For most new parents, understanding the different milestones of their baby’s development can be quite challenging. The first 12 months are most significant as the changes occur rapidly in this stage.
With each month, your baby will exhibit new skills that mark a developmental milestone. It is important to know about and keep track of these milestones to be rest assured your baby is showing normal growth and development. However, it is not necessary for a specific developmental milestone to be achieved at a certain age. For instance, some children may be able to talk at the age of eight months while others may take up to one year to start saying their first words. It is also important to remember that all babies are different from each other. Comparisons should best be avoided.
Babies go through three different stages of development:
These milestones are easy to identify as the child performs specific activities when he or she reaches different milestones. The milestones are usually placed in an age bracket and most children follow the same sequence. The most important thing for new parents is to understand these variations. In case your child does not reach a certain milestone at a certain age, it is not any cause for panic. Make sure you also have your pediatrician monitoring your child’s growth regularly.
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The child exhibits the following milestones progressively.
Most behavior at this age is a reflex, which lays the foundation of a child’s motor development. With a nervous system that is still developing, the baby cannot really control actions. However, common reflexes to be observed are:
At this age, the muscles of the neck become strong. The baby’s vision also develops significantly. These changes allow the following skills:
Emotional or social skills
By this age, your baby develops more perception. She also develops like and dislikes. You will find her beginning to explore things around her. Communication improves and the baby will try to tell you what she likes and dislikes through sounds and cries. Babies develop more attachment with parents by this time and will actually become anxious around strangers. The milestones in this time frame are:
This is the age when babies are more mobile. Pincer grasp, or the ability to hold things using the thumb and the index or middle finger is the most important milestone at this age. The baby is also able to utter single syllable words and will move on to say their first words, usually “mama” or “dada” Initiating play is common at this age. They will also use gestures to communicate and point to objects that they want. Babies start standing by their own for few seconds with a little support or without support.
By this age babies understand the concept of object permanence and develop the understanding that things exist even though they are taken out of sight. Language also develops significantly at this age.
The milestones at this age are:
Social / Emotional Skills
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In addition to the above mentioned points here is a chart that represents the complete, month wise developmental changes that you can expect in your little one, including pointers for physical growth. Take a look:
For all new parents, it is best that you go with your gut feel. In case you feel like your child is not showing progress, you can talk to your doctor for early intervention and timely solution.
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