Benchmarking Your Baby’s First Year

A smiling baby lying in a soft crib.

 

The first year of your baby’s life is one of the most exciting times you’ll experience. This is the time when your child develops skills at a rate faster than any other time. It’s filled with “firsts” like first word, first step and first food. But with all the excitement, how can you be sure your little one is progressing on time?

Here you’ll find the benchmarks regarding your newborn’s development. These are simply guidelines for when to watch for your baby’s next experience. Since each child is different, there’s no need to worry if your child advances faster or slower than what’s presented here.

The First Three Months

In this timespan, your baby experiences rapid growth and begin to exhibit awareness self and of others. Your baby should:

  • Smile socially and at the sound of your voice.
  • Study your face intently.
  • Begin to discover his/her voice by cooing.
  • Respond to soothing touches and textures.

Three to Six Months

This is when your child makes advances with physical abilities and skills. They should also progress with recognition and external stimuli. Some of this includes:

  • The baby should recognize and be happy to see you.
  • Showing interest in sights and sound.
  • Babbling and other random mouth noises.
  • Lifting his/her chest and head off the floor.
  • Gauging how far away an item is.
  • Eating baby food.
  • Sitting up with support or possibly without support.

Six to Nine Months

Here you’ll notice advances in the child’s mobility, hearing, and eyesight. Watch for these benchmarks:

  • Crawling.
  • Near adult eyesight.
  • Recognition of words and phrases.
  • Rolling over back to front and back again.
  • Responding to his/her name.
  • Facial expressions.

Nine to Twelve Months

One of the most exciting time frames of your toddler’s life. Within this time frame your baby will:

  • Point at and reach for items.
  • Wave.
  • Speak single words aside from “mama” and “dada”.
  • Stand up without assistance.
  • Cruise furniture or possibly walk.

With the proper guidance, your little one should develop on par with these benchmarks. However, there are sometimes factors that may affect when your child reaches a particular benchmark. Some of these factors include autism, diminished sensory input or physical or mental defects.

Should progression be a little behind, you have nothing to worry about. However, if your child misses a benchmark by a significant amount, you’ll want to contact your family doctor.


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