Infant Development Milestones Summarized

Infant Development Milestones

Infant development milestones are often described as the 'Ages and Stages' of babies.

That is to say that most stages or milestones in a baby's development can be expected to be reached at about a certain age. However they can be a cause of unnecessary worry if you interpret them too rigidly.

Note that word 'about'.

Just as some healthy babies are born full term and weighing 5 lb 8 ounces and others weigh in at 10 lbs. So, there are differences. 

The important thing is that infant development should fall within normal "tolerances". That simply means, there are limits within which development is still "normal".

Let's look at what this means...

I recently spent a while in awaiting room along with a father and his one year old twins. The girl was very slightly built and was easily able to pull herself up on the furniture and then take one or two steps to reach her father's out stretched arms. She had first stood some weeks earlier.

Her brother, a smiling cherub was altogether much heavier and not yet able to stand. He was happily fitting things into a box and then tipping them out, laughing the meantime. When one of his bricks got out of reach he simply rolled over until he could reach it.  Both children, though very different, were perfectly normal and I heard that just two weeks later he stood for the first time.

Click here for more details about infant development milestones and ideas to do with your baby a each stage

Last weekend my husband and I were invited to a 2nd birthday party. The cute little boy is small and petite. And he only recently started walking. When watching him walk around and play with his toys, everything looks normal. His parents would not necessarily be concerned by just watching his activities.

But, as soon as his friends joined him at the party table the differences between the party boy and his friends were obvious... even to the uninformed. 90% Of all babies can walk on their own at 14 months. This boy only did that at 22 months. Obviously his friends' mobility were far superior.

But learning to walk at this late age is in itself not a problem. However, it should definitely trigger closer scrutiny of the rest of his development such as speech, motor, social and cognitive developments. As it turned out, his parents already confirmed delayed development in other areas too.

A great advantage of infant development milestones is therefore to measure progress against other "normal" children. And of course, then to take corrective action should it be necessary.

Infant Development Milestones Summarized

In the first month baby will learn to control his head and will turn towards familiar sounds so if you repeat his name he will come to recognize that you are talking or singing to him.
By two month she is smiling in response to the smiles of others. H e makes sounds other than just crying. In the next few months your baby will try out many sounds and then gradually pick out those that are in the language spoken around him.

By three months or there about baby is grabbing out for things that interest him. I f you lie him on his tummy he will be able to lift up his head and shoulders and look around. He will babble away to amuse himself, but will also respond to the speech of others. He expresses himself by this age in various ways - anger, distress and fear as well as smiles and giggles. Everything is explored with his mouth - part of nature's way of humans differentiating between what is good and not so good to eat.

By the time another few weeks have gone by the baby can not only see right across a room, but can focus and be interested in tiny objects near by. infant development milestones

At six months or seven a big step in independence is reached as many babies manage to hold a bottle and eat their first finger food. By now he probably has one or two teeth, can perhaps sit independently, though sometimes this takes until about 9 months. Baby will smile at himself in a mirror.

By the 8th month almost all babies can roll right over. This is a skill that can come much earlier so don't leave even the smallest baby on a surface such as a changing table or bed even for a moment -one minute they can't do it, and the next they've done it. This also the stage when baby can get anxious if his chief care giver is absent.

This is not the best time to introduce a baby sitter - either do it earlier or wait a while.

By ten months a child understands that something still exists if he can't see it. Play games such as putting teddy under a blanket while baby is looking and let him find it. Many children will pull themselves up while holding on to someone. They can also say a few words such as 'DaDa' and understand when someone says 'No'.

In a few more weeks they will be saying 'No' for themselves.  Children at this stage are taking in many new experiences every day - perhaps too many for them on some occasions and they can be quite wary of strangers at this age.

 A Practical Development Rule of Thumb

A very rough development rule of thumb often being used is this: Walk at one, Talk at two

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