support, the earlier you realize and intervene, the better their chances are of adapting and finding success!

Download this brief baby developmental milestone checklist guide to help you and your baby during the first 6 months of life. 

In addition, you can present your infant with these super catchy songs for babies. We hope they can be useful.

About the Author

Roni Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for Villari Law, a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia.


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