A Timeline of Your Baby's Development
Posted March 10, 2015 by Jaclyn Hill
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The growth and development that occurs during the first three years of life can be astounding. A newborn is virtually helpless at birth, but even a tiny baby can enjoy musical newborn gifts.
As the weeks and months go by, a baby gains control over extremities and eventually develops the ability to move independently by crawling, scooting, and then walking. Understanding the typical timeline for development will help you know what to expect as you watch your child grow.
The First Six Months
- Professionals recommend waiting until approximately six months before starting solid food. Starting solid food earlier than this age can lead to choking incidents and food allergies.
- During the first six months, babies begin learning about sounds and how to control their arms and legs to reach for objects. Your little one might enjoy newborn gifts such as rattles and musical toys. Eventually, by about four months of age, babies will be able to grasp toys to play.
- Learn the cues of hunger so you know when your newborn wants to eat. Newborns will begin fussing, rooting, and sucking on fingers when they are hungry.
- The first teeth may appear around four months of age. Babies will continue to have teeth erupt until about 2.5 years of age.
The Second Six Months
- At six months of age, babies can pick up toys, roll over, play with their toes, and make babbling sounds. Appropriate baby gifts include plush toys and shakable rattles.
- Between six and 12 months, babies will learn many gross motor skills, such as sitting, crawling, standing, cruising, and possibly even walking.
- You might begin offering solid foods by spoon at about six months of age. If your baby tolerates the first solid foods, slowly introduce other foods such as vegetables and fruits.
- During the second six months, babies may begin learning how to feed themselves soft morsels of food such as cut-up fruits and vegetables.
- Researchers are studying how and why babies crawl before they walk. Crawling is nearly universal in developed countries but not so in other cultures and geographic locations.
- Once babies begin moving around between six and 12 months of age, parents must childproof the home for safety.
- Falls and bumps are typical as a baby learns how to move independently. Prevent serious accidents with safety measures such as installing gates at stairs and securing cleaning chemicals in a high cupboard.
First Birthday to 18 Months
Toddlerhood, 18 to 24 Months
Ages 2 to 3