8-12 month developmental milestones

8 – 12 Month Developmental Milestones

Here is the research of where your child should be up to between 8 – 12 month developmental milestones.

NOTE: This is a guide. If you think you want to challenge your child further look at the 12 – 18 month developmental milestones. You know your child better than anyone so if you see that your child is a little delayed or has a red flag don’t be worried but ask your General Practitioner if you think there is something you are concerned about.

Emerging Motor Skills

  • Pulls self to standing position when hands held
  • raises self to sitting position
  • sits without support
  • stands by pulling self up using furniture
  • stands with support
  • stepping uneasily around furniture
  • successfully reach out and grasp toy
  • transfers objects from hand to hands
  • picks up and pokes small objects with thumb and finger
  • picks up and throws small objects
  • holds biscuit or bottle
  • mature crawling (quick and fluent)
  • may stand alone momentarily
  • may attempt to crawl up stairs
  • grasps spoon in palm
  • but poor aim of food to mouth
  • starts to drink from a cup
  • uses hands to feed self

Toy Ideas

  • cars
  • tunnel
  • balls
  • soft blocks
  • touch and feel books
  • stand and play or activity cube.

Language Skills

  • Imitates speech sounds, correctly uses mama/dada and understands simple command (“give it to me”).
  • babbles tunefully
  • says words like ‘dada’ or ‘mama,’
  • imitates actions and sounds
  • enjoys finger-rhymes
  • shouts to attract attention
  • vocalises loudly using most vowels and consonants – sounding like conversation.

Cognitive Skills

  • crawls left-right alternation
  • alerts peripheral vision
  • rolls ball and crawls to retrieve
  • responds to own name being called
  • family names and familiar object.

Social & Emotional Skills

  • Waves goodbye
  • imitates hand clapping
  • beginning sense of humour
  • shows definite anxiety or wariness at appearance of strangers
  • actively seeks to be next to parent or principal caregiver
  • shows signs of anxiety or stress if parent goes away
  • offers toy to adult but does not release it
  • shows signs of empathy to distress of another (but often soothes self)
  • actively explores and plays when parent present
  • returning now and then for assurance and interaction.

Red Flags

  • Not bearing weight on feet
  • frequent standing on tip toes
  • difficulty grasping and releasing toys
  • not moving between positions smoothly
  • not able to bring hands together at the midline
  • difficulty grasping and releasing toys in a controlled way
  • not playing with feet
  • not responsive to carers
  • not babbling or making sounds
  • not beginning to sit
  • crawl or pull to stand
  • not learning to eat solids.

This is a milestone guide for 8-12 month old infants using both assessments from the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the National Quality Standards (NQS). This information was developed in conjunction with the QLD Government Child and Youth physical and cognitive developmental milestones.

Written by Sarah Courtney


Department Of Education, Employment And Workplace Relations (2012). Developmental milestones: and the early years learning framework and the national quality standards. Community Child Care Cooperative LTD. Retrieved from https://www.acecqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-02/DevelopmentalMilestonesEYLFandNQS.pdf

Queensland Government Child And Youth. (1990). Physical and cognitive developmental milestones. Retrieved from https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/resources/childsafety/practice-manual/physical-cognative-milestones.pdf