Parenting Hub

Your babies first 18 months milestones

Milestones are just a guide. Babies don’t all develop at the same rate, and your baby’s reactions may vary depending if he/she is sick, sleepy or hungry at the time. Premature babies generally reach milestones later than others of the same birth age. Happy baby watching…



  • Within a few days of birth, your baby will probably be able to:
  • Lift his/her head briefly when on the tummy
  • Focus on objects within 20 to 25cm
  • Move his/her arms and legs on both sides of the body equally well.

1 Months

  • Lifts head briefly when on stomach on a flat surface
  • Focuses on a face
  • Responds to sound

2 Months

  • Smiles in response to your smile
  • Vocalises sounds (gurgling and cooing)
  • Follows objects with his/her eyes in an arc about 15cm from the face
  • Holds head up for short periods
  • Responds to some sounds

3 Months

  • Laughs
  • Lifts head up 45 degrees
  • Holds head steady
  • Recognises your face and scent

4 Months

  • Lifts head up 90 degrees when on stomach
  • Demonstrates the ability to grasp objects
  • Holds head up steadily
  • Enjoys “peek-a-boo” games
  • Bears weight on legs
  • Coos when you talk to him/her
  • Laughs out loud
  • Communicates fear, hunger and discomfort

5 Months

  • Holds head steady when upright
  • Raises chest supported by arms when on stomach
  • Rolls over
  • Pays attention to a very small object
  • Squeals in delight
  • Reaches for an object
  • Smiles spontaneously

6 Months

  • Keeps head level with body when pulled to sitting position
  • Says vowel-consonant combinations
  • Braces shoulders when pulled to sit
  • Extends arms when lying on tummy

7 Months

  • Sits unsupported
  • Feeds self with biscuit
  • Makes a wet razzling sound

8 Months

  • Picks up small object e.g. marble using the thumb and forefinger
  • Bears some weight on legs when held upright
  • Passes an object from one hand to another

9 Months

  • Babbles loudly
  • Understands simple phrases such as “no-no” and “bye-bye”
  • Clearly distinguishes strangers from familiar persons; clings to known adult and hides face
  • Looks for dropped objects
  • Attempts to get to a toy out of reach

12 Months

  • Sits well on floor and for indefinite time
  • Rises to sitting position from lying down.
  • Pulls to standing
  • Crawls or shuffles on buttocks
  • Walks one hand held
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Picks up fine objects with pincer grasp

15 Months

  • Walks alone with uneven steps
  • Lets self down from standing to sitting
  • Creeps up stairs and gets down backwards
  • Builds tower of two blocks after demonstration
  • Shows definition-by-use of common objects
  • Jabbers loudly and freely and speaks 2-6 or more recognisable words in correct context
  • Understands and obeys simple instructions

18 Months

  • Pushes and pulls large toys, e.g. wheeled toys
  • Walks well with feet only slightly apart
  • No longer needs to hold upper arms in extension to balance
  • Climbs into adult chair
  • Walks up and down stairs with help
  • Builds tower of three blocks after demonstration
  • Uses 6-20 recognisable words and understands many more.

Most important thing to remember is to enjoy your bundle of joy!  You will miss these moments once they are all grown up.

How to calculate your EDD (Estimated date of delivery)?

Although fertilisation occurs about 2 weeks after your last menstrual period, pregnancy is calculated from the first day of that period and lasts an average of 40 weeks. So, for example, when your doctor or midwife estimates your pregnancy at 8 weeks, the fetus is really only 6 weeks old.

To calculate your expected date of delivery (EDD), your caregiver will subtract 3 months from the first day of your last menstrual period and add 7 days.

If your average cycle is longer or shorter than 28 days, the extra days should be added to or the shortfall subtracted from the EDD. Sometimes counting ahead 266 days from the exact date of conception is more accurate, but not every woman knows when that was.

An early pelvic exam done to measure the size of the uterus may be done in any case. This will help “date” the pregnancy if you are not sure of when your last period was. An ultrasound will also be helpful in this instance.

Last Period Date + 266 Days = EDD

Going into labour 2 weeks earlier or later is considered normal. Double check the date at your next antenatal check-up.

Vaccination Chart


This vaccine to fight TB is required in South Africa at birth and will automatically be given to your baby in the hospital. Called after Bacille Calmette-Guerin, it is a freeze-dried vaccine prepared from an attenuated strain of bovine TB. If no scar is visible at three months, then the vaccine is repeated. South Africa still has a high rate of TB infection, in spite of this vaccination, but it seems to protect children against TB meningitis and milliary (widely disseminated) TB, both potentially fatal.


These are killed toxoids, covering diptheria, tetanus and pertussis, or just diptheria and tetanus in the TD vaccine. Diptheria is a severe infection of the throat in which a membrane forms which can block the airway and cause the child to smother and die. It used to occur in epidemics associated with a high mortality. It is largely unknown in the developed world. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is a serious illness caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. It is present worldwide and can affect any age. It is potentially fatal, particularly in young children. Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, although a mild illness in older children, is associated with complications in children under one year and is particularly dangerous to those under one month.

Hep B

Hepatitis B is endemic in Africa, which is why routine immunisation of children has been introduced fairly recently. It is a serious disease of the liver, for which there 10 produced by recombinant DNA technology in yeasts. Both types have been shown to be safe.


In South Africa trivalent oral polio vaccine (TOPV) is used. It is given by mouth and contains a weakened version of the polio virus. Polio is a potentially devastating disease, still endemic in Africa. At its worst it results in paralysis, and even people now in middle age may have had friends at school who used calipers on their legs as a result of childhood polio infection leaving them with weak, damaged muscles.


Since 1999 South African babies are given three vaccinations against haemophilia influenza type b (Hib) bacteria, which are given in a combined vaccine with DTP. Most of us have this bacterium in their bodies, but it doesn’t normally cause disease in people with normal immune systems. Small children who are not immunised are in danger of developing the disease, which can cause meningitis and pneumonia.


Measles is a highly contagious – but rare – respiratory infection that’s caused by a virus. It causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms, including a fever, cough, and runny nose. The measles vaccine is part of the measles-mumps-rubella immunizations (MMR) given at 12 to 15 months of age and again at 4 to 6 years of age. Measles vaccine is not usually given to infants younger than 12 months old.

Copyright © Media Xpose  l  All rights reserved  l  Disclaimer

WhatsApp chat