Developmental milestones are an important indicator of a baby’s growth. These help parents keep a track of how their baby is progressing and rule out any disorders that are usually noticed in growing children. They must meet these milestones in the first year of their birth to enjoy a healthy growth.
Developmental milestones are broadly categorized into cognitive, physical, and social and emotional. Several milestones can be achieved simultaneously and are crucial in the first one year.
Read on to know more about important developmental milestones that babies reach in the first year of their lives.
Important Developmental Milestones in the Baby’s First Year
Here are some of the important developmental milestones in the first year that indicate normal growth of your little one:
Baby Development from One to Three Months
This is generally referred to as the first development stage of a baby. It is a time when the babies’ bodies and brains are learning to adapt to the world outside the mother’s womb. It may take up to three months until a baby starts to do the following things:
- Smile – In the early days, a baby might be smiling to herself. But within three months, you’ll find your little one smiling in response to your smiles and trying to get you to smile back at her.
- Raising her head – By three months, your baby will be able to raise her head and chest when on her tummy.
- Improved Vision – At this developmental stage, your baby will be able to track objects with her eyes and gradually decrease eye crossing.
- Better grip – Your baby will have better grip on the objects by the time she’s three months old. She will also be taking swipes or trying to reach for dangling objects, though she usually won’t be able to get them.
Baby Development from Four to Six Months
At this point of time, babies are learning to reach out and manipulate the world around them. They’re learning motor skills and master the use of their hands. They are also discovering their voices when they’re 4 to 6 months old. Here are some things that babies will do at this stage:
- Rolling over – Babies get more comfortable rolling from front to back or back to front. Usually, they first start rolling from front to back.
- Sounds – They start to babble i.e. make sounds that may sound like a real language. They also begin to have an unmistakable laugh.
- Motor Skills – Babies begin reaching out and grabbing objects at this stage. They can also manipulate toys and other objects with her hands.
- Sitting – By this stage, babies are able to sit up with support and have great head control.
Baby Development from Seven to Nine Months
During the second half of your baby’s first year, they start moving around a lot. After learning that they can get somewhere by rolling over, your baby will spend the next few months figuring out how to move forward or backward. These are some things you should know about baby development from seven to nine months:
- Crawling- During this time period, your baby may start to crawl. This may include scooting where he propels around on his bottom, or army crawling where he drags himself on his tummy by arms and legs. Some babies never crawl and move directly from scooting to walking.
- Sitting – By this time, babies learn to sit without any support. They can also learn to pull up to a standing position.
- Language – Your baby may start to respond to familiar words like his name. He may also respond to words such as ‘No’ by briefly stopping and looking at you, and may start babbling words such as ‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’.
Baby Development from 10 to 12 Months
This is the last development stage in a baby’s first year and brings about quite a transition. Your baby isn’t an infant anymore, and she might look and act more like a toddler. However, she’s still learning a few things such as:
- Feeding – At this developmental stage, babies learn to begin feeding themselves. They master the ‘pincer grasp’, which means they can hold small objects such as O-shaped cereal between their thumb and forefinger.
- Movement – Your baby will begin moving around the room on her feet while holding on to the furniture. Some babies may also start walking independently by this age and take their first steps sometime around their first birthday.
- Language – At this age, many babies start saying one or two words such as ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’ to refer to the parents. On an average, babies speak at least three spoken words by their first birthday.
- Pointing – They begin to point at objects in order to get your attention.
- Pretend play – Many babies start pretend playing by copying you or using object correctly, such as pretending to talk on the phone.
When to see your baby’s Pediatrician
Most parents wonder if their babies are meeting growth or developmental milestones. The answer firstly lies in your instinct. Talk to your doctor about it if you really feel like something’s wrong. This can help you catch the problem right at the beginning and lead to early intervention. It is also important to remember that it doesn’t matter if your baby is not meeting these milestones exactly as prescribed. All that matters is that your child is moving forward in his development.
Keep in mind that all babies are different and every baby grows at his own pace. There is no precise time that most of these skills first appear. If your child hasn’t reached a milestone by the month suggested above, it may not always mean development problems. See your doctor if you feel really concerned. We have some of the best doctors at KIMS Cuddles who can help you through pregnancy and even beyond in the first years of your little one’s life.