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Developmental milestones 6 to 12 months


As babies grow, so do their skills. While not specific to your child, this education sheet can help you know what skills your baby is likely to develop at this age.

Babies develop at their own rate, learning some skills much quicker than others. Progress also starts and stops. As some skills are learned, your baby might go back to an earlier stage in some other areas for a time. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's development, talk with your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Gross motor skills

— skills that use large muscles (legs, arms, trunk, and neck):

  • reaches for feet
  • sits alone
  • stands with support
  • moves from tummy to sitting position
  • pulls on furniture to stand up
  • walks sideways while holding onto furniture
  • briefly stands without support
  • takes steps with hands held

Fine motor skills

— skills that use small muscles (hands and fingers)

  • uses hand and fingers to pick up small objects
  • bangs two objects together
  • transfers objects from one hand to the other
  • pokes and points at things, using index finger
  • handles toys in new ways: pulling, turning, poking, tearing
  • drops objects into containers

Self-help skills

— skills that help children become more independent

  • holds own bottle
  • feeds self finger foods using thumb and finger tips
  • begins to hold a spoon and attempts to feed self
  • drinks from a cup with a lid or small sips from open cup

Cognitive skills

— mental skills (thinking, learning, problem solving)

  • finds objects after watching them disappear
  • looks at pictures in books
  • begins to use objects as tools after being shown how
  • handles toys in new ways: pulling, turning, poking, tearing
  • enjoys cause and effect toys: light up and musical toys
  • likes to play peekaboo, pat-a-cake

Speech skills

See the education sheet, "Speech and language development: Birth to 12 months."


This sheet is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any concerns about your baby's development, ask your doctor, nurse practitioner, or therapist.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Reviewed Rehab 6/2015 © Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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