Encouraging Developmental Milestones in the First Months of Life
Before starting a conversation about milestones: The most important thing to remember is that every baby is different when it comes to development. This is especially true if you already have children. Avoid comparing one sibling to another as they all develop at their own rate.
This article offers advice for encouraging developmental milestones and what to watch for in your baby.
Developmental Milestones in the First Few Weeks
Babies can do more than you might think during their first month.
- They can see up to a foot or two. Past that, vision is blurry, but they'll definitely see you when you're close.
- They can hear. You'll notice them startling or jumping at loud noises. Hearing develops in the womb!
- Babies move spontaneously, moving their arms and legs. They'll also start trying to move their heads.
How to Encourage Milestone Development
Tummy Time and Beyond
Tummy time is a great time for baby to work on head and neck control. Boys Town recommends back sleeping, but any time baby is awake can be considered tummy time and is beneficial for development physical milestone skills.
You can expect your baby to roll over around 4 months of age. It's alright if you need to be on the ground to give them encouragement. Sitting up independently happens around 6 months. You can start to encourage sitting up around 4 months by providing a supportive chair, or perhaps some pillows. This will help develop the head and neck control needed for sitting up.
Your baby will start making their first noises around 2 months of age with cooing and then babbling around 4 months of age. They're learning vocal coordination and experimenting with sounds. It's a good idea to respond to them so they hear your voice. They may even try to repeat sounds back to you.
Some ways to encourage vocal development include:
- Coo to your baby - cooing is one of the first sounds they'll make!
- Singing to your baby
- Reading to baby
- Telling baby about your day
Talk to Your Pediatrician
Try to avoid using general standards or guidelines to judge your baby's progress. It's always good to talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns. They'll guide you through the process and let you know how your baby is progressing.