Being a parent means willfully signing up for an emotional rollercoaster that lasts a lifetime. From the joy of hearing your baby’s first word to the dread of sending them off to college, there’s no shortage of moments that will spur varying emotions and feelings. It is common for parents to worry about their baby’s milestones, concrete skills that your child will come to learn. While there are general target ages when your child should be hitting these milestones, every child develops differently. Generally, toddlers will acquire skills at similar times, and these milestones are simply meant to help you track their growth. These include sleep milestones for babies, motor skill milestones, and language milestones. As a parent, you should know when your child should be acquiring certain skills, and how to encourage their healthy development. In this article, we’ll outline the three initial stages of childhood development, and the milestones that come with each one.First Month
The first month of your child’s life is an exciting one, both for them and for you. At this point in their life, most of their actions are reflexive. This means that their behavior and reactions to stimuli will largely be automatic and out of their control. As they grow older and their central nervous system matures, they’ll start putting more thought into their actions. By the end of their first month, your baby’s oral reflexes should be developed. This refers to their ability to suck and swallow when prompted. Their startle reflex should also be noticeable in their first month. This occurs when a loud noise is heard and they extend their legs and arms away from their body. A 1-month-old baby should be able to raise their head upwards when on their back, in addition to making tight fists with their hands.Third Month
By the time your baby is 3 months old, their motor skills, language skills, and emotional skills should be much more developed. While they may not have been very independent at first, your baby should be much more active and responsive at this stage in their life. In terms of their motor skills, a 3-month-old baby should be able to bring their hands to their mouth, track moving objects, support their head and upper body, and turn and face nearby stimuli. Your baby should begin making cooing noises around this time. You can also expect major sleep milestones for a baby at this age. One of the most fun milestones reached by 3-month-old babies is their ability to smile at familiar faces and enjoy playing with other people.
A lot will change in the first year of your baby’s life, which can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for you. By the time they’re one year old, their motor skills and language skills should be pretty far along. In addition to being much more mobile and responsive, your baby will learn “object permanence”, which is an important milestone in their development. The ability to recognize something exists even when it is not there. You will see this when they may begin to develop separation anxiety when a parent is not present , and may even begin referring to parents as “Mama” and “Dada.”
If you’re worried that your child isn’t hitting their developmental milestones on time, contact your pediatrician.
If you have any questions on your baby’s sleep or transitioning from swaddle, please feel free to call us at Baby Merlin Company.