Home > Advice > Baby > When Should My Baby Be Crawling, Clapping And Talking?

Leading questions like, ‘Is he crawling yet?’ ‘Can she clap?’ or ‘Any words?’, are one of the most annoying things about Motherhood.

Why other people are SO obsessed with how your baby is developing, we don’t know.

Who cares if Emma’s darling daughter was on the move at eight months?

Remember, it is unlikely that you’ll see an 18-year-old rolling around on the floor unable to walk – unless it’s 2am.

They. Will. Get. There!

In the meantime, “enjoy your baby and let them do things in their own sweet time”, says paediatrician Dr Kiran Rahim aka @themunchingmedic.

Don’t enter the comparison game

It’s easy to feel like a bad parent if you’ve not sat there for hours teaching them to clap or crawl. But that’s ridiculous. Most just do it on their own. “I didn’t teach my kids anything, I was barely surviving, and that is totally fine”, says Dr Kiran. She adds, “I actually stopped going to my classes because I hated the comparisons that mums make. When environments become toxic, you start to question and compare your baby, and you really shouldn’t. We all have different personalities, quirks and nuisances, and babies are the same”.

Dr Kiran’s developmental roadmap:

Keep her checklist nearby, refer to it when you need reassurance, and then tell those nosey parkers to mind their own. *Remember – this is for reference, and if your baby isn’t beginning to babble at six months, it’s not a red flag. You don’t need to worry. “One child might not be walking by twelve months, and another could be walking at eight months. It doesn’t mean one is better than the other, says Dr Kiran. “Be kind with your words and think twice before saying, “oh, mine was born talking and walking” it might make an already struggling parent feel worse about their child”.

6 weeks

Red flag. Speak to a doctor if:
• There’s no social smile.
• No head control.


Around this time, babies can:
• Roll from their tummy onto their back.
• Begin to sit with support.
• Grab things with their hands.
• Transfer toys from one hand to the other.
• Turn their head to their name or to a noise.
• Begin to babble.
• Put toys, feet or your nose to their mouth.
Red flag. Speak to a doctor if:
• They are squinting and not reaching for things.

9 months

Around this time, babies can:
• Sit independently without support.
• Roll from front to back and back to front.
• Begin to stand with support.
• Pick things up with their thumb and index finger in a pincer grip.
• Recognise and respond to their name.
• Hold and bite their food.
• Develop stranger danger and object permanence. *This means they cry when you leave the room or if they don’t recognise a face.
Red flag. Speak to a doctor if:
• They are not sitting or are very floppy.

1 year

Around this time, babies can:
• Begin to walk independently.
• Throw objects.
• Say Mama, Dada or a few words.
• Wave and understand Peekaboo.
• Drink from a beaker cup.
• Clap with their hands.

18 months

Red flag. Speak to a doctor if:
• They are not walking.
• They have no words or don’t babble.

2 years

Around this time, most babies can:
• Run on tiptoes.
• Walk up the stairs with two feet at a time.
• Throw a ball (psst…kick a ball is 2.5 years).
• Begin to draw a vertical line.
• Turn pages in a book.
• Have two-word sentences, e.g., ‘Mama eat, I hungry’.
• Begin to eat with a spoon.
Red flag. Speak to a doctor if:
• They are not talking or understanding simple instructions.

3 years

Around this time, most children can:
• Walk up and downstairs.
• Draw a circle.
• Begin to use scissors.
• Bead things through a string.
• Have 3-word sentences, e.g., ‘Mama, let’s go!’.
• Understand things are bigger or smaller and colours.
• To start sharing toys.
• Play independently.
• Eat with a fork and spoon.
• Be dry by day.

5 years

Around this time, most children can:
• Run and walk up and down stairs like an adult.
• Draw shapes like a cross, triangle or body parts.
• Cut pieces of paper.
• Understand complex instructions, e.g., pick your shoes up, put them in the cupboard and then wash your hands.
• Be dry by night (some children can go on until 7 years).
• Can dress and undress some items of clothing.
• Begin to do up buttons and zips.

Remember these are just a guideline about what may do and when, most babies will and some will make you wait. Think about adults, some of us always on time, and some of us never are, despite how hard we try! The most important take home message is, if you are worried, please speak to a Doctor.

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