For parents and guardians, it’s always exciting to wait and watch our children develop and exhibit new skills. These infant milestones include smiling for the first time, turning over on their stomach, sitting on their own, and of course, saying “mama” and “dada.” However, you might be wondering what infant skills should your baby really develop and show? In this post, Brightside Academy Ohio, trusted provider of infant daycare, shares the milestones you should watch out for.
Infant Skills They’ll Develop in the First Month
During the first month of your baby’s life, they will develop crucial newborn reflexes as their nervous system begins to mature and as they start to respond to their environment. These reflexes include:
- Mouthing reflexes – These involve sucking, swallowing, and rooting. You’ll notice that babies automatically suck when something touches their lips. You may also observe that they would turn their heads when you touch their cheek. This is called rooting reflex. All of these are needed for them to find their source of food.
- Startle reflex – This occurs when the baby hears a loud noise or when they are startled in general. They will extend their arms and legs away from their body.
- Grasp reflex – During the first month, your baby will begin to firmly grasp things, such as your finger.
- Stepping reflex – Babies develop the stepping reflex as early as the first month. You’ll notice how they would put one foot in front of the other.
By the end of the first month, your child may already raise their head when placed on their stomach, make fists, focus on objects and faces up to a foot away, and show other responses when startled.
Infant Milestones From 1 to 3 Months Old
After your baby develops the important reflexes during the first weeks after birth, they will quickly transform from being a dependent newborn to an active and more responsive infant. The reflexes will be replaced by actual responses. Your baby will also begin to see more clearly and focus when they see your face. They will now become more aware and observant of their surroundings and follow moving objects with their eyes.
It is also during this time when your baby recognizes familiar people and objects. They will also start developing hand-eye coordination. Your child will also follow the source of familiar sounds and start to coo (and ooh and aah). They will also have stronger muscles. By age 3 months, they can already support their head longer when lying on their stomach and even prop their chest up using their forearms.
Furthermore, arm and hand movements will also start to develop at this stage. From fist clenching, they can now grab and “battle” objects. They can now also take objects and put them over their heads and in their mouth.
In summary, babies develop the following skills in the first three months of their life:
- Motor Skills – Supports head and upper body when lying on their stomach; turning their head to follow a moving object; grabs and shakes objects; grabs, holds, and put objects in their mouth; stretches their arms and legs; pushes legs down when lying on a flat surface
- Language Skills – Makes cooing sounds
- Emotional and Social Skills – Recognizes and smiles at similar faces; enjoys playing with people
Related Read: When Do Newborns Start Teething?
Infant Skills Developed From 4 to 7 Months Old
When your baby enters their fourth month up to their seventh month of life, they will start to learn how to coordinate vision, touch, and hearing. It is also around this time when they will develop more advanced motor skills, including grasping things, rolling over, and sitting up. Some babies can start to crawl at this stage as well. In general, babies aged 4 to 7 months have more control over their actions and reactions. For instance, they can start ignoring toys that don’t interest them.
Moreover, you’ll notice that your baby starts to communicate better. Rather than simply crying when they want something or feeling something unusual, they will let you know about it through other means, such as screaming and showing appropriate facial expressions. It is also at this stage when they develop a strong connection with their parents or caregivers. As such, they will show a preference for those who take care of them more often.
Furthermore, your baby will now have a wider range of vision. More complex patterns and shapes, as well as brighter colors, will catch their attention. They might also like looking at themselves in front of a mirror. Additionally, they will start “baby talking.” While they will continue to babble, they will now raise and lower their tone depending on what they’re trying to tell you.
At this time, your child will also begin to learn more around their environment. They will also learn from the people around them. It is at this stage when beginning early childhood learning is ideal. To learn more about infant daycare and early childhood learning, it is recommended that you get in touch with a Brightside Academy Ohio daycare center near you.
To summarize, here are the common infant milestones during the age of 4 to 7 months:
- Motor Skills – Rolls over on both sides and ways; sits up; reaches objects using one hand; transfers objects from one hand to another; supports weight on their legs with support
- Language Skills – Laughs; babbles consonant sounds (ba-ba-ba)
- Emotional and Social Skills – Finds partially hidden objects or people; differentiates emotions through shifts in tone of voice
Infant Milestones During the 8th to 12th Month of Age
When your baby reaches the age of 8 months, they can already sit up without support. They will also explore rolling down to their stomachs and sitting up again. In general, you’ll notice that your baby will become even more active. All of the actions they do are basically preparing them for their next motor skill milestone: crawling. This is crucial in the development of the two sides of the brain. However, some babies don’t crawl. Alternatively, they may move on their stomachs or scoot on their bottoms.
After they’ve mastered crawling, babies will now start exploring how to stand. Whenever and wherever they can, they will try to pull themselves up to standing position. It is also at this stage when they utilize the pincer grasp, where they use two fingers to get smaller objects.
Furthermore, around this age, their language skills will improve. They will now begin to blurt out sensible syllables. Yes, you can now expect your baby to say “mama” and/or “dada.” By the age 12 months, they can already say a simple word or two aside from mama and dada. Their ability to communicate non-verbally will also improve. They will also begin to think logically. For instance, if you hide a toy under a blanket, they will remove the blanket to find the toy.
Early childhood learning becomes more crucial at this stage than ever. If you are often out working, it would be better to leave them in the care of infant daycare teachers who can maximize their development and potential.
To sum it up, these are the common infant milestones at age 8 to 12 months:
- Motor Skills – Gets in and out of the sitting position; crawls; pulls self up to standing position; uses pincer grasp; begins to walk
- Language Skills – Speaks sensible syllable strings such as “mama” and “dada”; tries to imitate words; says first word aside from mama and dada; uses simple gestures such as nodding and waving; plays interactive games such as peek-a-boo
- Emotional and Social Skills – Finds hidden objects; uses objects correctly; may exhibit separation anxiety
Make the Most of Your Infant Child’s Milestones
There are a number of reasons why daycare is more beneficial than babysitting, particularly in terms of making the most of a child’s developmental potential. Here at Brightside Academy Ohio, our programs including our infant daycare, are designed to help your baby learn and master skills appropriate to their age–and more. We also encourage social and emotional development. Additionally, we prepare them for the next stages of life and development, making sure they have the skills that will help them flourish in our toddler program.
If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us. We also encourage you to schedule a tour of the Brightside Academy baby learning center nearest you. If you want to get started right away, you can also enroll your child/children now!