Understanding Your Baby’s Growth and Development
Babies are constantly changing and growing. Knowing more about the typical patterns of your baby’s growth and development can help you connect with your baby and understand his or her behavior.
Your baby’s physical development involves many changes leading up to their first birthday. Here are just a few milestones to look out for:
- At 2-3 months: Your baby may be beginning to hold their head steady, grab objects and make cooing noises.
- At 4-5 months: Your baby should be able to roll over and follow objects with their eyes.
- At 6-7 months: Your baby should be able to sit with help or on their own. You may even notice them beginning to crawl.
- At 8-9 months: Your baby should be able to move from sitting to crawling and might even be able to pull themselves up to a standing position.
- At 10-11 months: Your baby can stand without help, cruize and begin to take a few steps.
Your baby’ cognitive and behavioral development occurs in gradual stages. Here are just a few milestones to look out for:
- At 2-3 months: Your baby may be able to focus on your face, turn toward voices and recognize familiar sounds and people.
- At 4-5 months: Your baby may be able to soothe themselves or be comforted by a familiar toy or voice.
- At 6-7 months: Your baby should understand simple instructions and be able to express their likes and dislikes through gestures or noises.
- At 8-9 months: Your baby should be able to recognize their own name and point to familiar objects.
- At 10-11 months: Your baby can follow commands, use simple words, and respond to their own name.
There are many ways to encourage your baby’s development. Playing games, such as peekaboo and pat-a-cake can help nurture subtle cognitive and physical skill development. Reading to your baby is also important, as it helps stimulate language development.
Your baby’s development is unique and some babies may be ahead or behind in certain areas. Monitoring your baby’s development and talking with your pediatrician is the best way to know if your baby is meeting age-specific milestones.
Knowing more about typical patterns of your baby’s growth and development can help you better understand and respond to your baby. Once your baby starts meeting these milestones, you’ll begin to experience even more of the joys of being a parent.