The growth and development of a baby through various stages from newborn through infancy , toddler , preschool and school ages is a very unique. It gives great pleasure for the parent to see their child acquire and improve upon a new milestone as they grow. Development is a continuous process from birth to adult, follows a definite sequence and depends on the maturation and myelination of the brain. This process is also influenced greatly by the environment in which the child grows.
At any age if a child looses an acquired skill it needs medical attention. Early recognition and intervention could minimize the risk of longterm disability. Most babies can do the following things at the ages below. This gives only a rough guide and appropriate allowances need to be given for preterm infants and those infants who had a significant illness
Positive Parenting Tips
The way parents cuddle, hold, and play with their baby will set the basis for how they will interact with them and others especially in the first year of life. These are called positive parenting tios and there are some things you, as a parent, can do to help your baby during this time as below
- Talk to your baby. She will find your voice calming.
- Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words. This will help him learn to use language.
- Read to your baby. This will help her develop and understand language and sounds.
- Sing to your baby and play music. This will help your baby develop a love for music and will help his brain development.
- Praise your baby and give her lots of loving attention.
- Spend time cuddling and holding your baby. This will help him feel cared for and secure.
- Play with your baby when she’s alert and relaxed. Watch your baby closely for signs of being tired or fussy so that she can take a break from playing.
- Distract your baby with toys and move him to safe areas when he starts moving and touching things that he shouldn’t touch.
- Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally and be a positive, loving parent.
Your baby can smile at you and others, turn head towards sounds, start recognising people, and will make cooing and gurgling noises. Baby will try to lift the head up whilst lying on the tummy.
Most of them can hold their head steady, bring things to their mouth, and follow people side to side. They enjoy and would love to copy facial expressions like smiling and frowning. They will start babbling and will cry differently to show hunger, tiredness and pain.
By 6 months most infants would start sitting without support, bounce while standing on their feet, and rollover front to back and back to front. They enjoy watching themselves in the mirror, will start recognising strangers, and loves playing with their parents.They will start passing things from one hand to other, will try to reach for objects nearby. They can make different sounds to express their emotions, and most of them respond when called by their name
By nine months can try to stand up holding objects nearby, sit without support and start crawling. Most babies will start picking things between thumb and index finger, point objects with finger, will start putting things into their mouth, will start looking for things if you hide away from them. They will start copying gestures from parents, start saying mamamama, babababa, enjoy playing peek a boo.
By 12 months most babies will start cruising around the furnitures holding them , may stand briefly without support and some of them might start taking few steps. They might start waving bye bye, start saying mama, papa, and try to repeat words from the parents. Some of them might cry if the mother or father leaves them and will start finding things hidden away from them. They will understand simple commands like “come to mummy”, emjoy listening to stories.
By 18 months your baby can walk unsupported, can pull the toys while walking and will try to climb up the stairs. Enjoy pretend play eg dressing/feeding a doll and dislikes stranger. They will say several single words, points to body parts and other household objects, start scribbling. Some of them may have temper tantrums.
At 2 years your child will be always on the go, will start running, climb up and down furnitures, do tip toe walking, can kick and throw a ball. They will try to play with other children and be more independent and may refuse to follow mothers instructions. He/she Will start saying sentences with 2 to 4 words and might repeat words from a conversation. They will try to say nursery rhymes and can identify few colours and shapes.
By three years most children will start pedaling tricycle, run steadily and try to take turns while playing with other children. At this age they can copy a circle with crayons, and turn pages one at a time. He/she will say name, age, sex and will understand the meaning of numbers and start saying words like “I”, “me” and “You”. They can easily separate from their mother and will start showing affection for their friends and express their emotions better
A 4 year old child can hop, stand on one leg for more than 2 seconds and may catch a ball. They can say talk clearly, say their full name, tell stories, sing nursery rhymes, name colours and numbers, enjoy playing with other children, and can express their interest by talking to parents. They will understand the concept of time, understand the meaning of words like you, me, he, she etc.
At 5 years children try to be more independent and will go to neighbours house on their own, like to sing, dance, aware of their own gender, and can tell their address. He/she can stand on 1 feet for more than 10 seconds and can skip and hop. They can copy shapes like circle triangle, draw a man with 6 or more body parts, count upto 10.