Baby Development Milestones - what new parents can expect

Baby Development Milestones - what new parents can expect

Monitoring your child's development will be an important part of your parenting experience. From their first breath, they will start on an extraordinary journey of growth and development. The first few months will be an exhausting period of messy nappies, outfit changes, crying, sleep settling, feeding, and tantrum management. As your child grows from infancy to toddlerhood, there will be many developmental milestones that can serve as indicators of their physical, cognitive, and emotional growth.

First year of Typical baby milestones

Baby Tummy Time0-3 months

During the first few months of life, newborns often begin to lift their heads up and will use their arms to push themselves upwards while lying on their tummy.

They will make gurgling sounds and respond to noises and voices. Your heart will melt when they smile for the first time and giggle.

They will start tracking things and movement with their eyes within a distance of about 3.5 meters of their face. You may help your child's development by offering assistance, such as pillows for tummy time, and placing small baby-safe rattles in their hands to encourage the clutching reflex.

3-6 months

From 3 months old a lot of newborns begin to roll over from their tummy to back. Also, when held in a standing position they will enjoy pushing down on their legs.

They will begin to notice their baby toys and will be able to grasp and shake them with more control.

By 4-5 months, infants begin to show interest in the food you are eating, suggesting they're becoming ready for solid meals.

Baby sitting down

6-12 months

Your little one will now be able to sit up with minimal assistance or support. They will begin to recognise their own name and express themselves more emotionally.

Around six months of age, they will begin to improve their ability to reach for and grip objects with their hands independently. Which means now is an excellent time to ensure the house is completely baby proofed and that their surroundings are always safe. They will quickly learn to crawl and be on the move!

Once your child's grasping improves, you can teach them to feed themselves using a spoon and grasp an infant sippy cup with assistance.

You'll begin to hear them saying their first words like ma-ma or da-da and lots of babbling,

Demonstrating increased cognitive awareness by pointing, smiling and responding to expressions.

They will start to outgrow their infant toys and want to explore and practice new skills, you can start introducing some age-appropriate toys and activities that support their gross and fine motor development.

According to the Australian Dental Association, Baby teeth normally start to appear about 9 months of age; however, this may vary from 3 to 12 months. Teething will cause drooling, sore gums and make your child feel grumpy or restless. Teething toys, amber beads, and gels can offer relief and comfort when they are teething.

During this period, provide encouragement, support, and a safe environment to help your baby develop confidently.

Baby learning to walk

12 months

By the age of one, most babies will be crawling like a pro, pushing themselves up to stand, and taking their first wobbly steps.

Your child will undoubtedly be keeping you on your toes as they become more mobile. They will start reaching, exploring, and touching new things around the house that they were previously unable to reach.

As their vocabulary of words expands, you should expect to hear a lot more talking whilst they creatively play with toys being banged, thrown or dropped. You could create a safe play area

A one-year-old will begin to engage in simple problem-solving tasks such as puzzles and stacking blocks.

They may begin to mimic your movements, such as clapping, waving, or blowing kisses (cuteness overload).

You officially now have a toddler!

Don't forget to celebrate your child’s accomplishments and even keep track of them in an app or baby record book.

These developmental milestones are not only wonderful to see, but they also provide critical signs of your baby's overall well-being and health. You can offer a supportive and nurturing environment that encourages baby's growth at all stages. New parents can download an app in order to track their baby's development and milestones, such as The Wonder Weeks, Baby Connect, and BabySparks. These parenting apps are also useful for recording feeds, nappy changes, naps, moods, photographs, and a lot more.

Remember that every child develops at their own pace since they are all unique and will reach their milestones in their own time. If you have any concerns regarding your baby's growth, you should always speak with a healthcare practitioner or pediatrician for advice and support.

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