Babies are wonderful and amazing. Within a few hours they have figured out how to eat using their mouths, swallowing and sucking like a pro. They have given their lungs a great workout and they are breathing air instead of liquid. Many more changes occur over their first year or so of life and it can be hard to keep up with what your baby is supposed to do. Below is a quick-look guide to developmental stages seen for most babies’ first year.
1 to 3 Months
Babies who are a month old can usually lift their head briefly when they are lying on their stomachs. They will try to focus on faces and bright lights will make them blink. Because they have been focusing on your face, babies will begin to smile in response to a smile on your face as they turn two months. Noises become more interesting as well as they begin to make little oohs and aahs. At three months of age those oohs and aahs turns into laughs. Their body becomes more stable as they can hold their head up better when on their stomach and as you are holding them in your arms. Babies become more active as they can move their hands and legs more. It gets to be amazing as they start to recognize you as the most important person in their lives!
4 to 6 Months
Four-month-old babies are getting stronger all the time. They are putting weight on their legs as you hold their hands. They make lots of noise as they respond to your talking to them. It is really good for their development for you to talk to them no matter what you are doing. They don’t care what you are saying, just that you are paying attention to them and chatting. It will start to seem as if they are even laughing at your jokes as you laugh at yourself. Moving to five months you will see your wee one rolling over and as they do they will reach out for things and try to grasp at their toys, especially if they are placed in their hands. The big six month mark will herald the ability to sit up briefly and keep their heads quite steady. Your baby will become more and more interesting, especially to their daddy, as they begin to mimic your expressions and sounds.
7 to 9 Months
A seven-month-old baby should be able to sit up without much in the way of support. As they accomplish sitting up they will become more curious with their surroundings and begin to reach for toys that they see, even if the toy is out of reach. They are able to control themselves well enough to start to feed themselves small, soft foods. Life begins to get exciting as your eight-month-old begins to crawl! They are putting things in their mouths left and right so be especially careful to childproof your house and keep things picked up off the floor. Although they can begin to make sounds like mama and dada, they aren’t always consistently said to the right people. Eating becomes more of an adventure, as well, as they want to take the spoon and feed themselves more often. Watch out because before the end of their ninth month, most babies are beginning to pull themselves up to standing. Everything becomes a drum or other percussion instrument as they bang objects together and squeal with delight at the noises they can make.
10 to 12 Months
Between 10 and 12 months, your baby will start to take steps, initially using furniture to hold on to but some babies graduate quickly to taking steps on their own. My oldest walked on her own at 10 ½ months and my youngest walked at 13 months. There aren’t too many differences between them now so when a baby walks for the first time isn’t an indicator of much as they grow up. In fact, it was more fun that my younger baby took longer because she was interested in cuddling just a little bit longer than her go-getter big sister. During this transition from baby to toddler, babies become more dexterous as they can wave goodbye, clap their hands, and pick things up with what is termed the pincer grasp (thumb and finger together). Words become more and more understandable as the days go by so keep talking to your baby and reading to them as often as you can.