What is normal development?
Next to feeding, parents worry most about their baby's development. If your baby had a difficult start, spent time in a NICU, or has a chronic condition or disability, you may be especially concerned about your child's growth and development.
Most babies grow in a fairly predictable pattern. But the timing of behaviors can vary widely between children, even brothers and sisters. For example, about half of babies can walk by their first birthdays. But walking any time between 9 and 16 months is considered normal.
Developmental milestones are only guidelines. Your baby's health care provider will evaluate your baby's development at each well-baby visit. But remember that you know your baby best. Always talk to the health care provider if you think your baby is lagging behind in one or more areas of development.
If your baby was born prematurely, you will need to look at the milestone guidelines a little differently. The age at which your baby is expected to reach various milestones is based on her due date. So use your baby's adjusted age when looking at the milestones. For more information, read How old is my baby?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know my baby is growing the way he should?
During the first year of life, your baby will grow and develop at an amazing pace. Your baby's weight will double by 5 to 6 months, and triple by the first year. Major achievements - called developmental milestones - include rolling over, sitting up, standing and possibly walking. And your heart will likely melt at the sound of "mama" or "dada."
Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave and move (crawling, walking, etc.). Your baby's health care provider will evaluate your baby's development at each well-baby visit. Remember: Always talk to your child's health care professional if you think your baby is lagging behind. It's important to know that no two babies are exactly alike. Children grow and develop at different paces.