One of the best days of your life as a parent will be when your baby starts to learn to do things. It won’t be much for some people, but there will come a time when you just can’t believe you are blessed with a life sleeping in your arms. Being a parent isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s definitely the happiest.
Everything your baby learns and does in their first year of life is called milestones. Some babies learn things earlier than others, while some develop later. It’s not a call for concern unless your baby’s paediatrician diagnoses it.
Always remember that your baby’s developmental milestones happen in your baby’s own timing – don’t fret if they are early or late in learning.
Birth Milestones 0 – 1 month
At one month, your baby can make soft developmental milestones. They can move their head softly and slow, sudden jerks from the hands and feet. If your baby is a kicker inside the womb, they usually love kicking as soon as they are born.
They usually respond to sound than what they see as their eyesight are not fully developed yet. Sometimes, they associate people’s faces with the shape of their significant features like the size of their heads.
They also turn to familiar voices or sounds. Their facial expressions are also limited to frowning, poker faces, only smiling when they are sleeping because of rapid eye movement (REM). While it is not confirmed if babies do dream, REM usually occurs during sleep and dreams. Since babies sleep so much during the first month, rapid eye movement may incur dreams in babies, too.
1 Month to 3 Months
During the next 2 months following the baby’s freshman month, your baby will start having the strength to lift their heads slowly and for a short period of time. They may slowly be grasping the concept of sleeping through the night or sleeping through the day. In some circumstances, they’re usually only awake for an hour or two between feedings.
Your baby’s kicks may be strong, and they can start to lift their heads while they’re lying on their stomachs. Aside from crying, they have learned to make sounds such as “ah” and “oh”. Your baby’s eyesight may have also developed from only seeing close range objects to seeing objects further away.
By the third month, they may be better at following moving objects, their reflexes and reactions have also improved.
Babies at their third month are more attracted to spiral and moving round objects. They can also control their hands to reach for objects. They may not be very accurate yet, but they can always try until they can do it!
4 – 6 Months
By the end of four months, your baby could already have itchy gums. That means they could be irritable and want to nibble on everything they get their hands on. In a way, nibbling on objects is a way of exploring them. They also have better vision at this point and can follow moving objects faster than before.
Expect your baby to salivate a lot, too! They would love to play with their saliva or their mouth because these months start their teething process.
When they see their mother’s breast or a bottle of milk, they know it’s time to eat! Some babies know how to reach for the breast or the bottle. Their aim may seem off sometimes, but they can hold their own bottle by these months.
At five months, they respond well to bells and rattles or any attention-calling sounds. They will also start to roll perfectly from one place to another, while some babies may even slowly move in different directions when lying on their stomachs.
By six months, your baby can babble and do two-syllable sounds. They can sit up with minimal support, too, because they have better control of their heads.
The sixth month is also the month of introduction to solid food – congratulations!
7 – 9 Months
Aside from imitating facial expressions, they can also imitate the sounds they hear. They will even respond when you converse with them! They can also understand the emotions of the person talking to them.
By seven months, they can handle some self-feeding food. That means they will want to also feed themselves so beware! They can reach for their bowl of food or other utensils now!
They’re also very familiar with day and night, and you can expect them to sleep throughout the night. They may wake up once or twice in the middle of the night, but only for a bottle of milk. By this time, you also won’t need to support them when sitting down.
Practice calling them by their first name so they know which name to respond to. They may also be wary of other people now, so help them adjust to people from time to time. Your baby may also show signs of separation anxiety, so give them time to adjust and grow up. Just be patient with their development and growth.
While they are fascinated with various objects, they are now more experimenting. They would drop objects and see what happens while other babies may be more specific by wanting to look for them.
10 – 12 Months
By this time, they’ve almost reached the completion of their first-year milestones. Expect them to say “mama” or “dada”, even wave goodbye if they do not have separation anxiety. They can clap their hands in glee, and get sad or mad when you take their toys from them.
They can also say ‘no’ when they do not want something, or ‘nod’ when they do want something. They’re definitely heavier than they used to be, about two to three times more their birth weight.
They may be better at climbing over their crib railings, so it’s better to keep an eye on them. Some babies also like to explore their furniture around them. They may start to walk by their 10th month, and great at exploring through walking by their 12th month.
With their baby egos, they may or may not share their toys. Even if they do, they would want it back right away. Sometimes, if they don’t know someone, they wouldn’t want to go near them at all.
When it comes to their parents, babies will also want to test their parents’ reactions to how they behave. Nonetheless, they may be a little extra clingy and listen to simple and understandable instructions from their parents.
In A Nutshell…
Your baby’s first-year milestones are very important to keep an eye on since this is a great way to know them more, emotionally and mentally. Knowing your child’s milestones are also a great guide to helping them develop their talents and skills as they grow.
What is your favourite baby milestone?