The 3 Most Important First Year Baby Development Areas

first year baby development

First year baby development and growth mark the greatest changes your child will ever experience throughout his or her life. You can do a lot to improve this development so that your child won’t lose that window of opportunity to thrive and develop into a promising toddler. 

There is a time and a place for everything and, in child development, nothing is closer to this truth.

To ensure the best for your child, there are 2 things you need to know

  1. First thing you need to know is at what age certain milestones or skills normally develop
  2. And then how to stimulate, encourage and increase development of those specific skills.

There are 4 main first year baby development areas that need specific attention and stimulation

Speech development

  • Read often to your child and choose books that are brightly colored and contain just one or two words to a page.

  • Say the word and then have your child point to the animal or object so they get the relationship.

  • As they get older, you can have them try to repeat the word.  Children of about one year old can often speak a few words and understand hundreds of words.  The more you talk to them, the more words they can understand by the time they reach a year of age.

  • Talk to your child about what you’re doing, what he or she is doing or what is going on around you so that he is engaged with the environment and learns many words and phrases. 

Gross motor skills

  • When they are about two to three months old, put them in a horizontal position (lying face down) and encourage your baby to roll over.  He will first begin to roll from front to back and then back to front.

  • Encourage them with toys they want to reach for and they will begin to creep towards the toy. 

  • Then encourage them to sit up by himself, crawl and finally to stand and walk along furniture.  Not every baby can walk by the time they are a year old but many can. Those that can’t usually are able to walk by the time they reach 14-15 months.

  • You can hold your child’s fingers while he or she tries to walk on his or her own so that they can become more confident in being able to be upright and ambulatory.

Most of the first year baby development skills develop automatically, but there are great techniques to encourage quicker development thereof.How to Get Your Baby Physically Superb gives quite a number of these useful tips and techniques you can use right now.

Another first year baby development area is that of…

Fine motor skills

  • You must stimulate and encourage your child’s small motor skills in the first year. 

  • This means teaching them to pick up small objects like Cheerios, peas or other small foods and feed themselves. It also means grasping toys like rattles and hanging toys and learning how to manipulate things with their fingers. 

  • Babies up to a year of age can grasp small objects after about two to three months of age, but unfortunately will usually put them in their mouths.

Make sure that all toys are big enough not to it into a toilet paper roll.  Anything smaller than that and a baby can choke on the item.  The exception is small foods like peas, Cheerios and other small food pieces.  Those can typically be munched and swallowed by the time your baby is 7-8 months of age. 

Apart from these main first year baby development areas, there are a few more skills your baby should also develop. Please see The PASTE rule for boosting infant development

Should you have any first year baby development questions of your own, feel free to post them by clicking here.