Parenthood gives most parents so much to look forward to as their little one grows older with each passing day. At every stage of life, most babies will reach their first developmental milestones in a certain time frame, but all babies will develop at their own rate.
If your baby has not achieved a certain milestone by a certain time, it does not mean that they won’t ever reach them. It may be that your little one is just developing at a slower pace. Every parent wishes their baby achieves developmental milestones as soon as they can, but what are those milestones?
Here is a guideline of developmental milestones for your baby throughout the first year of life.
Ability to Track Objects with their Eyes
When your little one is born, you will notice that their eyes can hardly track an object. When they are little their eyes tend to cross more often. However, when your baby is one or two months old, you may notice that they will be able to track objects with their eyes and the eye crossing will have decreased significantly.
Keep track of when your baby hits these milestones with our free Milestone Tracker!
During the first month of one’s life your baby will only be able to see your face if you are close to them. As they grow older, at three months old they will start to be able to track objects that appeal to them. Their eyesight will also be a little better where they may possibly be able to spot your face from the corner of a room.
If you are concerned that your baby isn’t tracking objects be sure to seek the advice from a doctor.
As your baby reaches the age of four months you will see them become interested in the objects around them. Their curiosity may lead them to reach out to hold or grab objects. Initially, your baby will be interested in toys, shiny objects or things that light up.
You can tell they are becoming more curious by the way they interact with mobile attachments in their baby swing, like the ones found here. Throughout the following months, you will see your little one hold onto objects with both hands. He may also move objects from one hand to the other.
Smiling and Laughing
Facial expressions will also begin to develop before your baby’s first birthday. The first time you hear your baby laugh will be a precious moment. Your little one will begin to smile at you or even on their own, sometimes for no apparent reason.
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Usually by four months you will hear your baby begin to laugh and babble as they start to use their vocal cords for sounds other than crying. Don’t worry if your baby seems quiet. To help your baby’s speech development at an early age, you can read to your baby to help them along.
Ability to Roll Over
When your baby is six months old, they should be able to roll over onto their stomach on their own. When you place your infant on his or her back, they should be able to roll over to the front. At this stage they are developing new muscles and learning how to hold their head up on their own. A tummy time play mat can help develop the neck and back muscles required for rolling. Be careful to leave them on their own for too long. Having your baby go through a lot of stress can do more harm than good if you are not careful.
Ability to Sit Up without Support
By the time your infant is about six to eight months old, you will see them be able to sit upright without support. You will notice that your little one is able to sit down without having to lean back on a seat or on the person holding them.
If by the time of your baby is nine months old and they are not able to sit upright without support, you may want to consider seeing a doctor. A pediatrician can assess your baby’s physical development and determine if there is a problem or just a delayed milestone.
Crawling or Wriggling
At eight to nine months old, your baby will start to be on the move! Their ability to crawl is just beginning, but you will have to pay a lot more attention to your child while they are playing.
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You may notice that your baby doesn’t necessarily crawl, but maybe scoots or army crawls. Some babies will not crawl on their hands and knees, and that is perfectly fine. Instead, your little one might wriggle their bodies, scoot on their bottoms, while others may use their hands and legs to drag themselves from one point to another.
Crawling is not necessarily a milestone. Therefore, if your little one is nine months old and has not crawled yet, there’s no need to panic. As long as your baby continuously is achieving the other key developmental milestones you should have nothing to worry about. Although, you may want to baby proof the house anyway!
Recognizing Names and Simple Words
By the time your baby is seven to nine months, you will notice that your baby may look at you and recognize when you call their name. Your little one will also be able to understand basic familiar words such as “Yes” or “No”. The more you speak to your child the better it will help them develop their language skills.
At this stage, your baby may also be babbling some words such as Mama or Papa. Try playing games with your baby to teach them different body parts, like pointing to their eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. If your baby does not react to you calling out their name, (turning their head) you may need to visit a health care professional. A doctor or public health nurse will determine whether your little one is experiencing a problem with their hearing.
Tracking your Baby’s Developmental Milestones
Tracking your baby’s development can be an exciting time. As you track milestones you will be able to identify whether or not your child has some developmental difficulties. Spotting developmental issues early can help you as you raise your child.
Your parental instinct, or gut feeling and common sense will help you figure out when it is time to seek the help of a pediatrician. If you find that your child does have a problem, try to build a strong support system so that you can get the necessary help.