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Freeflow- Baby Milestones

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Dr Ami-Bree Said

Chiropractor M.Chiro, B.Chiro.Sc



Understanding and tracking baby milestones is crucial for healthy development, especially as a baby’s nervous system evolves in the first year of life. Ami-Bree, a chiropractor with a specialist interest in paediatrics, explains that these milestones, such as rolling, sitting, crawling, and walking, are significant as they contribute to the establishment of fundamental movement patterns. The sequence and timing of these milestones are essential for building a strong foundation for future motor skills. This freeflow article emphasises the importance of not skipping milestones, as each plays a role in the baby’s ability to differentiate body parts and navigate space. The “why” behind these milestones lies in the integration of survival reflexes and the maturation of the nervous system.


When babies are born, their nervous system is ‘immature’, this is why they have their primitive or ‘survival’ reflexes (think startle reflex or grasping your finger). Those survival reflexes will integrate or ‘ disappear ‘ over various stages in the first year of life, allowing voluntary postural movements. This is how your little one will learn to differentiate their body’s left and right sides, top and bottom, and front and back, building an internal map of where their body is in space.

Each milestone is typically reached within an approximate time frame and in a particular order as the brain matures. Each milestone builds on the next, creating a strong foundation for future movement patterns. For this reason, your little one mustn’t ‘skip’ milestones, for example, going from sitting straight to walking.


Tummy time: this can be started as early as the first week of life and helps to strengthen the neck muscles and create the neck spinal curve. Tummy time can be done on your chest, with a rolled-up towel under the baby’s chest or on the floor.

Rolling – 4-6 months: belly to back and back to belly, rolling both left and right.

Sitting – 5-8 months: supported sitting followed by independently sitting

Crawling – 7-10 months: Baby may army crawl before eventually crawling on all fours.

Walking – 10-16 months: if not walking by 18 months, please check in with your GP or Health Visitor

Please remember:

  • Each baby is unique, with their history, which may influence their milestone journey.
  • Consider ‘corrected age’, if premature, with the above milestones guidelines.
  • If you notice any movement asymmetries, or if it looks like your baby may skip a milestone, it can be useful to have an assessment to ascertain the ‘why’.
  • Unrestricted floor time in various positions (tummy time, side lying and back play) is a wonderful way to allow your little one to explore movement and support their milestone journey.

For general tips and at-home exercises to support development, check out @dr.amichiro on Instagram

Links to other resources

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Dr Ami-Bree Chiropractor


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