Newborn babies grow at an astonishing rate, and watching them reaching their various developmental milestones is so rewarding. 


Seeing your baby's first smile and having them interact with you by waving, laughing or even just making a silly face is an incredible feeling. And once they start crawling around, we know we'll have to be alert to keep up with them. 


Sometimes mums worry if their baby hasn't started walking or talking as young as another child, but every baby is different.


Here are some development milestones to look out for in the first 12 months, what's normal and what could be a sign of a problem.


One month old

Your little one can't see very well initially as their eyesight isn't as developed as their other senses of birth. 


While the first month may seem like endless feeding, crying and sleeping, your baby's eyesight and other senses are developing.


At a few weeks old, your baby will take more notice of your face, voice and touch. Your baby can lift their head slightly and turn it to the side when they're on their stomach, but you must support their head and neck when they are upright. 


Look out for any signs of stiffness or floppiness and lack of response to bright lights and loud sounds.



Three months old

By three months old, your baby can smile at you. They should also start mimicking your voice and facial expressions. At this age, babies can open and close their hands, swat at toys hanging over them, and lift their head and chest while on their stomach.


Look out for a lack of focus on objects, being unable to support their head well, and not smiling or making expressions.


Four to seven months old

By now, your baby will be attempting to have a 'conversation' with you, by babbling and laughing. They are more sensitive to your tone of voice and certain words, and may respond to their name being called.


They also have much more control over their bodies; by seven months old, they should be able to roll over and back again, sit unaided, and bounce their legs while you hold them.


Look out for a lack of affection towards you, being unable to sit by themselves or hold their head steady, and not reaching for objects. 



Eight to 12 months old

Your baby is now turning into a little explorer who can crawl or scoot around. They will hang onto objects to help them stand, and may even take their first tentative steps by themselves. You should also hear your tot's first words, which is a really exciting moment.


By now, your tot can express themselves in simple words or gestures to let you know what they do or don't like. They also have more control over their fingers and will amuse themselves by opening and closing things endlessly. 


Look out for a lack of crawling, dragging one side while they crawl, and a lack of words or gestures like shaking their head for 'no'.