Topic Overview How do babies grow and develop in the first year?
Babies change more in the first year of life than at any other time. From 1 to 12 months of age, most babies grow and develop in these
A baby's growth is dramatic during this first year. Babies grow taller, and
their heads get bigger. Cognitive development.
Babies make great advances in being able to learn and remember. Emotional and social development. Babies start to show their emotions and how they
feel about other people. Language development. Babies
quickly learn language by what is spoken around them. Sensory and motor development. Babies become strong
enough to sit. Some will stand, and others will begin to take their first
Each baby grows
and gains skills at his or her own pace. It is common for a baby to be ahead in
one area, such as language, but a little behind in another.
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free children’s preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests.
Learn more. Health Insurance Center
Babies who were
born early or have health problems may grow and develop at a slower
Why are routine medical visits needed?
Doctors recommend that babies have routine checkups (well-child visits) every 2 to 3 months from age 1 month to 12 months. These visits
are important to check for problems and to make sure that your baby is growing
and developing as expected.
During these visits, the doctor will:
Do a physical exam. Give your baby the needed
immunizations. Weigh and measure your
baby to see how your baby compares to other babies of the same age. Likely ask you questions about how your family and the baby are doing.
This is a good time to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. Between
visits, write down any questions you want to ask the doctor next time.
When should you call the doctor?
Call your doctor
anytime you have a concern about your baby. Be
sure to call if your baby:
Hasn't grown as expected or hasn't been
eating well for some time. Has lost skills he or she used to have,
such as crawling. Shows signs of hearing problems, such as not
responding to your voice or to loud noises.
Your own health is also important in
helping your baby grow and develop. Talk to your doctor if you think you might
depressed or if you feel like you cannot care for your baby.