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Important milestones for your baby in the first year!

Before checking, which milestones are appropriate for which age groups, it is very important to consider that all babies, children and adults develop differently, at their own pace. Some children will walk way before reaching the one-year mark; others will tick other boxes, but may only find the confidence to toddle at 18 months.

That being said, there are definitely rough guidelines that can give you an indication of what to expect in the first few years of your child’s life, and when you should be concerned that he or she isn’t developing well enough.

Milestones, also referred to as Developmental Milestones, are classified as either motor development, language development, or social/emotional development. There is a range of time when a specific developmental milestone can be expected to occur.

New-borns are fairly inactive, and for the first six weeks, babies tend to sleep for most of the day.

At around 7 to 8 weeks old, your baby will be more awake and perhaps even responsive to certain outside stimuli. From now until 12 weeks, parents will start to see the first real smile (that isn’t a wind). Also expect some kicking and arm flailing, and grabbing.

At the three-month mark, you are likely to notice your baby’s most significant growth spurt thus far. Your baby will also be able to observe a routine, and many parents start sleep training at this point.

By the four-month mark, parents are advised to start introducing the baby to solid food. Your baby’s stomach now needs a bit more than milk to stay full, and at this stage can digest certain fruits, porridges and other baby-specific snacks from the grocery store.

At 6 months old, you may not even recognise your huge, now independent little baby. This is the age where children start to sit up on their own. They are capable of short periods of independent play with colourful, educational baby toys. They react to their favourite songs and sounds and can recognise your voice!

Your 6-month-old can probably roll from his/her back to his/her stomach and vice versa, says Web MD. Some babies can propel themselves around the floor like this too.

By 7 months, most babies are sleeping six to eight hours at a stretch. The road ahead is getting easier, and you are more rested than you have been in a long time!

By 8 months, expect chaos! Now, your baby is strong enough to pull him/herself up against the furniture and move all around the room. Babies can now crawl, grab things off low counters and is probably exploring corners of the home that they have never seen before. Their motor skills and senses are starting to work as a team.

Between 9 months and a year, your baby will be fine-tuning all of the skills he/she had learned in the last few months, and soon he/she will be toddling up and down the passages! Be sure to baby proof your home. Toddlers are a whole different ball game.

The Child Mind Institute advises that parents alert their paediatricians if the baby displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay in the eight- to twelve-month age range.

 

– Cannot crawl

– Drags one side of body while crawling

– Cannot stand, even with extra support

– Does not search for objects that are hidden while he/she watches

– Has not yet spoken an audible word

– Does not learn to use gestures, such as waving or shaking his/her head

– Does not point to objects or pictures

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