Milestones during your baby's first year
Social smiling usually begins in the first six weeks. Before that, infants might reflexively smile when they're falling off to sleep or they have gas.
"But a social smile is a smile in response to a social stimulus like a parent smiling at a child," says Dr. Heidi M. Feldman, a pediatrics professor at the Stanford School of Medicine and a developmental-behavioral pediatrician.
By about 3 months, babies have some head control, and they're reaching, cooing and cooing responsively, Feldman says. Babies also start rolling over sometime around 3 to 4 months of age.
Between 6 and 9 months, babies sit up without help and begin pulling themselves up. By that time, Dr. Kathleen Bohnke, a highly rated internist and pediatrician with Parkview Physicians' Group in Fort Wayne, Ind., expects children to be able to roll from their back to their stomach. "All kids do things at different times so it's a range that we look for."
Between 9 and 12 months, Bohnke says, babies should know at least one word, apart from "momma" and "dadda," and know the difference between those familial terms. Many take their first steps at 1 year, while others are running. "There's just a broad spectrum," Bohnke says. She looks for children to be walking between 12 and 17 months.