Your Baby's First Year Developmental Milestones
All mothers look forward to the first time when their babies do something significant in their development, like saying their first words or standing against the wall on their own. As we should all know, however, all babies are different and they will do these things at their own pace. While your neighbor's baby may say their first ‘Dada!’ at six months, yours may do it at twelve or even earlier. Here are some of the developmental milestones you should watch out for in the first year of your baby's life:
THE FIRST LAUGH
This is a very precious moment to the whole family. It's nice to hear the baby use their vocal cords for something else rather than crying. The baby's first laugh or smile usually comes within the first year. They may start smiling at you or at other things that capture their attention before they start laughing. To help the baby attain this milestone earlier, you could start reading to them and talking to them more often.
FOCUSING AND TRACKING OBJECTS
When the baby is born, their eyesight is usually limited to a few inches above their faces. They can only see your face if it is very close to theirs. With time, however, their focus sharpens and they start seeing things that are further away. When they are able to focus on objects away from them, they start tracking the movements so that you can notice them moving their eyes and head with the movement of the objects. For example, if you enter their room they can see your face before you get any closer and they may keep their gaze these so that they eyes move towards the direction you are moving to.
THE FIRM GRASP
At about four months, you may notice that your baby develops more interest in the objects surrounding them. This shows that their curiosity is developing with the improvement in their eyesight. Babies are usually more interested in moving things around them and shiny objects. They may grasp toys or fingers and bring them closer for more examination.
At about six months, the baby starts gaining control of their back and neck muscles. They will exercise them by rolling over on their own. If you leave them lying on their back, you may come back to find them on their tummy. You should, however, not leave them alone for too long as struggling too hard can negatively impact their development.
The baby will be on the go at the ninth month. They will learn how to get up on all fours and make their tedious journey across the incredibly wide bed or cot. Sometimes, however, the baby may prefer to scoot with their bottoms, wriggle their bodies or use their legs and hands to drag themselves to the preferred destination. This is normal. Crawling is not even an essential milestone so do not panic if your baby is still content with sitting still at the ninth month.
Conclusively, there is no need to panic if you feel that your baby's development is delayed. Some are late starters and do just fine. If, however, there are some serious concerns, do not hesitate to pay the doctor a visit