For the first three years of life, your baby will achieve some of the most important milestones, as well as grow on a physical, mental and emotional level. While the first five years are the most crucial in terms of overall physical and brain development, the first three mark the main years of achieving all the milestones.
It is true that all babies are special and reach various developmental stages in their own pace. However, the right kind of care, attention and guidance can play a big role in reaching these milestones. Here is a look at some of the main milestones your baby will attain in the first year and how the right care can make a difference.
1. Exploring Hands
Your baby will start bringing the hand close to the face around the 1st month. This is also the time when your baby will start trying to make a fist and learn about closing and opening the fingers. All these small actions will be the first steps towards developing fine motor skills.
The Right Care Approach: Help your baby hold your small finger and try to make a grasp. The constant fingers opening and closing motions will help in developing fine motor skills.
2. Focusing On Faces
By the end of the 1st month and around the start of the 2nd month, your baby will try to focus more on faces, rather than on toys or other objects. It will help to clear and improve vision. This is the time when your baby will be able to distinguish more on shapes or objects that are black or white in colour, or have high contrasting shapes and colours.
The Right Care Approach: Show bright objects to your baby that have contrasting colours and lights. You can also start playing a simple game of peek-a-boo at this stage.
3. Holding Up The Head
Around the 2nd month, your baby will try to hold up the head with support and also try to move it from side to side. This is an important time as it will help your baby learn how to focus better. Your baby will also learn to take better control of movements from now and strengthen the body overall.
The Right Care Approach: Let your baby have some minutes of tummy time each day, as it will help to strengthen the muscles and joints and assist your baby in trying to hold up the head better.
4. Distinguishing Sounds And Voices
By the end of the 3rd month your baby will be able to distinguish your voice from that of your partner or other family member. Also, this is the time when your baby will try to imitate other sounds and voices. It is also the start of your babyäó»s first venture into the world of speaking, with lots of babbling and cooing sounds.
The Right Care Approach Keep talking to your baby about your day, about the weather, about a book you are reading, about the music you are listening to basically, about everything and anything! As your baby tries to imitate you with sounds, gurgle and coos, it will form the first basic learning of language and speech.
5. Roll Over And Sit Up
Once your baby is about 7 months old, it will be time to roll over and try to sit up. This is a very important phase, as it will mark an entirely new developmental series in your baby’s life. This is the beginning of the phase when your baby will learn to be independent, and it is also the first step towards standing up and walking, all of which your baby will be able to do by the time the 1st birthday is near or has just crossed.
The Right Care Approach: Tummy time is still very important as your baby will gradually move from holding up the head to rolling over and then sitting up. Let your baby practice this as often as your baby wants, but also make sure there is enough rest in between.