12-Week Milestone: 40 Things Your Baby Can Already Do

“What should a 12-week-old baby be doing?” There are some milestones to help parents identify their newborn’s development. Here is a list of some 12-week milestone your baby may have developed.

From a baby’s first roll to saying his or her first words, there is a lot going on in the world of a 12-week milestone for a baby. 

Although small and still limited in what they can do, babies at this age have already accomplished a lot.

Here are a few of the awesome things that your baby can already do at 12 weeks.

Your 12-Week-Old Baby Milestones

1) Rollover from front to back or back to front. 

In the first 12 week milestones is most babies have been able to accomplish this milestone. It is quite amazing to watch a baby roll over.

2) Smile at familiar faces. 

12 week old baby milestones
12 week old baby milestones

Your baby knows who you are! Smiles are one of the first social expressions that your 12 week old will show, and it’s important to remember to return the favor with a smile of your own.

3) Respond to sounds. 

Although they might not be able to imitate sounds like cooing and gurgling, your baby can let you know that she or he is listening to you by responding with a soft giggle or squeal.

4) Suck on his or her thumb/fist. 

This might be the start of a bad habit, but it’s always cute.

5) Stare at an object or face that is pointed out to them. 

If you point at something, your baby will follow your finger with interest.

Related Article: 16 Months Old Milestone that Parents need to know

6) Recognize familiar objects by name. 

At this age, babies are able to recognize the names of their favorite toys and even family members!

7) Roll his or her tongue. 

Newborns are able to wiggle their tongues, but by 12 weeks most babies can roll it!

8) Respond when you call his or her name. 

12 week milestone
12 week milestone

Your baby is able to tell apart his or her own cry from other babies’ cries at this age.

9) Shake his or her head ‘no.’ 

Babies might not be able to do this often, but it’s still adorable.

10) Rooting reflex.

This is the movement that babies make when you rub their cheek or stroke their hair. If done gently and slowly enough, they will turn toward whatever is touching them.

11) Smile in response to a parent’s smile. 

When you smile at your baby, he or she will do the same back to you!

12) Stick out his or her tongue. 

Now that they can roll their tongues, babies 12 weeks and younger might stick it out!

13) Follow an object with his or her eyes. 

This is the ability most babies accomplish by three months of age.

14) Respond to voices and change facial expressions in response to different sounds. 

If you make a funny face at your baby, he or she will giggle and smile back!

15) Rollover from their tummies to their backs. 

At this point, most babies are able to roll over both ways.

16) Lift his or her head when on their tummies. 

Although still not strong enough to push up onto their hands and knees, babies at 12 weeks can lift their heads off the ground like a champ!

17) Put objects in his or her mouth. 

Babies at this age are able to enjoy exploring all sorts of objects with their mouths.

18) Recognize familiar voices. 

By three months, babies will recognize the sound of their parents’ voices when they are in another room!

19) Respond to the sound of a rattle. 

If you shake a baby toy with bells or jingles, your baby will notice the noise!

20) Smile in response to a parent’s voice. 

Babies who are 12 weeks old will smile when they hear their parents’ voices.

21) Smile back at someone who is smiling at you. 

Your baby will learn that responding to smiles with smiles is an appropriate response.

22) Smile when you say his or her name. 

Many babies will smile when their parents call them by name, even if that is the only time they get to see them!

23) Stick out his or her tongue and make sounds like “ah” and “ooh.” 

Babies at this age know how to mimic their silly faces and funny sounds!

24) Follow an object’s movement with his or her eyes. 

This ability is very useful for interactive play later on, but at 12 weeks all of the following skills are just adorable.

25) Smile when you pick him or her up. 

Babies who are 12 weeks old will smile at their parents when picked up. They will also coo and gurgle if you talk to them!

26) Respond to their name by turning to face the sound of your voice. 

By this age, babies will immediately turn to where they heard a noise come from, like when their parents say “hello!”

27) Open and close his or her hands. 

Babies at 12 weeks might be able to grab onto a finger or rattle!

28) Stick out his or her tongue when you make an exaggerated face. 

Babies at this age are still learning how to mimic expressions, so they may stick their tongues out in response.

29) Get excited about a toy that is repeatedly offered. 

At this age, babies will start to show interest in toys they see over and over again!

30) Put their hands in front of their face. 

This helps them focus on whatever they are looking at.

31) Put his or her hands on his or her cheeks when content. 

Babies at this age can also rub their eyes while yawning!

32) Smiles and coos when tickled. 

Babies 12 weeks and younger will smile and giggle when you tickle them!

33) Laugh in response to a parent’s playful actions. 

Your baby can learn that laughing is an appropriate response to silly faces and tickles!

34) Start to play pat-a-cake. 

Now that your baby is starting to roll over from his or her belly to back, they can also start to play pat-a-cake!

35 ) Smile at a parent’s face. 

Babies 12 weeks and younger will smile in response to your silly faces!

36) Attempt to grab objects. 

At this age, the baby might be able to reach out and try to touch things, like when you hold toys in front of his or her hands.

37) Explore their hands with their mouths. 

This is another way for them to explore the world around them!

38) Recognize faces. 

This means that your baby will learn who you are and how to distinguish you from other people.

39) Respond to red lights and sounds. 

This means that your baby is starting to associate different colors with specific stimuli, like a red light and the sound of a car horn.

40) Turn his or her head when they hear their name. 

Babies at this age will start to pay attention when they hear their parents call them by name!

My 12-Week-Old Baby Is Still Behind Most Milestones, What Can I Do?

Babies typically develop skills in the following order: head control, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, cruising (walking while holding onto furniture), and walking. 

Even though your baby is behind on some milestones, they are probably ahead of others! 

You can encourage them to catch up by talking about what you see them do each day and mimicking facial expressions and sounds.

Young babies typically do not develop all of the skills listed above at 12 weeks, but this list may give you an idea as to what your baby should be doing! 

If your child does not meet any of these milestones by 16 weeks, talk to their doctor. Your child’s development is important and the sooner they catch up, the better!


12-week milestone development varies for every baby, so if your child is not doing all of the things listed here by 12 weeks, there’s no need to be concerned. 

Just make sure they are meeting skills in the order described above! Try using this list as a reference when playing with your baby. 

If you think he or she might be interested in a toy, bring it over and see what happens. It can be so much fun to watch your baby learn and develop new skills!

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