New parents are constantly watching their newborns and that constant scrutiny can be both good and bad especially when it comes to watching for certain baby milestones.
But basically all parents must remember that developmental milestones are different skills that babies develop at different paces and ages.
Milestones and development will always vary from one child to another. Please do not compare your baby to other babies like your neighbors, nephews and the like. Some babies can reach their milestones earlier than others. For some, it may occur much later than usual. Eventually though they will all catch up.
A typical milestone journey for an infant (0-12 months) is like this:
As they reach their 3 month mark as a baby. You can see them smile often and gradually smile back at you. Little by little they start making purposeful movements with their extremities.
By around 4 months, babies start to laugh during interaction. They start to actually reach for things.
At 5 months, babies can roll back from back to tummy and start working on sucking his thumb. The mouth becomes a tool for exploration so everything gets inserted his mouth.
At 6 months, you’ll see them actually sit down. By this time, your baby will crave attention and give him lots of it. Talk to him, describe and name familiar objects. You can even start reading books together and have some cuddle time.
At 6-9 months, babies will start to crawl. Some babies never crawl but some love to crawl. Make sure to childproof your home and keep your environment safe to explore. To encourage your little ones to crawl, place the toy farther than usual but remember not too far just a short distance where your baby can still reach for it.
At 12 months, some babies will start to try to walk. Some will just try to stand on their own and take a few steps. By this time, your babies hands are increasingly nimble. He can use his pincer grasp – thumb and finger to pick up objects. One way to practice grasping or fine motor skills is through high quality wooden grasping toys.
Again, mommies and daddies do remember that babies develop at different paces. Let us use this as guide to know if our child is on the right track and not use this as a tool to put pressure on ourselves.
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Teacher Raissa is a teacher by day and Crayola addict 24/7! She absolutely adores children and has been working (and playing!) with them for the last 9 years. She teaches math, is a homeroom adviser to adorable Preschoolers, and believes in learning through play.