It may seem that the sweet-smelling bundle of cuteness in your arms will take forever to grow up. However, trust us, people! Time flies so quickly! From every coo, cuddle or smile to holding up their head and rolling over, your baby will reach development milestones every week.
To savour all the precious moments, you can encourage your little one’s motor, social, language and cognitive milestones with many different activities and challenges.
Your baby learns most things through the everyday routine and things that you do together. So, a healthy relationship with your baby lays the foundation of your baby’s development as well as skills for later in life. Keep reading to find out more:
Gross motor skills
Gross motor skills are skills that involve the whole body – your core muscles (legs, arms, trunk and neck):
- 1 month: Make jerky movements with their arms and legs. Their head also bounces when held upright.
- 2 months: They can lift their head for a few seconds when placed on their tummy.
- 3 months: Elevate head up to 2-3 inches off the surface. They can also push up a little with forearms when placed on the tummy.
- 4 months: Your little tot can now straighten legs when feet touch a flat surface. Also, lifts the head and chest off the surface while looking forward during tummy time.
- 5 months: This is the month to be super vigilant because your baby may start to roll from tummy to back.
- 6 months: May sits for few seconds without support and rolls from back to tummy.
Fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are those skills that involve the small muscles of a baby (hands and fingers).
- 1 month: They will have a closed fist most of the time.
- 2 months: They may hold a rattle for few seconds when placed in their hand.
- 3 months: They reach toward faces and objects when held near.
- 4 months: Can reach out and grasp a rattle and plays with it.
- 5 months: Use their whole hand to grasp a toy and entertains himself by playing with hands and feet
- 6 months: Puts object in mouth and pass a toy from one hand to another.
Cognitive skills are those skills that help your child to think, learn, understand, remember and problem solve.
- 1 month: They can see black-and-white patterns and looks at people’s faces. They also move their head towards the light.
- 2 months: Awakening hours stretch a bit and they can smile responsively
- 3 months: They start to feel all objects with hands and mouth. Also, responds towards sounds and passes smile to familiar faces.
- 4 months: This is the month to hear your happy chirp’s adorable laughing sounds. You’ll also hear their coo’s and aaah’s occasionally.
- 5 months: Recognizes familiar faces and shows anxiety towards strangers. They also turn towards new sounds.
- 6 months: Can reach for their toys and holds them tight in their hand. They can also imitate few sounds and blows bubbles.
Remember, your baby will go through incredible physical changes in a short time. So, expect the following in terms of growth and development during the first six months.
- 1 month: Their head flops if not supported. Also, their hand, arm, leg, and rooting movements are all reflex motions.
- 2 months: Their hands start to unfold and they can lift their head about 45 degrees while lying on the tummy for few seconds. Their muscles also relax a bit and twitch less.
- 3 months: They discover their feet and hand. Also, they can hold head up to search for sounds and movement.
- 4 months: They cuts the first tooth (4th to 6th month or later) and lifts the head about 90 degrees.
- 5 months: Some babies may wiggle forward on the floor during tummy time and they easily start to grab their toes and feet.
- 6 months: Sit’s up with straight back and can hold up their head steadily. They can also bear most of their weight when held upright and may even bounce occasionally.
Solids and teething
Now that we have understood the major developmental milestones of a 0-6 months baby, it’s time to have some concluding thoughts on teething and solids. Remember, every baby is different! So, don’t compare yours with others for your own sanity. Your little one can cut the first tooth as early as 4 months and as late as 12 months as well. Don’t panic! It’s absolutely normal for babies to reach their milestones at their own pace. Also, for starting solids the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that your child can start on solids between 4 and 6 months. However, the answer really depends on your baby. You need to look for the following signs in your baby and you are good to go!
- They can hold up their head.
- They are curious about what you’re eating.
- They lost the tongue-thrust reflex.
- They get hungry after getting a full day’s portion of milk i.e. eight to 10 breastfeeding sessions or about 32 ounces of formula milk.
Some words to ponder!
Always remember! These milestones are a general guide and each baby reaches their milestones at their own pace. So, don’t stress out yourself. If your baby hasn’t reached a milestone according to the above timeline, it certainly doesn’t mean something is wrong. However, if you have any concerns, speak to your pediatrician.
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