Baby Milestone Guide | Rhyme & Reason
Baby Milestone Guide | Rhyme & Reason

Baby Milestone Guide

Charleston, South Carolina
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I think about it every day but time really is a thief. The passage of time is wonderful because there is the opportunity for so much growth, change, and development (especially with babies!) but we also never get time back. I have loved watching Rowan grow up into the happy, curious, beautiful little 6.5 month old boy that he is right now but I have also very acutely felt like I want to freeze time so I can snuggle my baby boy forever. I wish I could bottle up his baby smiles and giggles to have with me for all my days. Babies grow so fast and change rapidly before our very eyes. There are a lot of important baby milestones that happen before babies turn one. The growth and development that happens in the first year of life is truly astonishing!

It is great to keep track of baby milestones and understand how babies’ development generally unfolds. I find that I so often say things like “I can’t wait until Rowan is walking” or “I can’t wait until Rowan can confidently eat all solids” but then I remind myself to enjoy his exact moment in time in his development because, as I said, time is a thief. Understanding the progression of his growth and the developmental milestones he will most likely hit in different months of life definitely keeps me in the present moment. I’m often reading about baby progression so I decided to document it on here with this baby milestone guide (honestly, so I can reference it, ha!).

Baby Milestone Guide

I also like to know what is to come a step ahead so I can be prepared with any baby gear we might need and so I can educate myself. A perfect example of this was when he started eating solids. I read, watched a few e-learning classes, and made a running list of questions for my pediatrician before our next visit. So, when the starting solids milestone arrived, I was ready. Baby milestones are also just exciting so, as an extremely sentimental person, I like to keep track of them so I can always remember and reflect back on this incredible time in Rowan’s life. Rowan has hit so many milestones that have brought me so much joy and made me feel so warm and happy.

Milestones like smiling, laughing, reaching out to pet our dogs, and the first food he ate are milestones that fill me up as a mom. There are so many teeny tiny moments to savor like watching Rowan turn his head at the sound of my voice. He has so many joyful milestones to come like waving, his first words, standing, walking, and his first dance move. In my post on pregnancy keepsake ideas, I share my favorite baby books. They have been a great place for me to jot down Rowan’s major milestones so I can always remember them and his child development. He’s growing but he will forever be my baby boy! Here’s my baby milestone guide as well as some of the milestones Rowan has hit so far!

As a sidenote, I also can’t recommend the Lovevery Play Gym enough!

It was developed by child development experts and is made with completely safe, healthy, durable materials for babies starting at birth. I think it’s the best stage-based play gym for babies’ developing brains. I also really really really love this play gym because it comes with a ‘Play Guide’ that includes ideas for how to engage with and play with your baby from birth – 12 months. It is a month-by-month guide and SO helpful for following along with baby’s development! I read it all the time and have gotten wonderful ideas from it. I’ve heard amazing things about their monthly play kit subscription and actually have no idea why I haven’t gotten it for Rowan (it’s affordable!). Writing this post is reminding me to get it!

Baby Milestone Guide | Rhyme & Reason
Baby Milestone Guide | Rhyme & Reason

2 Month Old Baby Milestones

The first two months of life are such a blur. As a parent, it’s safe to say you’ve never been more tired in your entire life than you are in the first months of your new baby’s life. That being said, 0-2 month old babies sleep a lot so definitely take advantage and sleep while they sleep (this is something I wholeheartedly wish I had done more – I think it would have made a big difference for me and my physical recovery). In terms of cognitive, social, emotional, language and physical milestones, a few key ones for 2 month old babies are:

– starts to smile at people

– discovers hands and might use them to begin to self-sooth (i.e. sucking fingers)

– tries to look at parents and begins to know and recognize faces and people at a distance

– starts to follow things and people with eyes

– turns head toward sounds heard

– expands language and makes coos and gurgling sounds

– starts to look for new activities (i.e. can become fussy if bored)

– leg and arm movements become smoother and less jerky

– begins to hold head up and starts to push up during tummy time

4 Month Old Baby Milestones

As a mother, I really started to feel a change to feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally great again around 3 months! The time between 3-4 months was life changing. By the end of Rowan’s 4th month of life, I felt like myself again. At the same time, 4 months really felt like a turning point for Rowan. At 12 weeks, littles technically go from being newborns to babies. So, at the 16 week mark of 4 months, Rowan felt like a full on baby. It happened before my very eyes! In my experience, Rowan started to become so fun around 4 months of age because he was engaging with us and his surroundings so much more. In terms of cognitive, social, emotional, language and physical milestones, a few key ones for 4 month old babies are:

– spontaneous smiles, this is particularly true with smiling at people

– enjoys playing with people and might cry when playtime stops

– begins to babble and copy sounds heard

– develops different cries to show different things (i.e. tiredness, hunger, pain)

– responds to affection and can display happiness and sadness

– begins to develop hand and eye coordination by seeing a toy and reaching for it with hands

– follows movement from side to side

– watches faces closely and recognizes familiar faces at a distance

– holds head upright steadily and without support

– brings hands to mouth

– during tummy time, can push up on elbows and may roll over to back

– bats at dangling toys

– pushes down on feet when feet are on a hard surface

4 Month Old Baby Milestones
family picture with baby

6 Month Old Baby Milestones

I still can’t believe my little Rowan Clarke is over 6 months old! 6 months is FUN! I truly understand when parents say that each month becomes their new favorite age because babies become so much more engaged, curious, and busy with each passing month. As a 6.5 month baby, Rowan is definitely looking for new experiences and it is a joy to see him experience the world around him (instead of just his and my tiny bubble).

Rowan is starting to play with his toys more, loves looking at himself in the mirror, is becoming so expressive, and is really enjoying seeing the world from his new sitting position (watching him sit on his own for the first time was a major WOW moment for me). He is just the happiest little boy! In terms of cognitive, social, emotional, language and physical milestones, a few key ones for 6 month old babies are:

– enjoys play with others, especially parents

– knows familiar faces and starts to recognize if someone is new to them

– often seems happy

– responds to the emotions of others

– enjoys looking at themselves in the mirror

– string vowels together when babbling and begins to say consonants sounds

– likes to “talk” with parents by babbling back at fourth

– responds to own name (Rowan does some of the time)

– makes sounds to show likes and dislikes

– brings things to mouth, baby reaches for items beyond reach out of curiosity, begins to pass things from one hand to the other

– rolls over in both directions (Rowan flips from his back to his side but hasn’t flipped from his back to his belly yet)

– begins to sit without support

– when supported in standing position, supports weight on legs and begins to bounce

6 Month Old Baby Milestones
Baby Milestones to watch out for

9 Month Old Baby Milestones

I know we have some fun in store for us when Rowan turns 9 months old. When Rowan is 9 months old, I anticipate that I will be savoring the last few months of him being a baby before he becomes a toddler. Woof, that will hit my heart hard! In terms of cognitive, social, emotional, language and physical milestones, a few key ones for 9 month old babies are:

– loves the adults they are familiar with and may be scared of new adults

– makes lots of different sounds and copies the sounds of others

– points at things with fingers

– plays peek-a-boo

– develops pincer grasp

– pulls to stand and can stand while holding on

– can get into a sitting position

12 Month Old Baby Milestones

When Rowan is 12 months old in September, I know I’m going to be a mix of emotions. Excited, proud, and overjoyed for my small but growing boy but also verklempt that time is passing so quickly and that I’ll never have Rowan as a baby again. Parenthood is one storm of emotion after another. In terms of cognitive, social, emotional, language and physical milestones, a few key ones for 12 month old babies are:

– has favorite people and things

– is shy and maybe nervous around strangers

– cries when mom or dad leaves

– hands adults a book when they want to hear stories

– says mama or dada or both

– tries to say words you say

– shakes head yes and no and enjoys waving bye bye

– explores things in multiple ways by shaking, banging, and throwing

– puts things in a container and takes things out of a container

– copies gestures

– looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named

– pulls up to stand and walks while holding on to furniture (“cruising”)

– may take a few steps on their own

– may stand alone

Of course, many of my favorite milestones are things like first bath, first holidays, first time in the pool, first time meeting different family members, first time on a swing at the park, the list goes on. A baby milestone guide can look differently depending on what milestones you’re documenting. In my baby books for Rowan, I recount a mix of the above physical, cognitive, and emotional milestones with personal milestones like the ones I just mentioned. They just grow so fast!

taking notes of baby milestones
A guide to the most exciting baby growth milestones | Rhyme & Reason

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