If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve already discovered that no two days are the same when it comes to your little one. Your baby is going to be learning and growing every single day during their first year of life – it’s could often be hard to keep up with them!
All babies are different and each will develop at their own pace, so don’t worry if your baby is a little behind others of the same age. They’ll get there in their own time and you’ll be reassured that your little one is developing at their own, individual rate.
One thing you’ve probably heard and read a lot about is the importance of a routine for your baby. While some parents don’t mind going with the flow, the majority find that even a flexible schedule can help to provide stability to their baby’s day, helping it to run more smoothly.
Baby sleep routines and feeding routines are going to change quite a bit during bub’s first year of life, but you’ll get the hang of adjusting them in no time at all.
Check out the guide below for a general idea of your baby’s development by month. Bear in mind that some babies may not follow the average timeline. If you are concerned about your baby’s health or development, have them checked by your doctor or early childhood nurse. Some babies just need more time to reach developmental milestones. Remember, these are general guidelines only.
At this stage your baby could be sleeping for about 16-18 hours of the day. In terms of feeding, let bub guide the way – very young babies can’t fit into regular routines. By the end of their first month they’ll be able to track objects with their eyes and even make eye contact with you.
More about your one month old baby
Less sleeping this month, at about 15-16 hours per day. Your baby’s feeding habits probably haven’t changed too much, but their appetite may increase. It’s still a little tough getting any kind of routine in place yet, but you’re both likely to work it out in the next few months. Your baby can really grip things tightly now. They may even smile when they see your face.
More about your two month old baby
As your baby starts sleeping for longer stretches of time, you’ll start noticing a more predictable sleep pattern emerging, which can form the basis of bub’s newroutine. They could be feeding for longer periods, but less frequently, as their stomach capacity has increased. Expect lots of cooing, squealing, and smiling this month!
More about your three month old baby
Your baby could be sleeping for longer stretches overnight, which is great news for you! It’s still important that they sleep throughout the day, too. Feeding may well have become a lot easier for the both of you. Bub might start rolling from front to back this month – give them plenty of opportunity to practise with floor time every day.
More about your four month old baby
Your baby may be showing interest when you are eating, but avoid offering them solid foods until closer to six months. They should be revealing their adorable little personality by now and you can look forward to lots of laughing and babbling, as well as the occasional mood swing. Look for your baby’s rolling skills to improve as they prepare to build their strength for sitting.
More about your five month old baby
Keep up your baby’s regular breast or milk feeds, but start introducing solid food if they’re ready for it. It’s still important that they get a lot of sleep overnight and about three sleeps during the day. Bub is blowing raspberries, very aware of different environments, and can support their weight on their legs (with you supporting their weight by holding them securely).
More about your six month old baby
It’s normal for babies of this age to still need night feeds with some waking for reassurance, but some may already be sleeping all the way through at this point. Keep introducing a variety of iron and zinc rich solid foods for them to try each day. Lots of babies at this age can sit with minimal support, play peek-a-boo, and some even recognise their name.
More about your seven month old baby
If bub was getting about three naps during the day last month, you might find they want to drop one of them this month. Two naps during the day is average for this age and stage. Your baby can probably eat or accept two to three solid meals each day, but it’s important that you continue to offer breast of formula feeds as well. Bub will love playing games with you this month and they could be well on their way to crawling by now.
More about your eight month old baby
Sleep continues much the same as last month, but they may be getting a whole lot messier in the food department. This age is when many babies insist on feeding themselves, which can be hilarious to watch! Your baby is probably shuffling around in preparation for crawling and using furniture to pull themselves up to a standing position.
More about your nine month old baby
Two sleeps during the day is normal at this age, and they may even be progressively sleeping through the night, too. Keep offering a variety of solid foods, supplemented with breast milk or formula. Bub could be crawling all over the place by now, but don’t worry if they’re not – some babies skip crawling altogether and go straight to walking.
More about your ten month old baby
If you and your baby are happy to continue breastfeeding, feel confident about this. Formula milk can be stopped at 12 months. Bub will be waving bye-bye, clapping their hands, and communicating with a lot more body language. They could even be saying “mama” or “dada” and practising for walking.
More about your eleven month old baby
Keep putting bub down for a nap at least twice during the day. In terms of food, three milk feeds, three meals, and two snacks is a pretty regular diet for a 12 month old. This month they’ll be developing more complex emotions and might even take their very first steps!
More about your twelve month old baby