Baby Development Guide: Milestones and
How to Support Them

Developmental milestones are an essential part of tracking your baby's growth and progress and are best used to help you gather information to talk about with your healthcare providers. From motor skills to language development and cognitive abilities, these milestones offer valuable insights into your baby's development journey. Understanding what to expect and how to support your baby can make a significant difference for new parents.

Gross motor skills: rolling over, sitting up, and crawling

One of the first sets of developmental milestones often noticed by parents are the gross motor ones, like rolling. Strength to roll is gained through many small movements, like those used during tummy time, when your baby is trying to support their own head. 

Around 3 to 4 months, many babies start rolling over from their tummy to their back. This movement strengthens their neck and back muscles, which are essential for future milestones like sitting up and crawling. Around 6 to 7 months, as your baby grows and gains more strength, you'll see them trying to sit up on their own. 

This is an exciting time, but also one where supervision during sleep becomes even more crucial. While babies are learning these big skills, their sleep can become more disturbed. Some even start to roll over during sleep unexpectedly, increasing their chances for positional asphyxia. Using a wearable baby monitor like the Snuza Pico 2 can be helpful during this stage. Its abdominal movement monitoring provides an added layer of reassurance, especially if your baby tends to move around a lot during sleep.

Language Development: Babbling to First Words

At first, your baby will communicate primarily through crying, which can be hard to interpret, at least initially. From about 4 to 6 months, babies start cooing, smiling, babbling, and copying sounds that you make. To encourage language development, you can talk to your baby, narrating your day with them, telling them what’s happening around them, and involving them in family chats.

Reading to tiny babies might feel like it’s not achieving much, but research shows that children — even babies! — who are read to develop language much earlier than those who aren’t read to. Plus, it’s an enjoyable way to talk to your baby, if just chatting to them feels a bit weird to you.

Cognitive Milestones: Curiosity and Problem-Solving

Around 8 to 12 months, you might notice your baby becoming more curious, exploring objects around them, and trying to figure out how things work. Cognitive milestones involve your baby's ability to think, learn, and solve problems.

Engaging in interactive play and providing age-appropriate toys can stimulate their cognitive development. Here are some toys and games to play with your baby to stimulate them at this stage of development:

  • Shape sorters: Introduce your baby to shape sorters where they can learn to match shapes with corresponding holes. This not only helps in recognising shapes but also enhances problem-solving skills.
  • Stacking cups: Stacking and nesting cups are versatile toys that allow babies to explore size, sequencing, and spatial relationships. As they stack and knock down the cups, they learn cause and effect.
  • Musical instruments: Simple instruments like maracas, tambourines, or xylophones can introduce your baby to different sounds and rhythms. This can be a fun way to stimulate auditory senses and creativity. 
  • Busy boards: Busy boards or activity boards with various textures, buttons, and switches can keep your baby engaged while helping them develop fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities. 
  • Peekaboo: A classic game that never gets old! Peekaboo helps your baby understand object permanence and can be a fun way to engage with them. 
  • Puzzles with large pieces: Start with puzzles that have large, easy-to-grasp pieces and gradually move to more complex ones as your baby develops. Puzzles can help improve hand-eye coordination and logical thinking. 

As they explore, ask open-ended questions, and encourage them to problem-solve on their own. For example, "Can you find the circle shape?" or "How does the drum sound?"

Supporting your baby's development

Supporting your baby's development involves more than just observing milestones. It's about creating a nurturing environment where they can grow, explore, and learn at their own pace.

Regular check-ups with healthcare providers, engaging in activities encouraging movement and exploration and ensuring a safe sleep environment are all crucial aspects of supporting your baby's development.

Understanding and supporting your baby's developmental milestones is an ongoing process that requires patience, observation, and engagement. By being aware of what to expect and how to support each milestone, you can help lay a solid foundation for your baby's future growth and development. With the right tools and resources, like the Snuza range of baby monitors, you can navigate this journey with confidence and peace of mind.

Memory Lane

Interested in more sleep and parenting insights? Take a trip down memory lane with our curated selection of articles from months past. These timeless pieces offer valuable tips and advice that are still relevant today. Whether you're a new parent or looking to refresh your knowledge, there's something for everyone in our archives.

  1. 25th May 2017: Snuza Pico Awarded 2017 Product Of The Year
  2. 15th May 2018: 7 Steps To A Healthy Pregnancy
  3. 31st May 2018: What You Should Know About Your Baby’s Respiratory Rate
  4. 3rd May 2019: How Technology Is Helping Parents Cope With The Pressures Of Parenting
  5. 7th May 2019: How To Give Your Baby The Best Start
  6. 9th May 2019: Is It Time To Change “Conventional Wisdom” On Sids And Breathing Monitors?
  7. 17th May 2019: Positive Parenting Techniques
  8. 24th May 2019: Dads Do It Better: The Bedtime Stories Edition
  9. 11th May 2020: How To Positively Impact Your Child’s Well-Being
  10. 18th May 2020: Sensory Play For Babies
  11. 25th May 2020: The “New Normal”: Parenting In This New World
  12. 31st May 2021: Breaking: Mhra Changes Rules For Baby Movement & Breathing Monitors
  13. 31st May 2021: Having A Baby Soon? What’s The First Week Like?
  14. 31st May 2021: 7 Ways For New Dads To Bond And Be Involved
  15. 31st May 2021: Your Growing Baby: Leaps And Growth Spurts


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