When it comes to our babies we are enthralled at how they develop. Every change in this beautiful bundle of joy is so exciting and precious. From their first feeding to their first steps, it all fills us with proud memories and moments to cherish in our hearts.
New parents might not know what they should look out for when it comes to the key developmental stages as so many things are changing so quickly. It’s a good idea to prepare yourself a little for this wild and awesome ride so that you can ensure your little one is hitting the key stages within the right timeframe and developing correctly.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key milestones in baby development so that you can identify them when the time comes.
0 – 3 Months
A child in this age range can open and close their fists, push themselves up when lying on their tummy and move their legs and arms rapidly when he/she gets excited. The baby can also visually track a toy when it’s moved from side to side. Your little one also responds to the sound of your voice by turning his head in your direction.
The baby can latch onto a nipple or bottle and he/she feeds six times a day. He/she can move their tongue forward and backwards to suckle.
The baby loves face-to-face interaction and he/she notices and responds to sounds. He/she can bring his/her hands to their mouth and enjoys bath time. You can calm baby with rocking and relaxing sounds.
4 – 6 Months
When a child reaches this age, he/she can roll from their back to their tummy and from their tummy to their back. The baby will reach for toys when he/she is placed on their tummy and reaches for their feet with both hands. This is the time when he/she will bring their hands and objects to their mouth. The baby will start babbling things like ‘dada’ or ‘mama’.
He/she will start opening his/her mouth as the spoon of pureed food approaches. The baby can move the food from the front to the back of their mouth.
At this time, he/she will vocalise responses to playful interaction and enjoys musical toys. Baby can play on his/her tummy for short bursts of time, strengthening his/her back in the process. He/she enjoys varied playful movement like bouncing on knees or playing aeroplane during this stage.
7 – 9 Months
The baby can now sit without support, reach for toys without falling over and can pick up small objects with fingers and thumbs. This is were children start imitating others. He/she can turn pages of a chunky book and observes the environment. The babbling starts to increase and your little one can recognise their name.
The baby can be fed in a high chair with thicker pureed food and stays fuller for longer. He/she will start showing strong reactions to new tastes.
Peek-a-boo is a real treat because the baby becomes interested in interacting with other people. He/she will raise their hands to communicate that they want to be picked up and he/she is able to stand with support from an adult.
10 – 12 Months
The baby can pull his/herself up using furniture, can stand alone and starts trying to take their first independent steps. At this stage, they can also clap hands and are able to maintain balance in the sitting position when throwing objects. He/she will start enjoying listening to songs and bounce at the beat of the song. He/she can now respond to simple directions, imitate speech sounds and start saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ and responds to no.
He/she can start to finger feed herself and it’s now time to try soft-cooked vegetables and soft fruits. He/she starts using an open cup to drink from.
Your little bub can now maintain eye contact, point to objects, and will enjoy playing with toys of varied textures and will like to bang on musical toys. At this stage, he/she starts to crawl and walk and he/she enjoys various ways to move and play and starts to self soothe when upset.
It Truly Is A Miracle
Identifying your baby’s key milestones is very important, but even more important is to enjoy the journey while it’s happening. Try to be as present as you can be and give as much attention to your young sprout because your love and attention help tremendously with their development. This is not a dress rehearsal. It only happens once and never again. Enjoy it. Revel in it. And remember it.