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Suffolk Center for Speech


#2 Important Milestones for Premature Babies

Babies born premature may achieve milestones at different times than full-term babies. Therefore, parents may have questions about their baby, such as how they will grow or develop important milestones. It is important for parents to understand that development is not a race and babies develop at their own speed in their own way. Some children do not reach every milestone at the same time, especially if they were born premature. Parents should watch for progress as well. Making sure the child is moving forward in their development, such as pulling themselves up, to standing, and then to walking. Below are important preemie milestones for the first 3 months of development:

At 2 Months (8 Weeks)


  • Moves hands and legs actively
  • Keeps hands open most of the time
  • Lifts head and chest when lying on tummy
  • Controls head a little, but may still need support
  • Holds objects in hands


  • Responds to sounds (for example, turns when hears voices and rattles)
  • Makes cooing noises like “aaaah” and “ooooh”
  • Cries when needs something

At 4 Months (16 Weeks)


  • Brings hands together, or to mouth
  • Lifts head and pushes on arms when on tummy
  • Reaches for objects
  • Turns or makes crawling movement when on tummy


  • Turns head to follow familiar voices
  • Laughs and squeals
  • Combines sounds more often (for example, “aaah-oooh”, “gaaa-gooo”)

At 6 Months


  • Puts weight on feet when held standing up
  • Sits by himself
  • Bangs and shakes objects
  • Transfers objects from one hand to another
  • Holds 2 objects at a time, one in each hand
  • Rolls over from tummy to back


  • Responds to her name, turns and looks
  • Babbles, making sounds like “da”, “ga”, “ba”, “ka”


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