Watching your baby’s milestones is rewarding. There’s nothing like seeing your baby’s first smile and hearing their first “coo”. Knowing the stages of development can help you watch your little one’s growth to make sure they are on the right track. It’s important to remember that a baby will develop at their own pace, but the following is a general guideline to follow.
0-3 Months - Rapid Growth, Tummy Time, and Bonding
You will notice a huge growth in your baby during the 0-3 month stretch. That precious cooing will happen around two months. Not long after cooing will be your baby’s first smile and giggle - and it can be contagious! - which can happen during this milestone phase, usually closer to 2-3 months. If your baby doesn’t giggle by three months, he may start around four months - It’s nothing to worry about.
Baby benefits from a massive vision change from the time he was born to the 3 month mark. From seeing only an arm’s reach away to recognizing faces across a room by the end of 3 months - what a difference.
Aside from the impressive vision change, you will notice your baby learning how to take on tummy time like a pro. Tummy time is vital to help build strength that your little one will need to take on future milestones. Starting when you bring your baby home from the hospital a few times each day will make a huge difference in how he will respond to tummy time.
Tip: Get down on the floor with your baby. It may help him enjoy it a little more plus it creates bonding time.
4-6 Months - Starting Solids and Teething
Your baby is about to go through some serious developmental changes during this stage. Most importantly, tummy time isn’t over yet. Even if your baby has rolled over, which he will master around this stage, he should still have tummy time to keep building his strength.
Teething is another big milestone that can happen around this time. You may notice your little one chewing on their hands. Their gums may even be a bit swollen. Using a wet, cold washcloth on your little one’s gums is ideal or a teething toy that doesn’t have gel in it.
Another large developmental milestone is starting solid food. There is a bit of controversy on this topic as to when solid food should begin. Some people claim that six months is the appropriate age, while others say between four and six months. The decision should be left to you and your child’s pediatrician. Only you and the pediatrician know what’s best for your little one - every baby is different and has different demands and needs.
7-9 Months - Babbling and Fine Motor Skills
If your baby hasn’t started crawling yet, keep a close eye on him and he will soon be getting up on those knees and taking an adventure around the house. Now is the time to stock up on baby safety items such as outlet covers, baby gates, and making sure everything is picked up from the floor. If you have a stand or bookcase that can easily be tipped over, it should be secured to the wall.
Your baby will watch everything you do - It’s how he learns - As you fold laundry, give him a piece of clothing to explore. This will help with his senses and fine motor skills.
Be sure to keep chatting to your baby every day because they are recongizing your voice more and more, as well as how you communicate. Your baby is learning all about communication during this stage. In fact, he may even reach his arms out wanting you to pick him up.
10-12 Months - Crawling, Walking, and Talking!
What an exciting time! Your baby’s First Birthday is approaching! Aside from planning their very first party, your baby is about to reach some major milestones during this stage. Your baby should be crawling by now and may even be walking. Now is the time to pick up everything they can get into and put in their mouth.
Walking and crawling is exciting, but just wait until you hear that first word come out of your child’s mouth. Will it be “mama”, “dada”, or something else? To keep your little one learning, read stories to him, sing songs, and describe the actions you make. Baby will be listening and will try to repeat certain sounds.
As parents, we want to embrace every milestone - but which one are you eagerly waiting for? Share with us which milestones your baby has already met. We can’t wait to hear about the development and growth of your baby.