What’s Normal? Milestones from Birth to 1 Year



One of my favorite books when I began having babies was Berry Brazelton’s Infants and Mothers  He profiled three babies—an average (Louis), an active (Daniel), and a quiet baby (Laura)–and went through the milestones of ‘normal’ developmental behavior. He was also on the forefront in research on how parents’ perceptions of their babies impact their parenting. If we are worried our child is delayed or abnormal, our parenting will reflect this. Conversely if we believe our baby is advanced or has a sunny disposition we will behave toward the baby as if he were smart and happy, encouraging those qualities as our parenting merges with his individual genetic profile. Even more interesting to me was how the perceived differences in a baby’s development shaped the mother-infant bond, a powerful influence in our lives.51YEVf590+L._AA160_

The book was first published in 1969, and although it can seem a bit dated today, I am impressed how Brazelton’s wisdom and reassurances are as relevant today as when I first read him 34 years ago.

Consider the following milestones as a rough guide for your infant. You may have a Laura who does not sit until 9 months, or a Daniel who walks at 10 months. Relax, believe your child is perfect just the way she is. I promise it will manifest!



o Responds to high pitched voices by moving limbs
o Reacts to sudden loud sounds
o Makes eye contact
o A smile is possible, but may be reflexive
o Cannot raise head
o Keeps hands clenched in fists most of the time
o Turns head in the direction of a familiar voice

o Shows interest in play things like rattles
o Grasps objects
o Makes eye contact
o Shows interests in forms and colors
o Smiles in response to speech
o Turns head toward sounds
o Begin to put things toward the mouth
o Makes cooing and gurgling noises when someone smiles or talks to them

o Lifts head and shoulders when placed on their bellyimages-1
o Sits with support
o Makes 2 syllable sounds
o Good visual sense
o Brings objects to the mouth
o Rolls over
o Likes to jump and stand with help
o Screams when annoyed
o Responds to name
o Transfers objects from one hand to another
o Begins to copy expressions
o Focuses on an object and reaches for it
o Turns over when on a flat surface
o Responds negatively when a toy is taken from them

o Sits unsupported
IMG_0549o Grasps objects with thumb and index finger
o Looks for fallen objects
o Begins to fear strangers
o Understands ‘no’
o Holds a bottle
o Vocalizes to attract attention
o Begins to crawl
o Eats finger food by themselves
o Drinks from a cup with a little help
o Becomes attached to a blanket or favorite toy
o Points at things far away
o Begins to crawls up stairs

o Can stand alone for a few seconds
o Waves bye-bye
o Helps with dressing by holding out an arm or a leg
o Understand simple commands
o Babbles 2 or 3 words
o Picks up objects from the ground
o Walks holding one hand
o Can stand holding onto furnitureNH_1101xx_NewZealand-0731 2
o Holds a spoon
o Drinks from a cup
o Demonstrates affection
o Can have separations anxiety
o May share toys with other infants
o They can nod their head yes or shake it no
o Begins to understand how to use common objects like a brush or a spoon


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