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Baby Development: The First Year

Your child will grow up right in front of your eyes, and no phase of growth will go quicker than the first year. There’s a lot for your baby to accomplish in twelve short months, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a race. Your baby will develop at their own pace, and there’s a wide range of time for when it’s “normal” for your baby to do certain things.

One to Three Months

Your baby will be all smiles! At first they’ll just be smiling to themselves, but soon they’ll smile back at you. When they are laying on their tummy, they’ll start trying to lift their head and chest up to see everything. You’ll also notice that their eyes can track objects easier, and you’ll see crossed eyes less. They’ll begin gripping things in their hands, although they won’t be able to manipulate them. They’ll reach for things too, but they may not be able to grab them yet.

Four to Six Months

During this stage they’ll gain control of what they are grabbing (watch out for your hair!). They’ll learn how to use their voice too! They’ll babble incoherently a lot—testing their voice out to see what it can do. Rolling over is common during this phase. Typically they’ll master the front-to-back roll first, and then both directions. They’ll start sitting up (with your support) and should have much better control of their head. You can expect some adorable laughter from this phase as well!

Seven to Nine Months

Your baby will be certifiably on-the-go from now on, so make sure everything is baby proofed. After they learn that they can get places by rolling, they’ll start piecing together how to move forward and backward, and then there’s no stopping them. Crawling is not far behind, although some babies skip crawling entirely, and go straight from scooting to walking. They’ll be able to sit up on their own, and they’ll recognize familiar words and respond to them, like their name or “no.”

Ten to Twelve Months

Your baby isn’t really a baby anymore—they’re a little toddler! They will start feeding themselves, because they’ll be able to pinch small things like cereal or crackers. After they have learned to pull themselves up, they will be able to “cruise” around a room while holding onto furniture. “Mama” and “Dada” will become your specific names, and not just words they can say. Your baby will learn to “pretend play” by copying you or using objects correctly, like talking on a pretend phone. Their first steps could happen in this phase, but the range for this milestone varies greatly. They could start walking anytime between nine and eighteen months.

Trust your instincts—you know your child better than anyone, and if you feel like something’s wrong with your baby’s development, call your doctor. And if you have more questions about what to expect, contact Regional Medical Center today!