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Development Milestones to Look for During Your Baby's First Year

From the moment they exit the womb, babies grow at a dizzying rate until they reach adulthood, but the milestones they should meet during the first year of development are among the most important. This phase of development sets the stage for your baby’s future, so it’s important to monitor your child closely to ensure they have the best start in life.

At Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy, our team specializes in helping children in Charlotte, North Carolina, reach critical milestones in their development through a wide range of therapy techniques. And the earlier we can intervene, the better. That’s why it’s important that we pay close attention in the first year because your baby is unable to communicate problems.

To give you an idea about where your child should be on the developmental timeline in the first year, here’s a look at some of the milestones by quarter.

Months one to three

Don’t expect much from your newborn as they adjust to life outside the womb, but you should notice your child begin to lift and turn their head. They should also have strong grasp reflex, attaching to your fingers, for example, and they should pay attention to you when you speak. And, yes, they should cry with displeasure.

In the second month, your child should exhibit more command of their head and they should start to follow objects and noises more closely. You may also start to see the signs of a smile at this point.

In the third month, your baby’s grasp reflex (clenching) should dissipate as they intentionally hold onto objects. Your baby should be able to follow, and respond to, your voice and begin to recognize familiar faces. Body-wise, your baby may start to use their forearms and bear some weight on their little legs when you hold them.

Months four to six

During this time, your baby should start to experiment with hand-eye coordination, and they may roll a little bit more. Generally, rolling starts from their back to their side and eventually goes from their stomach to their back.

Your baby should also start grabbing their toes, and they begin to exhibit more control over their head position. Also during this time, the first teeth begin to appear, and your baby may place more objects in their mouth as a result.

And the best part for a parent? You may start hearing your child’s first one-syllable words during this time.

Months seven to nine

As muscles strengthen, your baby should be able to sit unaided and bear more weight on their feet. This may also be the time when they pull themselves up and stand and, by month nine, attempt crawling.

Your baby should also display more comprehension about getting objects that aren’t within reach and transferring them from one hand to another. Your child should be able to both grasp objects and release them.

And your child may develop strong likes and dislikes during this time — diaper changes are no fun, but a colorful toy is desirable.

Months 10-12

This period is when your child begins to gain mobility in earnest. They should also play with speech, repeating words or putting syllables together, and they begin to better associate words with objects. Your child should understand commands (even though they may not obey them!), and they may start to object more when there’s something they don’t like.

There’s so much more that happens during your child’s first year, but this is a great place to start. If you’re concerned that your child may not be developing normally, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (704) 912-1011 to schedule a consultation.

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