Baby Development Checklist for New Parents

Your baby is finally here! Now, it's time to make sure you're not forgetting a single milestone moment. Follow this developmental checklist for parents of babies and toddlers.

As much as you may have prepared for your new baby’s arrival, there is much to learn and remember along the way. Here, we provide a basic checklist of milestones and reminders to help keep you and your little one on track.

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0-3 months

  • Make appointment for baby’s newborn well checkup
  • If nursing, set up your breast pump and clean all parts
  • Remove all bedding from baby’s bassinette and/or crib except for a tightly fitted sheet
  • Complete and submit the paperwork for baby’s Social Security card
  • Complete and submit the paperwork for baby’s birth certificate
  • Pursue CPR and first-aid training if you haven’t already
  • Carefully mind baby’s umbilical cord until it falls off
  • Start bathing baby in infant tub once cord is gone
  • If nursing, pump to establish a breast milk supply
  • Pursue creation of a will and trust
  • Make appointment for baby’s 1-month well checkup
  • Send out baby announcements
  • Make appointment for baby’s 2-month well checkup
  • Hire a babysitter, so you can enjoy some baby-free time to recharge
  • Line up child care if returning to work
  • Pull out age-appropriate developmental toys for baby
  • Join a parenting group
  • Record baby’s first weeks in his/her baby book
  • Give baby daily tummy time
  • Read daily to baby
  • Consider starting and keeping a journal for your child
  • Talk to your baby every day throughout the day
  • Take lots of photos and video of your little one. Share with family and friends.
  • Sing to baby
  • Take 3-month photo
  • If returning to work, prepare baby’s supplies for nanny, daycare center or other child care provider.

3-6 months

  • Schedule baby’s 4-month well checkup
  • Exchange laughs with your baby by making silly faces and playing peekaboo
  • Talk to your doctor about when and how to introduce your baby to solid foods
  • If you haven’t already, start baby proofing your home
  • Get down on the floor and play with your baby each day
  • Make sure dad gets his share of time bonding with baby
  • Help your baby learn to sit up
  • Play soothing music for baby at home and while driving in the car
  • Take your baby for walks outside or at a local shopping center
  • Continue regular, daily tummy time
  • Schedule baby’s 6-month well checkup
  • Take 6-month photo
  • Set up your child’s MESP college savings plan
  • If breast-feeding, continue to do so exclusively until at least 6 months, per guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Consider starting your baby in a parent-tot swim class
  • Join a play group
  • Investigate local options for mommy-and-me classes

6-9 months

  • Encourage your baby to crawl with ample tummy time
  • Encourage your child to wave and link the proper words (“hi” or “bye-bye”) to the gesture
  • Be on the lookout for baby’s first teeth, which typically appear between 6 and 12 months
  • Per the AAP, start brushing baby’s first teeth as soon as they appear with a wet cloth or gauze
  • If nursing, continue to do so while supplementing with complementary foods
  • Schedule baby’s 9-month well checkup
  • Help your baby learn to walk by having him/her walk from furniture piece to furniture piece (this is often called “cruising”)
  • Play games like “how big is baby?”
  • Introduce touch-and-feel books to baby
  • Take 9-month photo

9-12 months

  • Begin planning first birthday party
  • Encourage walking with push toys
  • Take 1-year photos
  • If breast-feeding, continue until at least 12 months, per AAP guidelines
  • Introduce finger foods cut into tiny pieces
  • Regularly scan floors and other areas of your home for small objects that could present a choke hazard
  • Encourage first words by repeating simple words like “mama” and “dada”
  • Give baby regular access to age-appropriate books to play with and thumb through
  • Scrapbook baby’s first year photos and mementoes
  • Save a lock of baby’s hair for his/her baby book
  • Assemble monthly photos of baby’s first year for a collage
  • Schedule 1-year well baby checkup
  • Invite family to contribute to baby’s MESP college savings account for a 1-year birthday present

12-18 months

  • Weather permitting, play outside with baby
  • Schedule 15-month well baby checkup
  • Play games like hide-and-seek with baby
  • At 18 months, begin using a low-fluoride toothpaste to brush baby’s teeth
  • Play ball with baby
  • Have a baby dance party
  • Look at family photos with baby and encourage him/her to point to familiar faces
  • Help baby transition to one nap a day
  • Schedule 18-month well baby checkup

18-24 months

  • Practice stacking blocks and other toys with your baby
  • Practice giving baby two-step directions
  • Provide opportunities for your little one to kick and throw a ball
  • Schedule 21-month well child checkup
  • Let your child scribble with crayons on paper
  • Encourage indoor and outdoor play
  • Provide lots of simple toys like stacking cups, blocks and boxes
  • Schedule 2-year well checkup
  • Take 2-year photos
  • Plan second birthday party
  • Invite family to contribute to baby’s MESP college savings account for a second birthday present

24-30 months

  • Start talking about going potty and reading potty training books to your child
  • Model sneezing into your elbow and encourage your child to do the same
  • Let your child practice brushing his or her own teeth under your supervision
  • While interactive play is unusual at this age, encourage parallel play between your child and other kids his or her age
  • Schedule 2 1/2-year well checkup
  • Read lots of books with your 2-year-old, prompting him/her to name objects and colors
  • Introduce shapes to your child
  • Sing fun toddler songs with your child
  • Play simple games like “Ring Around the Rosie”
  • Quiz him on parts of the body

30-36 months

  • Give your child opportunities to practice climbing and pedaling
  • Begin looking into preschool options in your area
  • Ask questions of your child that require more than a one word, yes/no answer
  • At day’s end, encourage your child to discuss what he or she did that day
  • Schedule 3-year well checkup
  • Make time for play
  • Visit your local library and take advantage of youth programming
  • Acknowledge positive behavior
  • Set up group play dates for your toddler with other families in your area
  • Count simple everyday objects with your child
  • Introduce play dough
  • Encourage your child to sort similar objects, like blocks
  • Take 3-year photos
  • Plan 3-year birthday celebration
  • Invite family to contribute to baby’s MESP college savings account for a third birthday present

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2017. 

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I thought you might find this article interesting:
Baby Development Checklist for New Parents
This is the link: http://www.metroparent.com/daily/pregnancy-baby/newborn-care/early-childhood-checklist-for-new-parents/