Babies - Infant Development

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Infant Development

If you’re a new parent, you’ll agree that baby watching is a fascinating experience! The dramatic changes that mark your baby's development in the first year of life are called milestones. Infants nurtured in a warm and loving environment typically cross these stages within 12 months. 

First month: By this time a baby will develop strong reflex movements, lift and move her head, move her arms, and respond to familiar voices and sounds. She may respond to noises and blink at bright lights.

Second month: Look out for baby talk! She’ll make sounds like “ooh” or “aah”, smile and follow objects with her eyes.

Third month: A baby can now lift her head up a bit, raise her chest and head when lying on her tummy, open and shut her hands, imitate sounds, and recognize people and familiar objects. She may kick her legs energetically.

Fourth month: Your baby might begin to roll over and sit with support. She’ll amuse herself with babbles, communicate feelings of discomfort, loneliness, fear and pain. Watch out – she’ll explore different objects with her mouth! She’ll also respond to colours and to a bell or rattle.

Fifth month: Teething may begin now and cause some discomfort. She might also begin to experiment with concepts of cause and effect. She can see across a room and use her hands to drag objects closer to her.

Sixth month: Baby talk now progresses to two-syllabic sounds. She’ll copy facial expressions. Her fingers are strong enough to grasp a bottle. She’ll roll over, grab things and sit up with minimal support.

Seventh month: Your baby’s getting smarter! She can differentiate between emotions by the way you speak, and may also imitate sounds. She can eat some finger foods by herself.

Eighth month: Your baby turns her head away when she has finished eating. She might reach out for the plate or bowl when she is being fed. She might also chew on objects, do a complete roll, sit without support, get into a crawling position, babble excitedly and respond to her name.

Ninth month: She can recognize herself in the mirror and reach for her toys.

Tenth month: She begins to stand with help, and can get upset when her toys are taken away.

Eleventh month: She’ll begin to wave at you when you leave for work, clap her hands and understand the meaning of “no”. She’ll say “mama” and “dada” – for parents, a deeply emotional moment!

Twelfth month: Your baby’s birth weight would have tripled. She understands simple commands, crawls well and can take steps with help. She becomes fearful of strangers.

Every child grows at his or her own pace. A delay in one area does not mean that there is some problem with the child. Some babies learn to speak more quickly, while others may learn to sit and stand earlier. Infants who were born premature or had health problems at birth, might develop at a slower pace.
Enjoy your baby and keep a baby book to note down the milestones. It’ll make for interesting reading when she becomes a teenager!

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