Sometimes we get so wrapped up in parenting and basic baby care that we forget to notice the development happening right before our eyes. Babies undergo amazing changes within the first two years of life: from a fist-waving, blurry-eyed, helpless infant to a talking, laughing, running toddler. Don’t miss out on a single stage of baby’s growth.
0 to 3 Months
From zero to three months, baby is beginning to notice the world around him and responding beyond those basic reflexes. He will start smiling in response to someone smiling at him. He may be cooing, gurgling, and making other happy baby sounds. He also will begin holding his head upright as his neck and torso muscles develop. By three months he may be reaching for objects and even grasping them, as he develops more hand-eye coordination.
3 to 6 Months
During this age period, baby will begin holding her head up for longer periods. She’ll gain the ability to lift her head off up while lying on her tummy, though perhaps not for very long. Many babies are sitting upright on their own by six months. Her communication abilities also develop as she learns to make new sounds; she’ll be squealing, blowing bubbles, and laughing. Mental growth continues, too, and she will be noticing more, differentiating between strangers and Mommy, and watching objects as they move in front of her.
6 to 12 Months
A lot happens in baby’s world from six to twelve months. He will definitely begin sitting upright on his own during this time, and will start scooting or crawling or some version of it. Baby is learning to use his stronger muscles and to coordinate his movements with the goals he can now develop; he may see an object across the room and scoot or crawl to it. He’ll soon begin standing up, at first tentatively, and often moving quickly to standing and squatting on his own. Most babies begin cruising around this time: walking while holding onto furniture and people for support. Baby’s communication really develops during this time as well. He is adding lots of vocabulary to the baby jabber. He might start saying dada and mama and adding other basic words in addition to the sounds he makes. He will be able to feed himself crackers and other finger foods and switch toys from one hand to another, pick up small objects, and show affection by cuddles and clinging.
12 to 24 Months
Many babies are walking by 12 months, but some take a little longer to gain the confidence and balance. From 12 to 24 months baby will perfect the Walking skills and quickly move into running. Soon she will add climbing, dancing, and kicking balls to her abilities. Her large motor skills are in full swing now. She also understands and communicates in a more detailed way. She can understand many words and follow simple commands; she is able to memorize with amazing ability, can identify objects, start asking simple questions, talking more, adding words daily, using utensils, and drawing. She may become shy of strangers, develop a strong attachment to a lovey such as a blanket or doll, or start trying to sing along with you.