The first year in life is one of the most important stages in your child’s development. From the moment they open their eyes they undergo dramatic physical and mental changes.

Take your child to the doctor for regular check ups to make sure he or she is growing strong and healthy. Early treatment of any problems is their best defense. The following chart shows you what your and your doctor should be watching for during your baby’s first year.

For information on how you can get a free eye screening for your newborn, visit

Speech and Hearing
Emotional and Societal
By 3 Months

Tends to see objects about 1 foot away

Follows moving objects and reaches for things

Sucks and swallows

Quiets and smiles in response to sound or voice

Pushes up on arms

Lifts and holds head up

Needs to be cradled and comforted

Begins to develop trust in parents or caregivers

By 6 Months

Eye movement and eye-body coordination skills develop

Both eyes should focus equally

Uses consonant sounds in babbling

Uses babbling to get attention

Uses hands to support self in sitting

Rolls from tummy to back

Smiles broadly and laughs when pleased

Develops self-calming skills to quiet down after being upset

By 9 Months

Eye-body coordination skills develop further

Eye contact begins to replace physical contact

Increases variety of sounds and syllables

Looks at familiar objects and people when named

Sits and reaches for toys without falling

Moves from tummy or back into sitting position

Gets angry and frustrated when their needs are not met

Begins to fear strangers

By 12 Months Uses both eyes to judge distances Says “mama” and “dada”

Pulls self up to stand

Stands alone and takes independent steps

Expresses a variety of emotions such as fear, anger, dislike and happiness

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; American Optometrist Association; Invest in Kids

For more information about a baby’s development visit or Utah Act Early and Zero to Three.