Have you ever thought about how important it is to observe and focus on Baby development milestones? Babies are a miraculous creation. As much as we think of the beauty of a baby’s growth inside a mother’s womb, it is even more beautiful to pay close attention to the development of a baby after birth.
When we focus on the word “Baby Development,” it revolves around the physical, emotional, and language changes that take place from birth to the first four years of a child’s life. How you as a parent help your baby develop through these very first years of your baby will have a lifelong impact on their life.
Moving on to “Baby Milestones,” this can be defined as physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social development, language development, and sensory and motor development. How we enhance these abilities play a crucial role in converting your simple newborn to a remarkable human being in the future.
Let’s now take a closer look at the different development milestones that occur in a baby during the first year of his life. As wonderful as it is, the first 12 months of your baby is critical as this is a period where he builds up the connection with you primarily through emotions. Therefore, it is imperative to recognize every slight change of movement and expression in your baby.
Most highlighted milestones during the first year will include rolling over, sitting up, standing, and in some cases, walking.
The 1st Month
When a baby enters this world, the only thing they would be familiar with will be your voice and the warm touch of you and your partner. Everything else he experiences will give him an alienating experience. So, it is solely your responsibility to shower him with a secure environment. The little warm touches, warm cuddles, and kisses he gets from you will assure him of this security.
The 1st month is mainly filled with cries as this is the only method of communication your little precious can do. Therefore, while they cry, be attentive as their cries will give different messages to you in various instances according to their wants and needs. So, during the first month, your baby will make jerky movements and even respond to familiar voices, touches, and smells. Their hearing is fully developed at this point, but their vision is limited to objects within a distance of 8 to 12 inches and is black and white in color.
The 2nd Month
By the 2nd month, your baby will smile back at you as you smile as now they have started to recognize familiar faces and voices. Also, by this time, you will easily be able to comfort your baby as they fully recognize you and have found a secure feeling in you. They will try to lift their head up while being on your tummy and also be able to track a moving object with their eyes.
The 3rd Month
Things begin to get interesting from here on as the developmental milestones are getting relatively more evident. Making eye contact, babbling, imitating sounds, moving, and kicking their hands and legs with all their energy, closing and opening hands can be done by your little precious by now. Most importantly, your baby can raise their head and chest when lying on the stomach.
The 4th Month
While you start observing so many new actions of your new baby externally, there are significant physical developments in their tiny body internally. They begin to grab and shake toys. Your baby may respond to you with cooing sounds, especially when happy. Some babies tend to start teething from this point.
The 5th Month
Now, they see colors better and can find you if you’re around them and reacts to your voice even from a distance. By five months, they try to roll in all directions and steadily lift the head upright to a really good extent. Also, at this age, they show interest in their favorite toys.
The 6th Month
Making things even more interesting, your baby will laugh and giggle a lot at this stage. Now, rolling over is really a simple task for your little champ, and they will also be playing with their toes and will even try to say some words, which would most probably be “Mama” or “Dada.”
The other significant milestone will be that your baby who was on breast milk or formula alone will start having solids. By this time, the weight should be double as the birth weight.
The 7th Month
Your baby is ready to sit up with assistance by now. Also, they can support their weight on their legs when held upright. While being able to transfer objects from one hand to the other, your baby can now respond to their name. As much as things get exciting and interesting, it can also be quite challenging as now your little one is capable of using their voice to express joy and displeasure alike.
While focusing on milestones, it is recommended that you use your own methods to enhance your baby’s development. As you experiment with little things with them, they may show great interest in things like mirror images, enjoying playing a peek-a-boo, and even singing songs and reading out books.
The 8th Month
Now that your baby’s vision is fully developed and sees colors, they will reach and show more interest in bright and attractive colored toys and objects. Sitting up without any assistance is also an easy task for them by now.
The 9th Month
By the 9th month, your baby will be a pro in crawling and sitting up, and now it’s time to focus on the next milestone, which is standing on their own by holding something. Also, they can clearly understand little instructions, especially the word ‘no.’ However, even if they know the meaning well, they may not follow it all the time.
The 10th Month
This month will mark a significant milestone in your life as a parent as by this time, your baby tries to say words and will come up with their very first words, “Mama” and “Dada,” a moment all parents so impatiently wait for. This is also the best time to baby-proof your home in case you have not yet attended to it, as now is the time that they pick small objects and puts them in the mouth in one-tenth of a second. So, you must be extra vigilant of your little one’s movements.
The 11th & 12th Months
You’ve made it this far as you’re coming to the end of the most important milestones of your baby. The best is yet to come, but still, you’ve come a long way already. Now, they may be sleeping through the night and can walk independently, cooperate when dressing up, respond well to their name, and follow one-step instructions.
So, as you move into the next years of their life, your baby’s development and milestones keep improving and changing. Therefore, you must try to sharpen their cognitive skills of learning, thinking, and problem-solving from this point on. Also, from here on, his gross and motor skills develop vastly.
During the 1st and 2nd years, they learn to run, hold crayons, and scribble, which then improves into coloring through pages, responding to songs, stacking up blocks, trying to throw balls, and the list goes on.
The 3rd and 4th years will make their development such that they will follow three-part commands and identify colors, letters, and specific numbers. Also, now your baby can be off the diaper and expresses the needs and wants to use the potty. Your little one is also capable of holding a pencil and copying letters. Another significant milestone is interacting with society by taking turns in playing and making friends.
As much as you are concerned and aware of the specified milestones in your baby according to their age, it is imperative to know that no two children are alike. All the research and reading you do to educate yourself has been done after many a referencing. However, it does not say that every baby follows these same milestones as specified. Therefore, always treasure your baby, and do not ever forget that your baby is unique.
If you notice any delay in these milestones, reach out to your baby’s health care professional. Forcing a baby towards milestones is not advisable by any means. Therefore, always treasure your baby. Remember your way of showering your baby with love, hugs, smiles, and positivity will be the best thing your baby experiences all through their life, which in return will have an impact on their behavior in society.