Last Updated on October 10, 2022 by Parentology
Being a new parent is both exciting and daunting. It is a joy, but can also be a lot of work sorting the finances and taking care of a newborn.
New parents often have a lot of questions about their baby’s development. Is my baby eating enough? Why isn’t my baby sleeping through the night? When will my baby start crawling? While every child is different, there are some general developmental stages that most babies reach.
Developmental stages are the milestones children reach as they grow and develop. These milestones are important markers of your baby’s progress and provide a valuable way for you to track your little one’s development. There are a number of ways to track milestones, including using a baby app or keeping a journal.
Each of these stages is important for the child’s development, and it is vital that parents provide a supportive and stimulating environment for their little one during his developing years. Below are some of the things you can expect to see during the different milestone stages.
0 to 3 months old
As your baby has just entered the world, his surroundings can be a big and scary place. Constant talking and soft singing calm him down and help him process and understand the language.
During the first three months of life, babies go through a tremendous amount of development. At two weeks old, he will start to follow objects with his eyes and turn his head to noises. He will also startle at loud noises and cry when he is hungry or uncomfortable. By the end of three months, babies usually become more active and responsive. They may start to smile at people and reach out to grasp objects.
4 to 6 months old
This is an exciting time, as your child is becoming more interactive and vocal.
Junior will develop more strength in his arms and legs as well as be able to hold his head up on his own for short periods of time. By the end of six months, most babies can hold their heads up and can roll over from their back to their stomach.
With all these new skills developing, it is important to provide plenty of opportunities for your little one to explore. For example, colourful toys and interesting sounds will help stimulate his senses, while soft blocks or balls are great for helping him practise his new motor skills.
7 to 9 months old
During the seventh to ninth months, your baby will continue growing and developing at an amazing rate. He will likely be able to sit up on his own and may even be able to pull himself up to a standing position. Some may take a few steps by themselves as early as nine months, but most need the support of someone or furniture to get around.
As he becomes more mobile, he will explore his surroundings more. Don’t be surprised if your child starts to walk!
During this time, your baby is also developing his fine motor skills and may be able to grab and hold onto objects as well as start putting everything he can get his hands on into his mouth. Your little one will also show more interest in toys and can play “peek-a-boo” or other simple games.
Speech-wise, your baby will begin to babble, make cooing sounds, and may even start to say simple words like “mama” or “dada”.
10 months to 1 year old
Between 10 and 12 months, babies are beginning to develop a sense of self and are becoming more aware of the world around them. You may notice your baby responding to his own name and beginning to show a preference for certain people or toys.
As his communication skills develop, your child will also begin to understand basic words, phrases, and simple commands, such as “no” or “come here”. Babies at this age love to imitate the sounds and people around them. So, if you wave bye-bye or clap your hands, chances are your baby will try to do it too!
By the end of this stage, your little one is not so little anymore, going well on his way to becoming a curious, active toddler.
1 to 3 years old
Congratulations, your baby is now officially a tot!
Toddlers will begin to test out their new abilities by engaging in exploratory behaviour and will likely be very curious about everything around them. From one to two years old, toddlers learn how to run and jump. They also start using more words and begin testing limits.
From two to three years old, toddlers will continue developing their language skills and become more proficient in using two-word sentences. They also become better at problem-solving and begin playing make-believe games.
During this time, it is important to provide junior with opportunities to explore his environment while supervising him to prevent accidents. You may wish to consider getting kids’ insurance, such as a Personal Accident (PA) insurance for your active tot. PA insurance covers any hospitalisation and outpatient medical expenses caused by accidents. Many also protect against common infectious diseases, such as Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD) and Dengue.
Celebrate and cherish each unique, precious milestone
The first year is often the age where your child develops the most, so be sure to enjoy watching your little one grow and change every day!
However, it is important not to compare your child to other children his age. Every baby is different and will develop at his own pace. Not everyone will reach each stage at the same age and there is a great deal of individual variation in terms of developmental timing. It is important to keep in mind that these are just general guidelines – if you have any concerns about your child’s development, be sure to speak with your paediatrician.
Your little one is on track so long as he is meeting the milestones for his stage of development. As a parent, the best you can do for junior is to provide a safe and supportive environment so he can grow up happily and healthily.
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