Skip to main content

Normal Growth and Development of Infants

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is the normal growth and development of infants?

Normal growth and development is how your infant learns to walk, talk, eat, and interact with others. An infant is 1 month to 1 year old.

How fast will my infant grow?

Your infant will grow faster while he or she is an infant than at any other time in his or her life. Healthcare providers will record the following changes each time you bring him or her in for a checkup:

What should I feed my infant?

How much should I feed my infant?

What do I need to know about feeding my infant safely?

How much sleep does my infant need?

When will my infant be able to control his or her movements?

How do I care for my infant's teeth?

Teeth normally come in when your infant is about 6 months old, starting with the 2 lower center teeth. His or her upper center teeth will come in at about 8 months old. The upper and lower side teeth will come in at about 9 months old. You can help keep your infant's teeth healthy as soon as they start to come in. Limit the amount of sweetened foods and drinks you offer him or her. Brush your infant's teeth after he or she eats. Ask your infant's pediatrician for information on the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your infant. Do not put your infant to sleep with a bottle. The liquid will sit in his or her mouth and increase his or her risk for cavities.

What is cradle cap?

Cradle cap is a skin condition that causes scaly patches to form on your baby's scalp. Some infants may also have scaly patches on other parts of the body. Cradle cap usually goes away on its own in about 6 to 8 months. To help remove the scales, apply warm mineral oil on the scales. Wash the mineral oil off 1 hour later with a mild soap. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush or washcloth to gently remove the scales.

When will my infant begin to talk?

Your infant will start to babble at around 4 months old. He or she will start to talk at about 9 months old. Your infant will learn to talk by copying the words and sounds he or she hears. He or she will learn what words mean by watching others point to what they talk about. Your infant should be able to speak a few simple words by 12 months. He or she will begin to say short words, such as mama and dada. He or she will understand the meaning of simple words and commands by 9 to 12 months. He or she will also know what some objects are by their name, such as ball or cup.

Why is it important to create routines for my infant?

Routines will help your infant feel safe and secure. Set a schedule for your infant to sleep, eat, and play. Routines may also help your infant if he or she has a hard time falling asleep. For example, read your infant a story or give him or her a bath before bed.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2024 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.