Babies from birth go through specific stages in development, and as first time parents we need to be aware and familiar with these stages; also known as milestones. It is these milestones that we all look for in a baby’s development, and it gives us the reassurance that your baby is on the right path.
It allows us to look for these signs and signals that your baby is giving and sharing with you. Becoming aware of these signs and signals allows for you to be more interactive with your baby which is always more exciting and more fun. It also lets you notice when your baby is behind through these milestones which can be a sign of a neurological deficit, but not every baby follows the same exact development span. If there is something that seems to be of a worry, that sticks out, or doesn’t look right, it is best to notify your baby’s pediatrician.
Infant milestones for first year breaks it down through the baby’s first year of life which is the most critical in your baby’s development. You can view these milestones into three categories: physical skills, social skills, and sensory/cognitive thinking. Since every baby does not follow each milestone in its exact, and that is why I have broken it down as such: 0-3 months, 4-7 months, and 8-12 months for the first year. I did add a bonus in for you and it includes milestones for 13-18 months and 19-24 months for the second year.
The first three months of a baby’s life includes eating, crying, and sleeping. You can look forward and enjoy when they do their first stretch after a swaddle has been removed.
- Raises head and chest when on stomach
- Stretches and kicks on back
- Opens and shuts hands
- Brings hand to mouth
- Grasps and shakes toys
- Begins to develop a social smile
- Enjoys playing with people
- Imitates some movements and expressions
- More communicative
- More expressive with face and body
- Follows moving objects
- Prefers soft to coarse sensations
- Prefers sweet smells
- Recognizes familiar objects and people at a distance
- Starts using hands and eyes in coordination
-Highlights: First Bath
For these next set of months, a baby’s personality is booming and exploring his surroundings. Their focused on making giggles, squeals, and plenty of babbles.
- Begins to sit up
- Reaches and grab with one hand
- Rolls both ways
- Supports whole weight on legs
- Transfers object from hand-to-hand
- Appears joyful often
- Enjoys social play
- Interested in mirror images
- Responds to expressions of emotions
- Explores with hands and mouth
- Finds partially hidden object
- Struggles to get objects that are out of reach
-Highlights: Begin to eat solids, begin to teeth
This is the times when the baby is on the move. Crawling becomes mastered, and even start to walk. A baby’s first words will get you smiling, and possibly tearing.
- Assumes hands-and-knees positions
- Gets from sitting to crawling position
- Gets forward on belly
- Pulls self up to stand
- Walks holding on to furniture
- Cries when parents leave
- Enjoys imitating people in play
- Finger-feeds himself
- Prefers certain people and toys
- Shy or anxious with strangers
- Tests parental response
- Begins to use objects correctly
- Explores objects in different ways
- Finds hidden objects easily
- Imitates gestures
- Looks at correct picture when the image is named
-Highlights: Babble, Crawl, First Birthday, Play Peekaboo
- Intentionally moves objects
- Plays with books
- Recognizes self and objects
- Understands direction
- Uses a cup
-Highlights: Takes first steps on their own
- Plays ball
- Plays pretend games
- Runs and jumps
- Uses silverware
It Is Well Worth It
Having a baby for the very first time is well worth the investment. Every baby will go through these exciting developmental milestones during their first years of life. First time parents can look forward for these milestones, and more importantly become prepared and take action when needed.
When parents interact with their babies, it allows the baby to become more engaged which advances their overall social skills. In addition, it allows first time parents to pick and choose the most appropriate toys and games for each milestone development, which will save parents the time, the money, and the frustration.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, and please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.