Important Developmental Milestones In Your Baby’s First Year
When your baby takes his two little steps towards you, it feels like an eternity. Talking, walking, scribbling, crawling, turning may seem very normal course of action. But when your baby does it especially for the first time, it is like “AWWW”. You baby can’t have enough of it and want your baby to do it again and again. In other words, your baby’s very firsts are milestones in his/her growth. These baby milestones in the first year in a way define a child’s well-being. Hence, it is very important for parents to keep track of your baby’s physical, cognitive and emotional achievements.
By the time, your baby is one year old, his body and mental abilities undergo a lot of transformations. Even making a humming sound or having eye contact with you, means a lot for a baby. Here is a typical timeline that most babies follow in the first year. With this guide, you will know when you can expect each milestone to happen.
One Month Old
Well, its time to gear up since your baby is all set to mingle with you and others. Your baby will soon realize it is in some new world and start getting adjusted to its new environment. Gradually your baby will have the urge to explore this new world and try new activities in doing so.
The baby starts to lift his head and move it sideways usually in the direction of motion or sound around him. Around this time they also start to gauge their surroundings and respond to it. For instance, move his head towards any object that grabs his attention. Also, they start recognizing a similar sound or voice and blink when a bright light is flashed. By this time, the baby is accustomed to human faces and can differentiate them from other objects and shapes.
Physically, you can expect your baby to move his hands and legs quickly and take his hand to mouth. These movements make your baby’s limbs strong and must be encouraged. Similarly, your child’s brain is also developing simultaneously and hence tends to react accordingly. An infant also has a strong reflex movement at this age.
Two Months Old
So how do you feel now that your baby can lift her head and smile at you? I am sure the feeling is inevitable. But this is just the beginning of the cute many things that are in store for you! When a baby is two months old, they tend to reciprocate to you with a smile. They also start making some humming sounds such as “ah”, “ohh” etc.
Three Months Old
Your three-month-old baby learns to kick and straighten their legs. In terms of hands movements, they can open and close both the hands, try to grab hanging objects, shake toys and bring both the hands together. Likewise, their hand-eye co-ordination also improves in this period. Similarly, they can now hold their head without support for some time and can also lift their head while lying down on their stomach. Their capability to notice objects and human faces is getting better. Your baby can also distinguish between sounds and will try to imitate that sound.
Four Months Old
By now your baby knows to hold his head firmly, bring both the hands together and also pass a cute smile at you. But still, there are plenty of developments that are yet to happen within that small body.
The baby starts to roll over around this time. hence, you should be careful not to leave your baby unattended and there is a risk of them falling while trying to roll. Also, the baby can sit with support so you can start encouraging them to do that. This is also a good time to stock colourful objects in different shapes and sizes around your baby. Your little one is grown-up enough to recognize the same. But be careful with the objects you introduce as infants are always curious about new things and will try to put them in the mouth. The sound of a rattle really amuses and entertains babies so you can introduce your child to them. Now, your baby can also communicate its pain, discomfort to you by crying.
Five Months Old
Five-month-old babies are smart enough to know the cause and effect of occurrences around them. Their brains react spontaneously to safeguard their interests.
Until now, your baby could explore objects limited to a certain distance. But after this, they start to move not only to explore objects but also to grab them. Around this period, your baby will also start teething. This is a very significant milestone for your baby. As your baby’s gums start getting stronger to grow teeth they tend to bite all kinds of things. This exercise gives some relief to their gums. You can give your baby a “teether” to avoid putting harmful things in the mouth.
Six Months Old
By the time your baby is five months, he is able to hold his head and sit firmly with little support. Moreover, they can now concentrate on small objects which eventually helps to develop concentration.
When your baby is six months, his digestive system is developed enough to ingest foods in addition to mothers milk. They are ready to be fed food (semi-solids to begin with) using a spoon and water in a cup or glass. Other than that, your baby will amuse you with his babblings. If you pay attention to his babble, you may find some vowels and consonants and two-syllable sounds. You can also expect there some cute expressions every now and then that will melt your heart.
Seven Months Old
Over the completion of seven months, your baby might start to crawl too. But it’s perfectly normal for infants to skip crawling and opt for other ways of moving. Similarly, a baby’s style of crawling (like hand and feet crawling or hands and knees crawling or belly crawling) will differ too depending upon his environment and comfort. Crawling helps develop vision skills in babies and gives strength and stability to their muscles. You can have some fun time with your baby now and then with a game of peekaboo! As a parent, you can do a few things to help them crawl like give enough tummy time or encouraging your baby to sit.
By the age of seven months, babies are very well familiar with different voices and sounds. Hence, they can also understand emotions by the tone in a voice.
Eight Months Old
If your baby has started crawling, they might try to stand as well with some support. Be sure you offer enough support to those little limbs when they try to do that. Their limbs are not strong enough and your baby risks losing his balance.
Your baby’s babbling will gradually turn into meaningful words. And in the days to comes, these words become clear. So don’t be surprised to hear his say “Mumma” or “Papa”.
Also, by now they have the ability to convey their thoughts. For instance, when they are not hungry they will respond by nodding back or express apprehension when their favourite toy is taken away. By the time your baby is eight months, they will also respond when you call out their name.
Nine Months Old
Walking is a big baby milestone in the first year and some babies especially the ones who skip crawling can start taking their baby steps around this time. Walking can happen anytime between 10-13 months of age. So don’t be worried if your baby has not started walking yet.
At nine months, your baby can chew foods, express likes and dislikes etc. For example, trying to grab the spoon in order to hold it when being fed.
Ten Months Old
The little one is now able to pick up tiny objects using their thumb and forefinger. This is an essential mortar skill as it enables them to feed themselves small food pieces. Another important mortar skill that your baby will showcase is transferring objects from one hand to another.
Also, now you can expect them to wave at you, say bye-bye, blow a kiss at you and clap hands. At this stage, an infant will be able to stand without any support and can also walk slowly.
Eleven Months Old
This phase is usually termed as three “III” Phase for gauging the baby milestones in the first year. Three III stands for being independent, innovative and irritated. Independent because of their willingness to do things all by themselves, without any adult assistance. Innovative because they try to explore everything around them and go to the depth of it. And lastly, they tend to get irritated really fast, for example when you pull their toy away or force them to eat or intervene while they are doing something independently.
One Year Old
The journey from a newborn to a toddler is a milestone in itself not only for the bay but for parents as well. Your baby is more like a mini-you and will do a lot many activities like the adults but in a more cuter and simpler way, of course! They can dance, walk, talk, open and close things etc at this age.
You can help them in their developmental stage by playing with building blocks, scribbling, flipping pages etc. These little activities can unnoticeably sharpen your baby’s brain over a period of time. On the social front, your baby will develop a feeling of belongingness with a person or toy and communicate their emotions with actions etc.
These are some of the key baby milestones in the first year. However, bear in mind that like adults not all babies are the same. They tend to develop at different rates. Hence, do not panic if your baby has not achieved any of these milestones on time. But do make a note and discuss it with the paediatrician.
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