Baby Development Milestones in the 1st Year
Baby development milestones are when your baby starts showing various skills such as smiling, waving bye, or standing unsupported briefly. These milestones are what most children can do at a certain age. A baby's brain develops at a speedy rate, and these milestones are an indication to paediatricians and parents that the baby is developing fine motor skills and social skills within the growth spurt.
It is also important to understand that not all babies are the same. While most babies are able to achieve said milestones at roughly the same age, it should be mentioned that there is a wide range of normal. If your 10-month-old baby is crawling and your neighbors 10-month-old baby is already walking, that is normal. Babies may have slightly different development trajectories from each other, and milestones are only a rough guideline of what to expect. Studies have also found that girls are sometimes quicker in reaching these milestones than boys, but the differences are not so vast. Babies that are born prematurely or babies that have other health issues or congenital disorders may also take more time to reach these milestones
In the first year, babies learn to focus their vision, explore the surroundings and reach out for things that are around them. A child also develops cognitive skills, which means the development of memory and processing, language, thinking and reasoning.
In summary, the first-year developmental milestones include:
- Standing briefly unsupported, walking a step or two, cruising.
- There will be a lot of exploring of objects, by banging, throwing and dropping them.
- Language development, trying to say a few words such as bye, hi, yes and no. However, making certain noises is not language development.
- Trying to use objects correctly, such as trying to hold a spoon while eating or a brush while combing hair.
- Understanding what you say, like looking at the cat when you ask "where is the cat"?. They will also show independence in familiar surroundings.
As a parent, there are some positive parenting tips that you can follow to support your child during this period.
- Talking to your baby is important, the sound of your voice is calming and reassuring. It is also a great way to help the baby understand and learn language/s.
- Help baby complete their words, add words of your own, this will again help them with their language development skills.
- Read to your baby, it is important in understanding and learning sounds and languages.
- Playing music and singing to baby helps development of the brain.
- Play with your baby as much as possible, interaction with your child is important, this shows the baby that your affection and attention is on her.
- Spend time with your baby, give them a lot of cuddles and hugs.
All these is a way of helping the baby during their development, create a safe environment for the baby to explore their development during this stage.
Along this period, your baby's pediatrician will keep track of all these developments to make sure your baby is healthy. If they feel like they need to intervene with tests and screenings, they will let you know. Above all trust your judgment, you know your baby better than anyone. Speak up and talk to a professional if you think there is any need to.