8 Ways To Understand Important Milestones In Your Baby's Life

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As a new mother you are constantly wondering and worrying if your baby is developing well – physically, mentally and socially. Every baby reaches milestones differently, some babies learn to speak first, others to walk and some may do both.

It’s best to understand the broad timeline of these milestones and enjoy every new development. Be sure to capture these milestones in the form of pictures and videos to share with your child later in life.

Timing Of Various Baby Milestones Chart:

Your baby may focus on the physical development first (rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking) while others focus on social skills (eye contact, responding to sound, babbling, trying to talk). Sometimes your child might be a multi-tasker, managing to do both in tandem.

It’s a lot of work for your infant, learning all those new skills. Your baby’s brain develops the most during the first 12 months of life and his brain tends to absorb like a sponge. Be patient, and let your little one enjoy these ‘firsts.’

Different Milestones In Your Baby’s Life:

1. Smile:

Your baby may surprise you with a smile as early as the first week after birth.

  • Your baby truly learns to express her happiness anywhere between 1 to 3 months.
  • You will also experience giggles and bouts of laughter post the 3rd month.
  • Keep making funny noises and faces to encourage those smiles.

2. Holds Head Steady:

Supporting your baby’s head during the first few months of life is very important to let her neck muscles strengthen.

  • Let your baby have sufficient tummy time to strengthen neck muscles.
  • This will also help to relieve gas and is especially good for babies who are suffering from colic.
  • Babies generally reach this milestone between 2 to 6 months of age.

3. Rolling Over:

Let your baby have sufficient tummy time right from birth (usually after 7-10 days into life).

  • An important thing to remember here is that your baby needs to be under proper adult supervision at all times.
  • In the beginning your baby may resist tummy time and cry a lot, but ensure that you continue to put them on their tummy.
  • Start with 2 minutes initially and gradually increase the time.
  • Be sure to keep her entertained while she is on her tummy.
  • Dangle some toys and rattles up in the air to strengthen the neck muscle.
  • Your baby can start rolling over from as early as 3.5 months to 12 months.

4. Sitting Up:

Your baby may well be able to sit up with support from about 3-4 months. Most babies will start attempting to sit up on their own somewhere between 6 months to 13.5 months.

  • To motivate your baby to sit up by herself, you can sit behind her supporting her back.
  • Her lower-body control will develop as she keeps practicing this. Providing her the confidence to sit by herself.
  • She may not be able to sit for too long initially, but keep encouraging her.
  • She will soon be spending more time sitting!

5. Crawling:

Once your little one has mastered the art of sitting up by herself, it will soon be time to pick up a new skill – crawling.

  • Make sure you give your little one lots of space (preferably on the floor in order to avoid falls).
  • Surround her with her favorite toys and make sure you are around.
  • Keep fragile items, sharp objects and very small items, away from the area your little one is crawling.
  • Use edge and corner guards for your furniture to avoid your baby hitting herself on these.
  • Crawling can start as early as 6 months going up to 10 months.
  • Some babies tend to skip this stage of development and move directly to standing with support. So if your baby is not crawling, there is nothing to worry about.

6. Pulling Up:

This is where babies begin to pull on items and push themselves up.

  • Your baby may attempt doing this in the crib by pulling on to the railing or crawling and pulling on the sofa.
  • You will see these attempts once your baby has managed to sit up by himself anywhere between 6 months to 13.5 months.

7. Walking:

Looking forward to the first solo steps is magical both for your baby as well as you!

  • Once your baby has achieved all the above milestones, ensure you keep your camera ready to capture those first steps and first falls!
  • It takes a lot of courage and confidence for your baby to let go of the support she has been holding on to. She is now going to fall and get up again a million times.
  • After mastering to walk independently, she will soon be running around. Look out for this milestone from 10 months to 18 months!

8. Talking:

Your baby may start babbling as early as 4 to 5 months saying “yaaa” or “gagaaa”.

  • She may start saying ‘mama’ as early as 6 months too though she may not necessarily be addressing you.
  • She may address you as ‘mama’ and daddy as ‘dada’ anywhere between 7 months to 12 months.She may call you ‘dada’ at times too.
  • Encourage your baby to talk. Read out to her right from the beginning, talk to her about anything and everything, copy the sounds she makes, sing nursery rhymes.
  • The more words your baby hears the more her ability to talk develops.
  • If you are from a bilingual home, talk to your baby in both the languages.
  • Also, talking to your baby in multiple languages will help her hone her linguistic skills over the years.
  • This will not confuse her; in fact it will stimulate her brain development and make it easier for her to learn newer languages when she is older.
  • Between 12 to 18 months she would be using more words other than ‘mama’ ‘dada’ and start understanding a few others too.
  • Teach her new simple words every day and watch her make sentences soon.

Remember:

  • It is normal for babies to reach milestones later than usual, even as some babies reach certain milestones earlier than others. However, if you ever feel your baby is not reaching key milestones, share your concerns with the pediatrician.
  • These milestones are not indicators as to how your baby will turn out later in life. Just because your toddler learns to talk later does not mean he cannot become a good orator in life. Same holds true with other milestones.
  • Avoid comparing other baby’s achievements with your own and never force your baby to sit or stand. Babies are born with certain reflexes which go away and new reflexes come in. So forcing your baby to do certain things will not make him do it any faster.
  • Enjoy your baby’s development and remember to capture all those precious moments. Cherish every milestone of your baby. It’s a moment that will happen just once!

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Trupti Gupte Ram

Trupti brings a fresh parenting perspective with an eclectic mix of time tested traditional parenting methods and new modern outlook to raising a child. A passionate mother to a angelic baby girl , Trupti is keen on sharing her research , learning and curiosity with mothers who are venturing into a motherhood.
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