Your baby will make progress every week from the day he or she is born. The chart (After birth development milestones table) shows some of the most common developments you can expect to see in the first year.
|Gross Motor||Fine Motor||Language/Cognitive||Social|
|1 month||Moves head from side to side when on stomach||Strong grip||Stares at hands and fingers||Track movement with eyes|
|2 months||Holds head and neck up briefly while on tummy||Opens and closes hands||Begins to play with fingers||Smiles responsively|
|3 months||Reaches and grabs at objects||Grips objects in hands||Coos||Imitates you when you stick out your tongue|
|4 months||Pushes up on arms when lying on tummy||Grabs objects — and gets them!||Laughs out loud||Enjoys playing and may cry when playing stops|
|5 months||Begins to roll over in one or the other direction||Is learning to transfer objects from one hand to the other||Blows “raspberries” (spit bubbles)||Reaches for mommy or daddy and cries if they’re out of sight|
|6 months||Rolls over both ways||Uses hands to “rake” small objects||Babbles||Recognizes familiar faces –caregivers and friends as well as family|
|7 months||Moves around –is starting to crawl, scoot, or “army crawl”||Is learning to use thumb and fingers||Babbles in a more complex way||Responds to other people’s expressions of emotion|
|8 months||Sits well without support||Begins to clap hands||Responds to familiar words, looks when you say their name||Plays interactive games like peekaboo|
|9 months||May try to climb/crawl upstairs||Uses the pincer grasp||Learns object permanence — that something exists even if they can’t see it||Is at the height of stranger anxiety|
|10 months||Pulls up to stand||Stacks and sports toys||Waves bye-bye and/or lifts up arms to communicate “up”||Learns to understand cause and effect (“I cry, Mommy, comes”)|
|11 months||Cruises, using furniture||Turns pages while you read||Says “mama” or “dada” for either parent||Uses mealtime games (dropping spoon, pushing food away) to test your reaction; expresses food preferences|
|12 months||Stands unaided and may take first steps||Helps while getting dressed (pushes hands into sleeves)||Says an average of 2-3 words (often “mama” and “dada”)||Plays imitative games such as pretending to use the phone|
Infant development occurs week by week. Within the first three months of life, you can expect your baby to grow and develop in many ways. During the first month, he or she will begin to move around, open his or her eyes and mouth, pull to a sitting position, and maybe even start talking sort of. Following are some general development milestones from birth to three months old.
The baby’s basic abilities, such as sucking and grasping, develop during the first three months. Skills your baby develops include recognizing faces, smiling and cooing, and holding his head up on two hands. The sense of hearing also develops quickly. Babies at this age are easily frightened by loud noises. Almost all babies roll over and sit up during the third month, and many start crawling. Some crawl backward before they move forward. Most infants walk alone by their ninth month.
What Should you Expect?
Your baby’s first year is a journey of discovery, as he learns to communicate with gestures and sounds and reaches new milestones every day. Feeding, diapering, and soothing become less frequent as your baby begins to sleep through the night. He’ll smile for the first time, try his first solid foods, pull up on furniture, and cruise around furniture — then take his first wobbly steps. It’s a challenging time for new parents, but you get tips and guidance from your baby’s doctor at each of your visits.
- Hearing: Your baby hears even before birth, but you’ll be able to see and hear your baby respond to outside noises much more now. By looking toward the sound and smiling or gurgling, your little one is learning to enjoy these auditory stimuli. Don’t be surprised if your little one’s ears seem particularly big at this point!
- Vision: Your newborn may not concentrate on your face during feedings and instead may focus on the food coming in and out of his mouth. By 1 month, he will probably prefer to look at bold patterns in sharply contrasting colors or black-and-white. 2 months later, his eyes will become more coordinated, allowing for tracking an object. And you can expect to see him recognize familiar objects and people at a distance in 3 months.
- Communication: By age 2 months, your child might coo and repeat vowel sounds when you talk or gently play with him. He might also watch a face intently for a few seconds, turn toward familiar voices and make eye contact, smile at familiar people, and wave goodbye. By now he may be rolling over both ways as well as pushing up on his hands.
- Motor skills: Your baby’s physical skills are continuing to roll along. You should notice him or her lifting his or her head and chest while lying on the stomach, stretching and kicking legs, holding toys, sitting up supported, rolling over from back to stomach, pushing up on hands and knees, and rocking forward on the stomach when prone.
Promote the development of your baby
As your baby grows, your relationship with him develops into a strong and supportive bond that lays the foundation for his healthy development. Trust yourself to meet your baby’s needs. Babies who are bonded to their mothers respond better to stress and can better control their emotions and behavior.
- Speak freely: As your baby begins to grow and develop, it’s time to start exposing her to new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. For example, change day-to-day routines by using a stroller that you’ve set up differently each day. Introduce new foods in different ways—try serving the same food three different ways during the week. Applying these principles will help strengthen your role as a language model for your little one. The more conversational your speech is, the more confident she’ll be in learning the language.
- Respond quickly to tears: Your baby is likely to have crying spells, but you can help your baby learn to control and stop crying. Whether your baby needs a diaper change, feeding session, or simply warm contact, respond quickly to your baby’s cues. You’ll help teach your child that he or she is not alone and that the world is manageable.
- Change positions: You can help prevent flat head syndrome by changing the position of your newborn baby. The back of a baby’s head is soft and flexible, and keeping him or her upright in those early days reduces pressure on the area when they are lying on their back. To make tummy time more enjoyable for both you and your baby, try holding a colorful toy or making interesting noises to encourage your baby to lift his or her head and begin playing with his or her feet, hands, and toys.
- Hold your baby: This is a key step in building trust. Holding your baby can help him or her feel safe, secure, and loved. Let your baby grasp your finger and, later, touch his or her little hand to your face when he’s calm and has stopped crying.
What you should Pay attention to?
Most babies don’t follow a strictly sequential pattern when it comes to reaching developmental milestones. Some will reach certain milestones ahead of schedule, while others might lag. You’re the best judge of your baby’s development and if you have any concerns about your baby’s development or you notice any of these red flags by age 3 months, it’s a good idea to ask your baby’s doctor for advice:
- Your baby is gaining weight, but he’s not showing any signs of improving head control. You may want to talk with your doctor about ways you can encourage learning during this time. Keeping your baby upright during tummy time and having him look at objects high above his head are ways you can encourage your baby to use his neck muscles while strengthening his developing brain.
- If your baby is between 3 and 6 months old and doesn’t seem to respond to loud sounds such as the vacuum cleaner or hairdryer, it can be a sign of hearing loss. In fact, at this age, if your baby doesn’t respond to loud noises that others find startling, it could be a sign of a serious problem called moderate to severe hearing loss.
- Infants who are age 3 months may seem healthy and happy but they can be in trouble. Even though these babies may have gained weight, they don’t smile more often or at people or the sound of your voice. An infant who is about 3 months old should smile most of the time and show a lot of interest in people.
- Sensory development for babies is key to their growth in all areas of life. This developmental milestone helps detect movement, objects, and the presence of another human being. An infant experiences visual stimulation from birth but at this stage, is unable to track objects visually. The eyes are typically darting back and forth while they are focusing on an object.
- The most important stage in a baby’s development takes place between birth and 3 months, introducing the baby to the capabilities of their hands and feet. That is why this age-appropriate play gym allows you to play with your baby and introduce him or her to a world of new possibilities. The problem is when they don’t notice her hands.
- Normally from three months onwards, if the baby does not demonstrate grasping and holding of objects, then vision testing may be recommended to determine whether there are problems with visual development.
- If your baby is fussy, irritable, and has a poor appetite, he may have a blocked tear duct. Blocked tear ducts are usually due to overly full tear sacs. When both eyes are affected they can cause ultraviolet (UV) damage to the eyes. When only one eye is affected, it can lead to the development of a squint and/or amblyopia (strabismus).
In the first three months of life, a baby experiences a burst of brain development. The senses begin to develop, and tastes and smells are detected for the first time. Your baby may not be able to tell you how he or she feels, but with your help, you can detect potential early signs of illness or developmental delay.
At about the time the first tooth comes through, babies may drool excessively or have a puffy look around the eyes. This can be caused by a blocked tear duct. Blocked tear ducts are common and are not a cause for concern if they clear up without any treatment in six to eight weeks. If the symptoms don’t improve at home, call your baby’s doctor. Pay attention to your baby’s signals, even in the first few weeks. If your child seems feverish — sweating or burning up — or has an unusual rash or cough, see a doctor within 24 hours. Many serious and treatable conditions can be recognized and corrected early on.
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