Child developmental Milestones Infants Eight to Twelve Months

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Developmental Milestones - Infants Eight To Twelve Months


  • gains in height are slower than during the previous months, averaging ½ inch per month
  • infants reach 1½ times their birth length by their first birthday
  • weight increases by approximately 1 pound per month
  • birth weight nearly triples by 1 year of age
  • infants weigh an average of 21 pounds
  • heart rate averages 100 to 140 beats per minute, depending on activity
  • respiration rates vary with activity, typically 20 to 45 breaths per minute
  • body temperature ranges from 96.4 to 99.6 F (35.7- 37.5 C); still affected by environmental conditions: weather, activity, clothing
  • head and chest circumferences remain equal
  • continues to use abdominal muscles for breathing
  • anterior fontanel begins to close
  • approximately 4 upper and 4 lower incisors and 2 lower molars erupt
  • arms and hands are more developed than feet and legs (cephalo-caudal development); hands appear large in proportion to other body parts
  • legs may continue to appear bowed
  • feet appear flat, as arch has not yet fully developed
  • visual acuity is approximately 20/100
  • both eyes working in unison (true binocular coordination)
  • can see distant objects (15-20 feet away) and points at them


  • reaches with one hand leading in order to grasp an offered object or toy
  • manipulates objects, transferring them from one hand to the other
  • explores new objects by poking with one finger
  • uses deliberate finger and thumb movement (pincer grasp) to pick up small objects, toys and finger foods
  • stacks objects; also places objects inside one another
  • releases objects or toys by dropping or throwing; cannot intentionally put an object down
  • beginning to pull self to a standing position
  • beginning to stand alone, leaning on furniture for support; moves around objects by side-stepping
  • has good balance when sitting; can shift positions without falling
  • creeps on hands and knees; crawls up and down the stairs
  • walks with adult support, holding onto adult's hand; may begin to walk alone


  • watches people, objects and activities in the immediate environment
  • shows awareness of distant objects (15 to 20 feet away) by pointing at them
  • responds to hearing tests (voice localization) however loses interest quickly and therefore may be difficult to test informally
  • follows simple instructions
  • reaches for toys that are out of reach, but visible
  • still takes everything to the mouth
  • continues to drop first item when trying to take three offered items
  • recognizes the reversal of an object
  • imitates activities: hitting 2 blocks together, playing pat-a-cake
  • drops toys intentionally and repeatedly; looks in direction of fallen object
  • shows appropriate use of everyday items: pretends to drink from cup, puts on necklace, hugs doll, makes stuffed animal "walk"
  • beginning to show an understanding of causality- hands mechanical toy to adult to have it rewound
  • shows some awareness of the working relationship of objects: puts spoon in mouth, uses brush to comb hair
  • searches for partially hidden toy by the end of this period


  • babbles or jabbers deliberately to get a social interaction started; may shout to attract attention; listens, then shout again
  • shakes head for no and may nod for yes
  • responds by looking for voice when name is called
  • babbling in sentence-like sequences; followed a bit later by jargon
  • waves "bye-bye", clasps hands when asked
  • says "da-da" and "ma-ma"
  • imitates sounds that are similar to those the baby has already learned to make; will also imitate motor noises, tongue click, lip smacking, coughing
  • enjoys rhymes and simple songs; vocalizes and dances to the music
  • hands toy or object to an adult when appropriate gestures accompany the request


  • exhibits a definite fear or reluctance toward strangers; clings to, or hides behind parent or caregiver; resists separating from familiar adult (stranger anxiety)
  • wants parent or caregiver to be in constant sight
  • sociable and outgoing; enjoys being near, and included in daily activities of family members and caregiver
  • enjoys novel experiences and opportunities to examine new objects
  • shows need to be picked up and held by extending arms upward, crying or clinging to adult's legs
  • begins to be assertive by resisting caregiver's requests; may kick, scream or throw self on the floor
  • offers toys and objects to others
  • often becomes attached to a favorite toy or blanket
  • upon hearing own name, looks up and smiles at person who is speaking
  • repeats behaviors that get attention; jabbers continuously
  • carries out simple directions and requests; understands the meaning of "no"


Check with a health care provider or early childhood specialist, if by first birthday, the child does not:

  • blink when fast-moving objects approach the eye
  • begin to cut teeth
  • imitate simple sounds
  • follow simple verbal requests: “come, bye bye”
  • pull to stand
  • transfer objects from hand to hand
  • show anxiety towards strangers
  • interact playfully with parents, caregivers, siblings
  • feed self; hold own bottle or cup, pick up and eat finger foods
  • creep or crawl

The information provided should be used as a general guideline and for general information. Children are unique individuals. No two children grow and develop at the same rate. If you have any questions concerning your child's development, contact your pediatrician.

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