Your child's developmental milestones 7 to 12 months

Your child’s first 5 years will see huge changes in their development. As they grow, their skills develop.

These include:

  • gross motor skills – using large muscles that coordinate body movements such as standing, sitting upright and walking
  • fine motor skills – using small muscles for accurate coordinated movements such as holding a toy and drawing with a crayon
  • communication and hearing
  • social and emotional
  • problem solving, learning and understanding

The ages given for milestones in this guide are an average. Every child is different. Most children should be meeting these milestones.

Find out more about helping your young child manage strong feelings and behaviour

Information:

Talk to your GP or public health nurse (PHN) if you are concerned about your child’s development. They may carry out more tests or refer your child to a specialist

By 7 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your baby may be able sit without support. They may use their hands to prop themselves up sideways and protect themselves from falling.

Fine motor

Your baby will grasp a cube-shaped object by clutching it between their fingers and the palm of their hand.

Communication and hearing

They’ll make random babbling sounds.

Social and emotional

They’ll be wary with people they don’t know or have not seen for some time.

Problem solving, learning and understanding

Your baby will bang and shake toys.

By 8 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your baby will be able to get themselves into a sitting position.

Fine motor

Your baby will be able to grasp a small object between their thumb and the side of their index finger.

Communication and hearing

They’ll make the ‘dada’ sound randomly and not only when their father is present.

Social and emotional

Your baby can start playing ‘peek-a-boo’.

Problem solving, learning and understanding

Your baby will pick an object up after it falls.

By 9 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your baby will pull themselves to a standing position. They’ll crawl on their hands and knees.

Fine motor

Your baby will be able to grasp a cube-shaped object using their thumb and fingertips.

They’ll be able to grasp a small object using their thumb and the second finger on their hand.

Communication and hearing

They’ll wave “bye bye” and say “mama” at different times of the day – not just when saying goodbye and greeting their mother.

Social and emotional

Your baby can suffer from separation anxiety (distress when being parted from a parent or another carer).

Your baby may:

  • continue to need your attention and cry to get it
  • be shy around strangers and less familiar people
  • express their feelings by laughing, screaming and crying
  • recognise feelings in others - for example, they may get upset if another child is crying

Problem solving, learning and understanding

Your baby will start to understand that objects continue to exist even when they are not seen. For example, when you hide a toy under a blanket they will lift the blanket to find it.

By 10 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your baby may walk around furniture while holding onto the edge.

Fine motor

Your baby will be able to isolate their index finger and use it to poke at things.

Communication and hearing

They’ll understand what “no” means and may use the words “Dada” and “Mama” in the right situations.

Social and emotional

Your baby will respond to positive recognition such as clapping.

Problem solving, learning and understanding

Your baby will bang 2 cubes together. They’ll isolate their index finger and explore through poking.

By 11 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your baby may stand alone.

Fine motor

Your baby may use their index finger and thumb to pick up objects.

Communication and hearing

They may copy simple sounds and say their first word.

Social and emotional

Your baby will start to develop a concept of self. This means they will start to develop a social identity and an understanding of who they are.

Problem solving, learning and understanding

Your baby will uncover a toy hidden beneath a blanket or cup.

By 12 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your baby may take their first steps without help.

Fine motor

Your baby may use their index finger and thumb to pick up small objects.

Communication and hearing

They’ll start to point at objects they want to show you, such as a toy. They do this to share this experience or interest with you.

Social and emotional

Your baby will play by themselves. This is called solitary play. They will offer a toy to their reflection in a mirror.

Problem solving, learning and understanding

Your baby will remove a lid to find toys. They’ll use their hands to throw toys onto the floor and follow the toys with their eyes.

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 8.

Page last reviewed: 1 December 2021
Next review due: 1 December 2024