What are Baby Milestones?
During the course of development, your baby will grow and mature each day. With each passing month there will be big changes happening like for example turning around, sitting, crawling, walking, teething etc. These child development stages are called as Baby Milestones or baby growth stages. Studies show that most babies cross these milestones at a particular month. The timely appearance of these changes indicates that the baby is growing normally. Since each baby is an individual, the milestones may appear few weeks before or after the mentioned time. This is completely normal and you should not get worried about it. Here is a brief on baby month to month development and the various milestones that your baby will achieve during the development phase.
Developmental Milestones In the First Year
- Milestones at 1 to 3 months: The first month of the baby’s life is all about feeding, eating and sleeping. In a few days, your little one will begin recognizing your face and voice. At present he can see only up to 9 inches so you need to be really close to his face. He can recognize black and white patterns by now. By the end of the first month you will be able to tell the signs of sleepy and hungry and also differentiate the types of baby cries. Most of the babies will achieve the baby development milestones mentioned here around this time but there are some red flags that you need to be wary of. If you notice the following signs or delayed baby milestones, then you need to get your little one checked at the doctor.
Signs of Concern:
- Baby doesn’t suck at the breast or feed well
- Baby is inactive and does not move the limbs at all
- Baby cannot follow bright light
- Baby doesn’t respond to loud sounds
- Baby is floppy or extremely stiff
- Milestones at 3 months: By three months of age, your baby can turn from front to back or the other way around. The social smiles are here and you will see that toothless smile many many times a day. He can lift his head when lying on the stomach and do mini pushups. Reaching out for a toy, swinging the hands and open and close the fists are some of his latest achievements and baby milestones achieved. Your infant at 3 months has a vision that is improving everyday and now he can see and recognize you across the room. You can offer your little one a pacifier at this stage and give him daily supervised tummy time to help him strengthen the back muscles.
Signs of Concern:
- Baby doesn’t recognize or react on seeing you
- Baby doesn’t get startled by loud sounds
- There is no active movement of the limbs
- Baby is upset with new people and surroundings.
- Milestones at 4 to 7 months: Beginning at four months of age the baby enters and begins to enjoy the social world fully. Looking around and smiling and babbling at everyone is a lovely milestone in infants and it is something he loves. Your 4 months baby loves rolling and turning around are his favorite sport. In the next month your baby will be on the move and begin shifting from one place to the other by sliding and pushing on the stomach. By six months your baby will be able to sit up without support. Just after sitting will come crawling. Initially the crawl may be just slithering on the floor and gradually the fast crawl on all four will arrive. Somewhere between month 4 and 7, the baby’s first teeth will erupt. You can expect your happy little cruiser to get upset and irritated when the teeth are erupting. Many babies get diarrhea during this time as they tend to put everything in their mouth and become prone to catching infections. By now your baby will also respond to his name and give a look or even a smile in that direction. Your role is to encourage the baby in all the new things he does and get on the floor and enjoy some play time to see more baby milestones achieved. This is also the right time to baby proof your house so that it is safe for your baby who is on the move.
Signs of Concern:
- Baby cannot sit on his own
- Baby is floppy or very stiff
- Baby is uninterested in surroundings and does not reach out for toys
- Baby doesn’t respond to your voice.
- Baby growth is stunted.
- Milestones at 8 to 12 months: By eight months of age, you little one has gotten far more active and he can stand with support and even cruise along the furniture by 10 months or so. Most babies take their first steps somewhere around their first birthday. By 8-9 months of age, babies begin getting a little independent and they love feeding themselves. This is the time to introduce finger foods to the baby. The silence of all these months is broken with cute sounding dada and mama. Gradually your baby will learn to put the names against faces and you will hear him call you mama for the very first time. Encourage him by talking back and showing that you understand.He is constantly on the move, exploring things and throwing down stuff. He is also a very good copy artist by now and will try to mimic all the actions that are done by you. These include eating with a spoon, drinking from a glass, combing the hair etc. Your baby loves to be close to you and putting him in unfamiliar surroundings can bring on separation anxiety.
Signs of Concern:
- Baby doesn’t crawl, sit up or stand with support
- Baby doesn’t feed well and shows a disinterest in food
- Baby use any words or gestures at all
- Baby does not show interest in games and surroundings.
Each baby grows at his own pace and so the developmental milestones children act as a mere guide. Most of them will achieve the milestones few weeks before or after. If you notice any red flag symptoms in your baby then you must see the doctor. But if there are new changes happening in the milestone chart every day then you must be rest assured that all is well.