Baby Development Milestones

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Now that your baby is born, you get to enjoy watching her reach several milestones over her first year of life. Baby development milestones include the big ones, such as walking for the first time and saying her first words, as well as smaller, but equally important ones, such as being able to lift her head on her own and recognizing who you are.


Making a Fist and Grasping

One of the first development milestones your baby should achieve is the ability to make his little hand into a fist. Soon after birth, if you place your finger or another object into his hand, his fingers will instinctively close around it. During the first two months of life, your baby’s will hold his hands in a fist. By the fourth month of life, many babies are able to pick up and hold larger objects, though their grip may be a bit shaky. Babies will also try to put things in their mouths once they are able to grab and hold them.

Lifting the Head

By the third month, many babies will be able to lift up their heads if you place them on their stomach during playtime. Usually the baby can also support his upper body with his forearms when lying on his tummy by the third month.

Recognition

Around the end of the first month, your baby should recognize you by the way you smell and your face. She may be able to recognize the sound of your voice at the end of the first month as well. Near the end of the third month, her eyesight should have developed enough that she can recognize you if you are across the room. Around 2 or 3 months, she may begin to smile when she recognizes your voice or face.

Rolling Over

Some babies are able to roll over from their stomach to back by the third month, but many develop the skill later, in the fourth, fifth or sixth month of life. Most babies are able to roll from their tummies to their backs and then to their tummies again by the seventh month.

Crawling and Other Modes of Transportation

Many babies begin to crawl around 6 months, though some may not crawl until 10 months and some may skip the process entirely, according to Baby Center. In lieu of crawling, a few babies may slither on their bellies or push themselves forward on their bottoms. In a few cases, a baby may simply start pulling himself up onto two legs and begin to walk by supporting himself. As long as your baby is getting around and figuring out ways to move himself using his limbs, you don’t have anything to worry about.

Language and Sounds

Around 3 months, your baby should begin to babble and make some sounds on her own. Around 7 months, she’ll have learned to make sounds to express how she feels and may begin to form consonant sounds, according to Healthy Children. Though some babies may say “mama” around 5 months, most should be able to say their first word by the end of the first year. You can help your baby learn to speak by talking to her and responding to any sounds she makes. Reading to your baby will also help her learn to speak. By 2 years of age, many babies should be able to form short sentences.

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