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3 Important Baby Milestones

Milestones in baby development

Children grow and change a lot during their first year–making it a great time to start tracking developmental milestones!

Babies experience some of the most rapid development, because every day they learn something new. Sitting up, rolling over and crawling are all part of a baby’s motor, or physical development.

Baby Development Milestones

At what age do babies sit up?

Babies must be able to hold their heads up without support and have enough upper body strength before being able to sit up on their own. Babies often hold their heads up around 2 months and begin to push up with their arms while lying on their stomachs. Tummy time helps strengthen the upper body and neck muscles that your baby needs to sit up.

At 4 months, a baby typically holds his/her head steady without support, and at 6 months, he/she begins to sit with a little help. Encourage sitting up by helping your baby to sit or support him/her with pillows to allow him/her to look around. At 9 months he/she sits well without support and gets in and out of a sitting position but may require help. At 12 months, he/she gets into the sitting position without help.

At what age do babies roll over?

Babies start rolling over as early as 4 months old. They will rock from side to side, a motion that is the foundation for rolling over. They may also roll over from tummy to back. At 6 months old, babies will typically roll over in both directions. It’s common for babies to roll over from tummy to back for a month or two before rolling over from their back to front.

To encourage rolling over, place your baby on a blanket on the floor with a toy or book to one side near him/her to reach toward with her arms.          

At what age do babies crawl?

At 6 months, babies will rock back and forth on hands and knees. This is a building block to crawling. As the child rocks, he may start to crawl backward before moving forward. By 9 months, babies typically creep and crawl. Some babies do a commando-type crawl, pulling themselves along the floor by their arms.

To encourage a child’s crawling development, allow your baby to play on the floor in a safe area away from stairs. Place favorite toys just out of reach as the baby is rocking back and forth. Encourage him/her to reach for his/her toy.

As your baby becomes more mobile, it’s important to childproof your home. Lock up household cleaning, laundry, lawn and car care products. Use safety gates and lock doors to outside and the basement.

For more information about supporting a child’s development, visit helpmegrowmn.org. Tips can be found in the Encouraging Healthy Development section of the website.

Portions of this content, developed by Help Me Grow Minnesota, may have previously appeared elsewhere.
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