5 Memorable Developmental Milestones During Your Child’s First Year of Life
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The statement ‘Time flies’ has never been truer than during a child’s first year of life. There are so many things that happen and so many wow-inducing milestones to look forward to. As children develop very quickly during those first 12 months.
A child who can’t control his limb movements may be able to bang things together and make some music after a year. The adorable cooing sounds at the beginning may become coherent jabbering by the time they hit one. They may even learn to say ‘dada’ or ‘mama.’
Some of the milestones are cognitive, including learning words and solving simple problems. While others are physical, including crawling and walking. It is, however, important to note that not all children develop at the same pace, and some reach these milestones faster than others. The following are some of the most memorable milestones of the first year:
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Sleeping through the night
The first few weeks with a baby in the house can be exhausting for everyone involved. While newborns need up to 17 hours of sleep every day, they may sleep anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours at a time. They cannot tell the difference between day and night, and they are known to keep their parents awake for long stretches of time. This is also because they need to feed several times a day.
Fortunately, this is a very temporary situation, as, by the time the child is three months, he’ll probably sleep through the night and several times during the day. By the time he is six months old, he’ll probably sleep for ten whole hours during the night, and take about two naps during the day.
For most parents, their child’s laughter is music to their ears. As a child develops his eyesight, he will start making eye contact and studying his caregiver. At this time, he may flash a gummy smile. At around two or three months, he may start cooing and gurgling, and he may laugh heartily when you play with him. He also starts squealing at around the same time.
This can be a very stressful time for both the caregiver and the baby. However, parents can look forward to a brighter smile as those pearly whites begin to appear. Even before birth, a child’s teeth buds usually appear under the gums. However, the teething timeline ranges widely among children, with some getting teeth when they are as young as three months, while others get their first tooth after their first birthday. On average, children get their first teeth between four and seven months.
The first teeth to make an entrance are often the lower central incisors or the two middle teeth on the bottom gum. These two teeth usually appear around the same time. The first sign that your child is teething including red and swollen gums, drooling, and irritability. To help relieve the pain of teething, you can give your child something clean to chew on or massage his gums gently with a clean finger.
Teething is one of those milestones that happen over several years, and it will be some time before your child’s gummy grin becomes a mouth full of teeth. However, as soon as the first tooth starts to appear, it is up to you to clean it. Use a baby-sized toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste. You can increase the amount of toothpaste to pea size when the child reaches the two-year mark.
This is usually one of the most anticipated events in a child’s life. Most parents walk around with a camera trying to capture a child’s first steps. However, the path to walking starts long before those first few steps. There are a lot of stages a child has to go through from birth to develop the upper and lower body muscles necessary for walking.
From birth to two months, children develop what is known as a step reflex. This means that they’ll move their legs as if they’re walking when held in a standing position on hard surfaces. At around three or four months, children start during mini-push ups during tummy time. Parents will notice that the child lifts his chest and head slightly, and supports himself with his arms. This is crucial to developing upper body strength.
Plenty of tummy time helps babies develop the neck, leg, back, and arm muscles required to twist their torso and roll over. This explains why plumper tots have a harder time rolling over. Some babies may do it once or for a few weeks and stop.
If your baby stopped rolling over, do not fret, as this is perfectly normal. Your child may start bouncing up and down when held in a standing position at around five months, and he may learn to sit by the time he is six months old. Sitting helps them develop their head and neck muscles, as well as coordination and balance.
The next step may be crawling, though some kids skip this milestone altogether. Other kids look for more inventive ways to move around, including scooting or rolling.
At around nine months, your child may start cruising, which involves moving while holding on to furniture. At this time, you may notice your child practicing deep knee bends while holding on to sturdy furniture. These bends make it easier for a child to sit after standing. He may begin to stand unsupported or walk while holding your hand.
At this point, get your camera out, as walking independently is just around the corner. The first few steps are usually very awkward, and the child may keep his arms outstretched to help him maintain balance.
At birth, most children communicate by crying. By around three months, the child cries differently in various situations, making it easier for the caregiver to distinguish between hunger cries and sleep cries. At around five months, the child may start babbling and practicing intonation.
At around eight months, the babbling becomes more diverse, and they may start to imitate your speech with short phrases such as ‘dee-dah’ or ‘bah-bah.’ They may even have pretend conversations with you and take turns talking to you. By around one year, your little one may say his first word, and may even know one or more words.
It is important to note that what is considered the ‘normal age’ for developing any of these milestones varies widely. Some kids hit these stages quite early, while others take a bit longer. Regardless of when your child meets these milestones, you can be sure that the moment will be memorable.
Read Next: For a complete review of Milestones 0-12 months
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