How Your Baby’s Motor Skills Develop In The First Year

The first year of your baby’s life is an amazing time of motor skill development. There are specific milestones that you can observe and encourage as your baby goes from a newborn baby to a 1 year-old.

As a newborn, your baby’s movements are mostly reflexes. He is responding to his environment is very specific ways. Their reflexes include sucking, grasping, rooting, startle, and tonic neck reflexes. Sucking and rooting help with breastfeeding; grasping is when an object is placed in your baby’s hand and he naturally grabs it; the startle reflex is usually a response to a loud noise or other surprising event; the “tonic neck” reflex is when your baby’s head is turned to one side and he automatically straightens the arm on that side while bending the other arm.

From ages 1 to 3 months, your baby will begin to get some limited control over his movements. He might begin to roll over. He will probably lift up his head while lying on his belly. He may prop himself up on his arms to look around. He will probably stretch and kick his legs in preparation for other movement. His vision is also improving, and he might follow an object with his eyes.

By the age of 4 to 7 month, your baby will likely be rolling over. He will be able to reach out for an object that he wants. He may be able to pass objects from one hand to the other hand. He will probably, by the end, be able to sit up. He will be able to hold his head and chest up while lying on his stomach. He may begin to crawl. He may be able to support his weight when held in a standing position.

The last four months of your baby’s first year will probably see a lot more movement. He will be able to push up onto all fours from lying on his stomach. He will be able to sit up. He will be standing, bouncing, and crawling. He will probably start to take small steps while holding on to something stable. He will be able to pick up small items, such as cereal.

Of course, every baby is different. Your child may develop faster or slower than others. If you are concerned that your child may be behind, contact your health care provider.


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