Within the first 12 months of life babies go through many developmental milestones. From grabbing at objects, to sitting up, to walking.
I find it so fascinating to watch babies grow and develop into tiny little humans with bold personalities. One minute they are itty bitty newborns, so new a fresh to this world, and within 12 months they are starting to talk, walk, and become their own person.
Infants go through many distinct developmental stages from birth to toddlerhood. This baby development guide will help you gain a better understanding of what you can expect during each of these developmental milestones.
Baby Development and Milestones
I would like to take the time here to note, each child develops at their own pace and there is a wide range for the norm. So don’t stress because your child is a bit behind in some areas. If you are concerned for your child please bring it up with your healthcare provider.
- starting to bring hands to face
- can focus on faces (cannot focus on objects more than 8-12 inches away)
- can lift head very briefly during tummy time.
During this time it is important to have your baby doing tummy time each day. This will help build and strengthen their neck muscles so they can learn to support their own head.
Black and white images are great for infant stimulation, helping their brain and eyesight develop. Usborne books have some really great black and white books for babies.
- Able to open and close hands
- Shake toys.
- Able to support their own head
- Starting to babble
- Uses hands to support themselves while sitting
- Rolls from tummy to back and visa-versa
- Reaches for toys
- Can transfer a toy from one hand to the other
- Bring hands and objects to their mouth
- Begins to use consonant sounds when babbling
You should speak to your doctor if:
- Has poor head control
- Doesn’t try to reach or grasp toys
- Cannot visually track objects
- Does not respond to sounds or voices
- Doesn’t smile or laugh
- Can sit without support
- Moves from tummy or back into a sitting position
- Looks at familiar objects and people when named
- Recognizes sound of their name
- Uses simple gestures
- Imitates sounds
- Increased variety of sounds
- Able to push through elbows when on tummy
- Pulls to stand up
- Can cruise around furniture
- Claps hands
- Responds to simple directions
- Says one or two words
- Produces long strings of crazy baby talk
- Points to objects they are interested in
- Able to throw balls and maintain balance
Babies also go through mental leaps during their development. I find that during these mental leaps my son went through periods of sleep regression and fussiness. So yay to mental leaps! Knowing when the leaps occur will help you better understand why your baby may be fussier and why they decided sleep is overrated.
5 weeks (changing Sensations)
- More interested in the world around them
- Becoming more alert
8 weeks (patterns)
- Able to create and recognize simple patterns in the world
During this time your baby is becoming even more alert and curious. For some you will notice your infant is starting to fight sleep. You can blame this on their new found curiosity.
12 weeks (smooth transitions)
- Movements start to become more smooth and coordinated
- They are starting to become more active and squirmier
15-19 weeks (events)
- Starting to learn cause and effect. (If I drop something mom/dad will come pick it up).
This time also comes with the 4 month sleep regression. YAY! Good luck, you’ll need it. But in all seriousness, this will pass soon enough. Tips to help through the sleep regression is come up with a routine that your baby can get used too. Example Bath, book, Boob (Bottle), bed. They will get used to this sequence of events and start to realize that bed time is approaching.
23-26 weeks (relationships)
- Separation anxiety
- Able to perceive distance
33-37 weeks (categories)
- Baby can realize things are grouped together
- More mobility (crawling, walking, etc. )
This is the time of the 8-10 month sleep regression. You can blame this on their new found mobility. They are not going to want to stop to sleep. FOMO much? (fear of missing out)
- Recognizes steps involved in simple tasks
- Routines are key at this stage
- Learns that there is more than one way to do something
- Has preferences (for example wants to wear blue socks instead of white).
- Separation anxiety usually returns
- Uses causes and effect to achieve goals
- Learns actions can have consequences (this is the time to set limits and boundaries)
72-76 weeks (systems)
- Understands larger systems
- Can change their behaviour to suit situations
There you have it folks a simple guide to your baby’s development and mental leaps. Leave a comment below with what stages you struggled most with or with what stage you are struggling with now.
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