You are finally home with your precious one. After nine long months, your little one is out!
You suddenly find yourself going gaga over anything that your baby does. Every move or sound they make is a precious gift that you cherish. This is especially true in the baby’s first year when a lot of changes occur.
That’s right: in a short span of time, so many changes happen in babies’ bodies. And they’re not just physical. There are also developments cognitively and emotionally.
But what is it that and parents should expect to see from their babies in the first year? Here are the following milestone categories to help you out.
Movement / physical development milestones
One thing you will notice eventually are the physical developments in babies. These changes will start at the top, mainly the neck. Eventually, the rest of the body will catch up.
While their neck muscles are not yet strong enough to hold their head up, the muscles will eventually develop to support head movements. This will be followed by movements such as rolling and crawling which involve big muscle groups. You’ll soon be surprised at how fast your baby can crawl from one area to the next!
You may also notice babies learning to hold or to grasp things. This is a sign that they are learning movements involving the small muscle groups.
When they’re little, babies communicate mostly by crying. They cry when they are hungry, sleepy, or when they need comfort and companionship.
As months progress, their basic communication skills develop such that they will eventually recognize important sounds in their environment. It could be as simple as them finally recognizing your voice, or the voices of other members of the family who are constantly present in the baby’s life.
And when they reach six months, most babies develop a recognition of the language predominantly spoken at home. Their vocabulary also grows to extend beyond the sounds of crying. You’ll soon be hearing other sounds from your baby!
Cognitive development milestones
Believe it or not, babies’ brain functions and their ability to think develop very early. Cognitive development milestones to watch out for include babies paying attention to faces. You may also notice that their eyes follow the movement of people and things around them.
Boredom during monotonous activities may also set in. You’ll know that they are bored when you notice babies becoming fussy. Changing the activity that they are engaged in might help to address their boredom.
By six months, babies should be able to look around their surroundings. They may also start to bring to their mouths objects that they pick up. They also have increased curiosity and try to reach for things that interest them.
Social and emotional milestones
In the first months, these milestones manifest when babies calm down as close members of the family speak to them. They also develop the ability to smile back when they see people smiling at them. They also have a tendency to earnestly look at the face of a person near them.
They also develop skills to get other people’s attention such as making noises or moving. Babies also start to recognize their faces in the mirror by smiling or cooing at their reflection. The smiles will soon develop into the ability to laugh.
This development milestone in babies also involves increased awareness of self and others. They respond when their names are called. They are able to associate words with various body parts. They may even be able to recognize family members by how they look and their names.
When do these milestones happen, exactly?
That’s a good question. Here’s a guide on what milestone to look for, based on the age of your baby. Do take note that this is not a definitive guide, but at least you’ll have an idea of what you should be looking for per month.
Months 1 – 3
This is the period where the first development stage in babies’ bodies and brains occurs. Watch out for those smiles as babies first learn to smile to themselves. They will, later on, develop the ability to smile in response to external stimulation.
Babies will also be able to raise their heads and chest when they roll on their tummies. They can also follow objects with their eyes.
There are also more hand movements such as opening and closing their hands. They also learn to reach out for objects and grip things in their hands.
Months 4 – 6
At this stage in babies’ development, milestones include skills that manifest their ability to interact with their environment. They mimic the words that they most often hear, although not that intelligible yet. The smiles also turn into laughter more often.
By this time, babies have also mastered rolling over from front to back and vice versa. They begin to sit up and exhibit more head movements. They also seem to have a penchant for reaching out and grabbing, with people’s hair often the object of their attention.
Months 7 – 9
During this period, there will be lots of crawling or scooting and sitting up without support. Babies may also respond when their names are called out. They may also begin to understand the word “no” by stopping and looking at you.
Babies may clap more and respond to play such as peekaboo through laughter. And don’t be surprised if you suddenly have a baby who will try to test their legs and stand up.
Months 10 – 12
By the last quarter of their first year, babies will be able to eat food that they can grasp. They will also be more mobile as they learn to crawl or scoot around faster. Some babies even learn to walk within this period.
Moms and dads also can’t wait to hear babies utter “mama” and “dada” and they better watch out for it during this period. They also start playing with familiar objects such as pretending to talk on the phone using toy phones or mobile phones lying around.
During this period, a baby’s tentative first step will turn into many steps that will give them the freedom to run around and explore more of the world around them. It also ushers in a transition of sorts from infancy to being a toddler.
Notice all your baby milestones with the help of Northeast Doulas.
There are tons of milestones to keep track of in your baby’s first year. They are precious moments that fill your heart with joy and amazement at the wonder that is your baby.
Are you worried that you’d be too busy to notice any of them? Well, we recommend that you get the services of Northeast Doulas. That way, you will be free of day-to-day household tasks. You can focus on bonding with your baby.
All our doulas are trained to provide you with deep and personal care. We have been providing this service for families in Greenwich, Westchester and New York City for over 18 years. We’d love to do the same for you.
Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.