It’s so exciting to watch your baby’s development, but it’s easy to worry if they’re not rolling, sitting or crawling at the ‘right’ time.
Here’s roughly what developments to expect and when.
At a glance
- Most babies start crawling between six and nine months
- The average age to start walking is 12-13 months
- Some babies are saying ‘mama’ and/or ‘dada’ around nine months, and the average age for a first word is 10-11 months
If there's one thing we know about babies it's that they're all different and do things at their own pace. Particularly with baby milestones, it's easy to get concerned your baby hasn't reached a stage when another child has at the same age. Development anxiety is common for parents, but try to remember your little one is an individual and will get there in their own time.
Below is our rough guide to what you can start to look out for and when.
Some babies can do this at three months, but most are nearer to five or six months. Some haven’t mastered it by seven or eight months. All are completely normal.
Most babies can sit without cushion props somewhere between five and seven months. By nine months almost all can do this pretty well.
The word crawling covers a multitude – bottom shuffling, commando crawling (on the tummy) and crawling backwards. Most babies start it between six and nine months, but others are closer to 12 months. Some don’t crawl at all and go straight from sitting to cruising then walking.
There’s an absolutely huge variation in the age babies/toddlers walk –and how early they start is not necessarily a sign that they will be more physically capable in later life. The average age to start walking is 12-13 months, but there are plenty who don’t take their first steps until 16-18 months. If they aren’t walking by 18 months it is officially classed as ‘delayed’, but it’s still nothing to worry about if your health visitor is happy with their development.
Very occasionally, babies are born with teeth, but most babies get their first tooth, usually one of the bottom front ones, between four and eight months – the average is six months, but it’s quite possible to reach their first birthday and still have no teeth. By aged two and a half to three they will all have their 20 milk teeth.
Some babies are saying ‘mama’ and/or ‘dada’ around nine months, and the average age for a first word is 10-11 months. However, lots of babies/toddlers don’t take much of an interest in talking until after their first birthday, some nearer to 18 months. As long as you’re talking to them lots and they seem to understand you, don’t worry – talking will come.
All babies are unique and develop at different paces – don’t forget, they haven’t read the baby books! But if you’ve got concerns – especially about their sight or hearing - do talk to your health visitor or GP.