Get to know all the stages of your baby’s growth

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It takes your infant 12 months to go from a helpless newborn to an active toddler. Babies grow and change at an astounding pace, and every month brings new and exciting developments.

It is common for new parents to wonder what to expect next and how to know if their baby’s development is on target. Instead of focusing too much on developmental milestones, and get worried, it is important to remember that babies all develop at their own pace.

Some babies may say their first word at eight months, while others don’t talk until a little after the one-year mark. Walking may start anytime between 9 and 18 months.

The first developmental stage of the baby happens from the ages of one to three months. During this stage, your baby’s body and the brain are learning to live in the outside world. Between birth and three months, your baby may start to:

Smile, at first it might be just to herself or himself. But in three months, she’ll be smiling in response to your smiles and trying to get you to smile back at her

Raise her head and chest on her tummy

Track objects with her eyes and gradually decrease eye-crossing

Open and shut her hands and bring hands to her mouth

Grip objects in her hands

Take swipes at or reach for dangling objects, although she wouldn’t be able to get them yet

The second development stage takes place from four to six months, during these months babies are learning to reach out and manipulate the world around them. They’re mastering the use of those amazing tools, their hands. They are also discovering their voices. During this period, babies are most likely to:
Roll over from front to back or back to front. Front-to-back usually comes first

Babble, making sounds that can sound like a real language.

Laugh

Reach out for and grab objects (watch out for your hair), and manipulate toys and other objects with her hands.

Sit up with support and have great head control.

The third developmental stage of the baby takes place from seven to nine months. During this second half of the year, your child becomes a baby on the go. After learning that she can get something by rolling over, she will spend the next few months figuring how to move forward or backwards. This is the best time to baby proof the house. Common developments in your baby at this period include:

Crawling – This can include scooting (moving around on their bottom), “army crawling” (dragging his body on his tummy by arms and legs), as well as standard crawling on hands and knees. Some babies never crawl, they move directly from scooting to walking.

Sit without support.

Respond to familiar words like his or her name. He or she may also respond to “No” by briefly stopping and looking at you, and may start babbling “Mama” and “Dada

Clap and play games such as peekaboo.

Learn to pull up to a standing position.

The last development stage takes place from 10 to 12 months. This last stage in the baby’s first year is quite a transition. The baby isn’t an infant anymore, the baby now acts and looks more like a toddler. But he or she is still a baby in many ways. The baby learns to;

Feed – Babies at this developmental stage master the “pincer grasp“ — meaning they can hold small objects such as O-shaped cereal between their thumb and forefinger.

Cruise, or move around the room on their feet while holding onto the furniture.

Say one or two words, and “Mama” and “Dada” become a specific name for parents. The average is about three spoken words by the first birthday, but the range on this is enormous.

Point at objects she wants in order to get your attention.

Begin “pretend play” by copying you or using objects correctly, such as pretending to talk on the phone.

Take her first steps. This usually happens right around one year, but it can vary greatly.

If you think your baby isn’t meeting growth or development milestones, it is advisable to talk to a paediatrician.

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