Baby’s First Year: Month-by-Month Development Stages of Babies

New parents bring this little bundle of joy home and wonder what to expect. They eagerly watch in anticipation, waiting to catch every little mile stone moment in their new baby’s life. According to the doctor’ there is a schedule for when a baby and a child should develop, when they should be doing what. The following is a brief list of what you should expect your newborn to be doing the first year of its life. But first be warned, each child is different. Not every child is going to follow the guidelines exactly. We all mature and develop at our own pace. That does not mean that we are slow, that we have any developmental problems. By the same token, a child that master things earlier than the guideline suggests doesn’t mean that you have a prodigy on your hands.

Here are the basic guidelines of what baby can be doing by the end of each month:

END OF MONTH ONE:

Lifts head at short periods of time

Moves head side to side

Brings hands to face

Blinks at bright lights

Responds to loud noises

May turn toward familiar sounds or voices

END OF MONTH TWO:

Smiles

Tracks objects with eyes

Starts to make oohing and ahhing sounds

END OF MONTH THREE:

Raises head and chest when put on tummy

Kicks and straightens legs when on back

Open and closes hands

Reaches for dangling objects

Grasps and shakes hand toys

Tries to imitate sounds

Recognizes familiar people and objects, even at a distance

Starts to develop hand-eye coordination

Brings hands together

Kicks legs

Holds head up with more control

END OF MONTH FOUR:

May sleep about 6 hours a night before waking

Rolls over

Sits with support

Babbles and amuses him/herself

Responds to colors

Explores objects with mouth

Recognizes bottle or breast

Communicates pain, fear, loneliness, discomfort through crying

Responds to a rattle or bell

END OF MONTH 5:

Pays attention to objects more

Begins to use hands to reach for toys in a raking type manner

Begins teething

END OF MONTH 6:

Can hold head level when sitting

Makes some vowel-consonant sounds

Sits by self with only minimal support

Opens mouth for spoon

Reaches and grabs objects

Rolls over and back

Drinks from a cup with help

Can hold bottle

Makes 2 syllable sounds

END OF MONTH 7:

Can self-feed some finger foods

Turns in direction of voices

Plays peek-a-boo

Imitates sounds

END OF MONTH 8:

Chews on objects

Reaches for utensils when being fed

Turns head away when no longer hungry during feeding time

May sleep between 11 to 13 hours a night

Sits unsupported

Gets in crawling position, on arms and knees

Cries begin to sound different depending on want or need

Babbles excitedly

Recognizes own name

Gets upset when taken away from parent

END OF MONTH 9:

Reaches for objects

Drops objects

Picks up small objects

Will notice itself in mirror

Will begin to grab spoon during feeding time

END OF MONTH 10:

Gets upset when toys are removed

Can move things from hand to hand

Can stand by holding on to something or someone

Pulls to standing position

END OF MONTH 11:

Understands simple words like no

Clap hands

Wave bye-bye

Can usually say ma-ma da-da

END OF MONTH 12:

Triples birth weight and is 29 to 32 inches long

Bangs objects together

Can put things into containers and then take them back out of them

Shake head no

Crawls well

Walks with help

Dances to music

Have formed an attachment to certain objects, favorite toys or blankets

Pushes away things he/she doesn’t want

Pulls off hat/socks

Extends arms and legs when being dressed.

Amazing how quickly they develop. But don’t panic if your child isn’t following the guidelines exactly. Could it mean there is some kind of developmental problem? Yes, it could. But then again, your child may be quite normal. What should you do? Continue monitor your child. Try to help him/her learn the behavioral. Give him/her some time. We all develop at different speeds. When you become too worried then it is time to seek professional advice. But first, relax, enjoy your child. Remember children sense our tension. If you are relaxed, they will relax and we all function better in a relaxed, calming atmosphere.

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