Watching your baby grow and develop in the first year is an exciting journey of discovery. From a helpless newborn to a sturdy one year old, here are some baby development milestones to expect in the first 12 months.
Within the first month, your baby should start to move their head from side to side when placed on their back. Your little one’s hands and fingers will flex and release and their eyes will start to fix on objects and faces.
In the second month, your baby’s neck muscles will become stronger but they won’t have full control just yet, meaning they will bob their head about when held upright. Baby will also start to make noises and focus on people when they are talking. At this stage, you may even get a smile!
By three months, your baby is likely to have full independent head control. Regular tummy time will help to strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles. They can use their hands to swipe at objects. Listen out for some baby chuckles too.
By now, your baby may be starting to roll from their tummy to their back. Rolling back to their tummy requires more strength so will take a little longer. Fine motor skills will also be developing as your little one starts to clutch at objects. Beware of those little hands grabbing at your hair or earrings! At this time, your baby should start to show recognition of parents faces and voices.
As your baby gets stronger, they will learn to roll from their back to their tummy and lift their head when pulled up to sit. Fine motor skills will be improving and your baby will be able to move objects from hand to hand. They will also make ‘raspberry’ sounds and can smile spontaneously.
At the half year mark, your baby should now be able to sit unaided. They are sure to be babbling and will show preferences for certain people. As their motor skills continue to develop, they will examine items in their hands and will look down when they drop something.
At 7 months, your baby will be more in control of their limbs and may use their hands to stop themselves falling when sitting. Socially, your little one could start to make strange with people. Their little hands will bang/shake objects just to hear the noise.
When your baby is 8 months old, they should be able to get themselves into a sitting position and grasp objects between thumb and fingers. Their little fingers will be able to pick up dropped objects. Your little one’s vocalizations will be improving and you may hear a ‘Dada’ sound amongst those baby babbles. You can play ‘peek a boo’ with them at this stage, which they will love.
At 9 months, your baby will be becoming more mobile, which is always an exciting time! They will start to pull themselves up to a standing position and will be crawling around now. Your little one should be able to wave, and say ‘mama’. Socially, they may show signs of separation anxiety and will start to understand ‘hiding’ objects.
In the tenth month, your baby may start ‘cruising’ – that is, walking around while holding the furniture. Now might be a good idea to hide any low-placed ornaments and if you haven’t already ‘baby-proofed’ your home, now is ideal. Your little one will be learning to use their fingers for poking and touching so be careful to cover electrical sockets and hot surfaces. They will start to understand the word “No”!
By 11 months, your baby should be able to stand alone without much help. Their little hands will pick up objects with fingers and thumb and they will start to copy sounds. You may even hear their first word around now! Socially, your baby will start to develop a sense of self and that they are a separate little person to you.
This is the time to look out for your baby’s first steps! At a year old, your child will be able to point at objects and can play alone. They will be fascinated by their reflection in the mirror and may offer items or talk to their reflection. They will also have learned to throw things!
Remember; not every child will hit their milestones at the expected time. All children are different and some will develop more quickly or more slowly than others. If you have any concerns, be sure to discuss them with your GP or Public Health Nurse.
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