Milestones Specific to a Baby’s Growth

A lot happens as part of growth process of a baby. From weight gain to movements and the development of speech, there are lot of things happen and following is just a minor detail about timeline of occurring of each milestone in the growth process of a baby.

The Growth of the Child
Weight – A baby’s weight usually doubles by the fourth month and becomes three times the birth weight by the end of the first year.
Height – Babies are about 70 centimetres in height when they reach age of 12 months.
Head – The head size increases quickly due to the brain’s fast growth which pushes the skull bones to expand. This is a general trend, and in case parents are unusually large or small, the baby may follow their growth pattern.

Babies progress slowly to gain control over their movements.
Neck – The neck muscles become progressively stronger, and your baby will have full control over neck and head motions by about 6 months.

Body – The body muscles become stronger and can control many movements.

  • By 3 to 4 months, babies can roll over, belly to back.
  • By 6 to 7 months, baby can sit for a few moments, with legs spread apart.
  • By 8 to 9 months, the baby can sit steadily and change position from sitting to getting on the floor and back again

Arms and Legs – Movements become stronger and more purposeful.

  • Around 5 months, the legs can go straight up when baby lies on the back.
  • Around 6 months, the legs come up so far that the baby can get hold of a foot and bring it to the mouth.
  • Around 8 to 9 months, arms and legs, assisted by body movements, make crawling motions to help the infant move on the floor.
  • Around 10 months, the arms and legs are strong enough to help the infant creep on hands and knees and pull to stand.
  • Around 10 to 11 months, the infant cruises around the crib or coffee table, while holding to it.
  • Around 12 months, the infant may take the first steps on its own.

Hands – In the first 12 months, there is a fascinating progression from the reflex grasping of the new-born to a precise reaching out and grasping things as tiny as bread crumbs between the thumb and forefinger.

  • Around 4 months: will bring hands together in play.
  • Around 3 to 4 months: will reach out to grasp a toy.
  • Around 6 months: will hold a rattle or toy very well and is able to pass it from one hand to another.
  • Around 7 months: starts to try to get hold of very small items.
  • Around 8 months: can get hold of very small items using the whole hand.
  • Around 9 months: will pick up very small items with thumb and rest of the hand.
  • Around 11 to 12 months: can pick up with the tip of thumb and forefinger.

Caution: Baby walkers do not speed up baby’s development, and may even slow it down. Baby walkers are very dangerous because they can cause injuries. Baby walkers are legally not available in Canada.

Speech and Language – Babies have an urge to make sounds, just as they have an interest in the sounds parents or others make.

  • Around 1 or 2 months: recognizes voice of parents and pays special attention to it. As the muscles of the lips, tongue and other mouth muscles develop, baby makes more advanced sounds, cooing, squealing.
  • Around 2 to 3 months: starts to make more sounds when mother talks to them. It’s like the beginning of a conversation.
  • Around 8 months: starts to make ‘mama’ and ‘daddy’ sounds, but doesn’t really make a connection to the sound and the parents.
  • Around 9 to 10 months: uses these sounds as special signals to call mother or father or to greet the parent who comes in.
  • Around 12 months: has other sounds that have meaning, starts recognising objects. Just by the tone of your baby’s sounds, you know if baby is pleased, lonely, angry or needs comforting.

Your baby understands the tone of voice, too, and will frown if your voice is louder or not as loving. Before 9 months, babies understand when parents call their name, but if they hear ‘no’ they are not pleased. By 12 months, your baby understands several names of people or objects and shows that understanding by looking at the person or object.

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