Infant Articles

Baby Development Guide


During the first year of your baby's life every moment is special: from the first smile to the first step. Use our baby development guide to find out the amazing changes that occur every month in your baby.


Track Your Baby's Development

This site is for informational purposes only and may not pertain to each individual child. These general guidelines for babies in no way reflect exactly what they should or should not be doing at any particular month. Please consult your pediatrician or nurse for information specifically on your child.


1 Month
  • Brings hands toward eyes and mouth
  • Moves head from side to side when lying down
  • Able to follow objects about 6 inches from face
  • Responds to outside stimuli by crying, laughing, etc.
  • Focuses on your face


2 Months
  • The first signs of a genuine smile
  • Prefers more complicated and detailed objects of different colors and shapes
  • Sleeps for longer periods of time
  • Arm and leg movements are smoother, less jerky


3 Months
  • Will open and shut hands
  • Reaches out for toys or objects
  • Follows objects in front of face from one side to the other
  • Begins to make speech-like noises
  • Smiles at sound of parent's voices
  • Watches faces intently


4 Months
  • Baby can play alone and doesn't need mommy all the time
  • Can participate in back and forth imitation games (ie: you say boo and he/she says it back)
  • Baby enjoys looking at bright colors
  • May feel uncomfortable with strangers, wants to be around recognizable people


FOOD: You may start your baby on iron-fortified cereals, like Earth's Best Whole Grain Rice Cereal


5 Months
  • Able to hold head steady when standing or sitting up
  • Reaches for objects
  • Recognizes people from a distance
  • Smiles spontaneously
  • Rolls over one way


FOOD: To give you baby some variety; try Earth's Best Multi-Grain Cereal. Start your baby on single pureed fruits and vegetables like Earth's Best Strained Pears, Carrots and Bananas.


6 Months
  • Hand and motor control developing rapidly
  • May start moving objects back and forth
  • Baby has learned to roll over in each direction
  • At this age, about half of all babies babble, repeating one syllable such as "ga", "ba", "ma."
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading aloud to your child at this stage


FOOD: Continue feeding your baby iron-fortified cereals, but try adding something new and yummy like Earth's Best or Peach Oatmeal Banana to their palates. You can begin to give your baby simple combinations of single pureed fruits and vegetables such as Pears & Raspberries or Prunes & Oatmeal.


7 Months
  • Sits without support
  • Moves objects from hand to hand
  • Responds to own name
  • Able to play peekaboo
  • Shows excitement when playing
  • Responds to "no"


FOOD: Continue your baby on iron fortified cereals and juices. Some other strained varieties to try include Earth's Best Rice & Lentil Dinner or Sweet Potatoes & Chicken.


8 Months
  • Sits well without support
  • Emotions become obvious, may mimic daddy's or mommy's behavior (ie: mommy laughs, baby laughs)
  • Baby's vision is almost adult-like
  • Explores objects by shaking them, banging them, dropping them, etc.


FOOD: Some additional varieties to try this month include Corn & Butternut Squash, Plums, Bananas & Rice and Vegetable Turkey Dinner.


9 Months
  • Shows frustration (ie: toy being taken away)
  • Crawls or creeps on hands
  • Pulls self up to standing position
  • Stands by holding on to something or someone
  • Says "Mama" or "Dada"
  • Makes the effort to find toys out of reach


FOOD: Now is the time to start your baby on chunky foods such as Earth's Best Chunky Orchard Fruit and Spring Vegetables & Pasta. You can also begin to give your baby beans, split peas, lentils and other legumes cooked or ground to a powder.


10 Months
  • Baby can crawl well on hands and knees
  • Fingers have become agile and baby grabs at objects
  • Baby's personality emerges
  • Begins to understand simple words and phrases


FOOD: Some other Chunky Blends to try include Tender Chicken & Stars and Vegetable Beef Pilaf. You can try giving your baby thinned peanut butter, raw and finely grated carrots and whole grain pastas.


11 Months
  • By now your baby is probably talking up a storm with words or word-like sounds spilling out
  • Engages in parallel play (playing alongside another child but not with them)
  • Becoming more independent, evident by their solo standing, stooping and squatting


FOOD: In addition to feeding your baby regular meals, try giving them finger foods such as small crackers, cookies, breads, etc. In addition to iron fortified cereals, try feeding your child Peach Apricot Muesli or Chunky Blend Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal blends.


12 Months
  • Starts to stand for a few moments at a time
  • Takes baby steps without support
  • Gets in sitting position from stomach
  • Says "Mama" and "Dada" to right person
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Claps hands and waves good-bye


    FOOD: Earth's Best offers healthy snacks like Whole Grain Bars that are ideal for babies and kids 12 months and older. Continue feeding your baby Chunky Blends in addition to fish, cooked legumes and tender pieces of meat. You can also cut fruits into small pieces (ie: blueberries, strawberries, etc) as a tasty treat!


From the Merck Manual of Medical Information - Home Edition, edited by Robert Berkow. Copyright 1997 by Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ. Used with Permission.