During the first year your baby’s physical, emotional and cognitive skills development progresses very quickly. Spending as much time as you can interacting with your baby will not only help develop the parent child bond, but also aid in your baby’s growth and development. Let us look at a quarterly breakup of the development stages of your baby till they turn one.We will look at the progression in your baby’s development at these stages and the corresponding activities you can adopt to aid it.
Within 3 Months
- Your baby starts recognising familiar people and smiles at them
- Makes cooing and gurgling sounds
- Be able to grip objects and make attempts to reach out and grasp objects (though they won’t be able to grasp yet)
- Will be attracted by bright colours and sounds
- Look into your baby’s eyes whenever you are bathing or dressing them
- Respond to their cooing by talking and singing softly to them (these two activities will strengthen your bond with your baby)
- Shake a rattle toy to get your baby’s attention and let them reach out and try to grasp it. This helps develop their hand-eye coordination.
- Hang colourful mobile crib toys for your baby to focus on
4-6 Months Old
- Your baby now starts responding to strangers
- Responds to your conversation by laughing and cooing
- They start rolling over on to their tummy
- Kicks their legs when excited
- Your baby is now able to reach out and grasp objects
- Start putting objects in their mouth as part of their exploration process
- Continue talking and singing to your baby, make it more of a conversation where you describe your every action when bathing or dressing them, your baby will respond by cooing, laughing and kicking their legs in excitement.
- Let them play while on their tummy for a few minutes every day, this helps develop their neck and back muscles
- Let them grasp the rattle to explore it further
- Since the first thing they will now do is put the rattle in their mouth, make sure the rattle is non-toxic, does not contain small parts and is easy to clean.
7-9 Months Old
- When lying on their tummy your baby is able to lift their head and chest off the floor
- Will slowly start moving forward on their tummy
- Your baby is able to sit for a while without being supported
- Will be able to coordinate hand-eye movement much better
- Place toys just out of reach so that your baby starts moving forward on their tummy towards them. This will slowly get them to start crawling
- When your baby is sitting up, roll a soft ball over to them and have them roll it back to you, this helps strengthen their back and hand muscles.
- Play games which involve moving your hands so that your baby can watch and follow the movements. This is a great way to aid their vision development.
10-12 Months Old
- Your baby will start understanding a few simple words you tell them and by their first birthday may even say their first word
- Your baby will be now crawling on all fours
- Will slowly start walking by holding on to furniture
- Encourage your baby to develop their language skills by associating certain sounds with your actions, for example – when playing with your baby using animal soft toys make the corresponding animal sounds when holding up a particular animal
- Also start reading to them from picture story books, point out various characters and here also you can make associated sounds relating to animals, birds, vehicles, musical instruments etc.
- Get a sturdy push toy to help your baby stand and walk on their own
In this way while aiding your baby’s development you also get to spend quality time with them and strengthen the parent child bond.