Babies are growing very fast during their first year of life. There is physical growth (height & weight) but also developmental milestones. Developmental milestones are skills the baby starts mastering like rolling, sitting, and walking.
Babies tend to follow the same progression throughout these milestones, but remember, every baby is different which means the stages can be different and the length in each stage can be different but, like teething, it’s good to know what to expect, when and to know how to manage it. It decreases the stress and anxiety around it.
During the first month of life, most of the babies’ behaviours are reflexive. Everything happens automatically. There are 4 main reflexes.
1. Mouthing reflex
- Sucking and swallowing reflex. A baby will automatically begin to suck when their mouth or lips are touched.
- Rooting reflex. A baby will automatically turn his head towards your hand if their cheek is touched. This fades at 4 months.
These reflexes are very important for a baby’s survival, helping them to find food.
2. Startle (Moro) reflex
This reflex occurs when a baby hears a loud noise or when he falls backward. His arms and legs extend away from his body. The Startle Reflex will keep waking your baby when he sleeps. To improve sleep, you have to swaddle your baby. Initially, your baby might not like it, but it’s important to persist to improve sleep. This fades at 4 months.
3. Grasp reflex
Baby will automatically grab the finger or object when it is placed in the palm of his hand. This fades at 5 months.
4. Stepping reflex
When a baby is placed with his feet on a flat surface, he will automatically step one foot in front of the other. This fades around 2 months.
- More aware of their surroundings
- Follow moving objects
- Starts smiling at familiar faces
- Can hold his head up for a few seconds when on the tummy
- Open and shut hands
- Grab and shakes hand toys
- Pushes legs down when on a flat surface
- Make cooing sounds
- Starts coordinating vision, touch, and hearing
- Starts rolling (Stop swaddling)
- Starts sitting up
- Some may start crawling
- Starts pushing up by using their arms and arch their back to lift up the chest. These movements strengthen the upper body preparing the body for sitting up.
- Rocking while on his stomach
- Kicking legs
- Bring toys to their mouths
- Discovering feet and toes
- Like looking at themselves in the mirror
- Transfers objects from hand to hand
- Sit without support
- Starts crawling (7-8 months)
- Very mobile – like exploring (Very important to childproof your house especially the kitchen and bathroom).
- Starts standing (Around 9-10 months)
- First step around 12 months
- Like to poke their fingers through holes (Remember to cover all power points)
- Usually the first word at 12 months
- Separation anxiety and stranger anxiety can start at this point
By the end of this period :
- Gets in and out of sitting position independently
- Gets on hand and knees position crawls
- Pulls self up to standing position, walks holding on to furniture, stands without the support and eventually takes a few steps without the support and begins to walk
- Uses pincer grasp (Thumb and first finger)
- Places object into a container and take them out of the container
- More functional activities like holding a spoon and turning pages in a book
Sits alone – 5 to 9 months
Crawls – 6 to 12 months
Stands – 8 to 17 months
Walks alone – 9 to 18 months
First words – 1 to 3 years
Two-word phrases – 15 to 32 months
Responsive smile – 1 to 3 months
Finger feeds – 7 to 14 months
Drinks from cup unassisted – 9 to 17 months
Uses spoon – 12 to 20 months
Bowel control – 16 to 42 months
Dresses self unassisted – 3.25 to 5 years
Hope this gives you more information on this topic.
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I’m Christine, the founder of Happy Sleepers. I am an ICU nurse, Midwife, Qualified Sleep Consultant and I’m a mum of twins. I’ve helped 100’s of babies and parents in the past and now I’m here to help YOU! 🙂