Karabo Mokoena
Content producer
4 minute read
28 Oct 2019
8:30 am

All you need to know about the first six months of your baby’s development

Karabo Mokoena

The first few months of your little one’s life are made up of curiosity and discovery.

Your baby is gaining some critical skills including cognitive, fine motor and communication skills, among others.

One-month milestone

You have just completed and conquered the fourth trimester. Well done! Your baby is now developing some key senses and using them to navigate this big new world.

Your baby can see eight to 12 inches in front of their face.
Hearing is developed and they react to familiar sounds.
They are primarily communicating through crying.
They can move their head from side to side.
They can recognise the voices of their parents.

Two-month milestone

This is a critical time for babies when they are supposed to be ticking a couple of boxes already. Your paediatrician will need to know whether or not they have reached these important milestones, and if not, certain tests might be conducted to checks the visual and cognitive abilities of the baby.

Babies’ eyes can now track and follow objects that grab their attention.
They can experience their first smile.
Babies will start making cooing sounds.
They enjoy tummy time and can hold up their head.
They begin to push up when lying on their tummy.
They begin to make smoother movements with their arms and legs.

Tip: Make sure the baby gets plenty of tummy time.

Three-month milestone

Your baby is becoming smarter and more emotional. Recognition is a key developmental skill at this age.

Your baby can see and recognise things farther away.
They enjoy playing and respond to facial expressions and sounds.
Coos are turning into babbles, and they may start to copy your sounds.
They begin to swat, grip, and shake toys.
They may begin teething.

Tip: Talk as much as possible with your baby because this is how they gain their language skills.

Four-month milestone 

You have passed the newborn phase and realise that your baby has become more alert and ready to discover their surroundings (not always in the most sanitary way).

Your baby shows more emotion by making happy and sad faces.
They are fascinated with people-watching.
Your baby has learned that people will respond to their sounds.
There is more head stability during tummy time.
They can copy facial expressions.
They will reach for toys with one hand.

Tip: Pay attention to their faces and react to their emotions.

Five-month milestone

This stage is building a foundation for later milestones like talking and walking.

They are now starting to understand certain sounds.
Group activities start to excite them.
They have started to make new sounds and will babble more.
They have started rolling from tummy to back and back to tummy.
They love to look at themselves in a mirror.
They can entertain themselves for short periods.

Tip: Continue talking and engaging with your child.

Six-month milestone

Your baby is becoming more active and mobile at this age. Time to baby proof!
Don’t worry if the baby is not moving as much, it is only a matter of time.

They will become clingy to people they are familiar with and they can understand the concept of strangers.
Many babies are ready to start eating solid foods at six months.
Your baby now knows and can respond to their name.
They can bear weight on their legs and are getting better at sitting and supporting themselves unaided.
They can start creeping along the floor.
They start passing things from one hand to the other.

Just remember, not all kids progress and develop at the same pace. If you have a genuine concern about a milestone your baby might have missed, contact your paediatrician. It should, however, not be a concern that stems from comparing your child to other children. This can drive any parent crazy.

Enjoy your baby’s development.


Karabo Parenty Post BioKarabo Motsiri is a first-time mom, over-sharer, lover of life, chronic napper and married to her best friend. She loves a good party because the dance floor is her happy place. She enjoys good food, good conversations, laughs a little too hard, and cries during every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. She started her blogging journey because she wanted to share all the ups and downs of being a young modern mama in South Africa. Her blog Black Mom Chronicles has been featured on Ayana Magazine & SA Mom Blog. She has enjoyed airtime on Power FM and frequently writes for the parenting section of Saturday Citizen. She also works with MamaMagic on their Product Awards, Milestones Magazine, Heart to Heart blog, and the Baby Expo, which is South Africa’s biggest parenting expo. 

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