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Publication #FAR0404

Six Months to One Year: Physical Development1

Donna Davis2

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Watching an infant develop is an extraordinary adventure. The first year is full of twists and turns and ups and downs...literally. Physical development of a child in the first year is amazing to behold. Growing from a tiny, fragile, helpless being to a baby on the move keeps parents on their toes. Rolling over, sitting up, and taking those first monumental steps are all taking place in the first six to twelve months or so.

New parents are often curious about when to expect those magic moments to occur. Typically, by five or six months babies will begin rolling over, sitting up on their own, and have significant improvement in their eye-hand coordination. As they reach eight to ten months of age, mobility becomes both a thrill and a challenge when babies begin to crawl. At this point it will be important to begin to "babyproof" their surroundings. Move breakable objects, house plants, and dangerous substances out of reach. Cover electrical outlets and put safety latches on cabinets. Some homes may need a child gate to keep babies out of certain areas or away from stairs.

Between the tenth and twelfth month, babies will begin climbing, pulling themselves up, standing, and, eventually, taking those first steps. Along with their mobility comes dexterity. Babies can now pick up small items. They will want to feed themselves and will likely want to help dress and undress themselves. So hang on! The adventure just got louder, higher, faster, much more fun, and definitely more exhausting!

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

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This document is FAR0404, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 011 and published November 2007. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Donna Davis, senior producer, Family Album Radio, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.