Learning the Curves and Understanding Your Baby’s Development during the First Year…

For parents, their baby’s physical and intellectual development is something that they can be proud of. In fact, watching your baby take his or her first step is a great achievement and a thing of beauty. Each achievement that your baby makes is considered a developmental milestone.

Babies grow and develop in unique ways. Each child develops at their own pace. Not all babies follow the same developmental path and pace. For instance, some babies might learn to sit up weeks before his or her peers learn the same thing. However, the same baby might be the last one to learn how to walk. Due to these unique differences, a series of developmental guides has been created.

The guide allow for variations in the stages of development. You can make use of this variation to gain insight into what you are observing in your baby today and to preview what you can actually look forward to in the coming months.

Developmental Milestones in the First Year

Baby DevelopmentDuring the first year, babies start to learn to focus their vision, explore, reach out and learn new things around them. This is also the time when their brain development or cognitive development begins rapidly, as they learn processes in memory, thinking, reasoning, and language.

Learning language is considered more than just making sounds. This aspect of learning includes understanding and listening as well as knowing the names of the things and the people around them. These things comprise language development in babies.

During the baby’s first year of life, they also develop love and trust with the parents as well as develop social skills as they interact with their peers. This is also the time when their emotional development begins. Their development is affected by how parents hold, cuddle, and play with their baby. In fact, the way their parents care for the baby will become the basis on how the baby will interact with them and other people.

Developmental Milestone during the First Month

During the first few days of your baby’s life, this is mostly associated with feeding, settling the baby to sleep, changing diapers, and responding to their cries. However, within the next few weeks, your baby will begin to familiarize the sound of your voice, your face, and your touch. Around this time, patterns of black and white will catch their attention and the baby’s hearing is now fully developed. In fact, they will turn toward familiar sounds.

Your baby can already lift his or her head and turn to sides whenever he or she is placed on his or her stomach. However, when your baby is upright, his or her head and neck still requires support. The arms of your baby can move jerkily and he or she can already get his or her hands close to the mouth.

Developmental Milestone during the Third Month

During the third month of your baby’s life, your will begin to notice your baby’s delighted smiles. In fact, during this time, your baby enjoys playtime and your baby will start imitating facial expressions. This is also the time when your baby will start to babble and mimic sounds he or she hears.

By the third month, your baby will be able to support his or her head. In addition, your baby will now be able to open and close his or her hands and shake toys. His or her hand and eye coordination will become significantly improved. In fact, your baby will begin tracking and focusing on objects that catches his or her interest.

Developmental Milestone during the Fourth to the Seventh Month

During this period of your baby’s life, your baby is fully engaged with the world now. In fact, your baby can laugh and smile. When he or she reaches the seventh month, your baby can probably roll on his or her tummy, support their weight, and sit without help. By this time, he or she is able to recognize his or her name and turns when you call him or her.

Developmental Milestone during the Eighth to Twelfth Month

During this time, your baby is now an eager explorer. He or she scoots and crawls around to explore the things that surround him or her. At this time, he or she may also be able to pull him or herself up and take some solo steps. Your baby communicates his or her wants through gestures. Your baby is most probably reserved around strangers and this is the time when your baby feels distraught when you leave him or her. In fact, separation anxiety is quite normal around this age.

Parenting Tips

Parents need to make an effort and help their child during the first year of their development. For instance, it is advisable that you talk to your baby, as he or she will find your voice calming. You can also answer your baby as they make sounds through repeating the sounds and adding words. This way, you are helping your baby’s language development. This is also a great time for you to read to your baby, as this can help develop your baby’s understanding and sound recognition. You should also play music to your baby, as this will help in your baby’s development. Parents should also spend time in holding, cuddling and playing with their baby, as this will help their baby feel secure and loved. Parents should always be responsive and attentive to their baby’s needs.

While it may be true that babies develop differently and they learn things at their own pace, you should be still be attentive to things that warrant a consult to your baby’s health care provider. For instance, if your baby does not suck well or feeds slowly, you should consider consulting a pediatrician. If your baby has difficulty focusing on moving objects or reacting to bright lights, you should immediately seek consult. Additional tests may be required to check if your baby has developmental difficulties.