The growth and development of your baby begins much before her birth. In fact, it begins when the baby is the mother’s womb. Almost all of the major organs are formed and begin to function by the birth of the baby. Post natal development of a baby is mainly related to cognitive, social, emotional and motor skills. The size of the organs and their functionalities also change as an adaptation to life in the outside world.
Various stages of your baby’s growth and development.
Depending upon the attributes they show, the growth and development of a baby may be classified into the following areas. All through her initial year, she goes through various stages of development, like physical, cognitive, social, emotional etc.
Physical growth and development.
Your baby grows very fast in the first six months of her life and almost doubles her body weight.
First six months: In the course of first six months, the baby also develops head control and may begin to sit with support. As your baby grows, she gradually gains control over various parts of her body and begins to use them. She begins to sit independently by 6 months and try to move.
8 months: She begins crawling and moving around by 8 months. Your baby also starts teething by 4-7 months of her age and teeth begin to erupt out in sets and phases.
10 and 11 months: By 10 months she begins to stand and try to move or shift her position by 11 months.
12 months: By 12 months she begins to walk around, initially with support and gradually, independently.
18 months: By the time she is 18 months she is able to chase you all around the house and may also try to walk fast.
20-24 months: By 20-24 months she begins to run all over.
Gross motor development.
Gross motor development indicates the development of reflexes, gaining control over the body and gaining co-ordination between different organs of the body, for example, the ability to hold the mother’s finger while walking in the park, gaining hand-eye co-ordination in an effort to pick up a toy, the ability to grasp the toy to pick it up, the ability to hold a spoon and bring it close to her mouth, etc. The gross fine motor skill development is gradual and occurs at its own pace. For example, a new born baby needs to be supported by you when you are breastfeeding her.
3 months: By the age of 3 months, she may begin to latch onto the breast properly, without needing continuous support.
6 months: By the age of 6 months, the baby may begin to hold and place the breast properly in her mouth without your support, when held close.
8 months: By the age of 8 months, (the grasp called as pincer grasp) she may begin to hold the spoon.
13 months:Gradually, your baby is able to hold a cup with both her hands by the age of 13 months at various stages of infancy.
17 months: By the age of 17 months, your baby begins to pull the bowl of food close to her using her palm and she is able to hold a finger food in between her first finger and thumb, by herself.
19-20 months: By the age of 19-20 months, your baby is able to hold the spoon, fill it and bring it to the mouth, though there may be a lot of spilling.
24 months: By the age of 24 months, the baby is able to feed herself.
The baby also attains mental growth, intelligence, responsiveness and perceptual capabilities. This is termed as the cognitive development of your baby. 70% of your baby’s brain is developed when she is born. Brain attains 80 % development by the age of 18-24 months and the rest of the brain then develops gradually in the coming years.
1 1/2 to 2 months: By the time the baby is 2 months old, she can recognize the family members and she is also be able to differentiate her mother from other people.
2 months: By the time baby is 2 months old she begins to exchange smiles and show responses such as interest and disinterest.
3 months: By 3 months the baby begins to respond to her name and turn around to familiar voices.
6 months: By the time your baby is 6 months she is able to distinguish family from strangers or visitors. By this age, she also begins to make out voices to attract you and to talk to you.
8-9 months: By 8-9 months she begins to make out rhyming sounds.
12 months: She is able to copy your actions by 12 months of age. She may also begin to bring books to you to read and also begin to point out at familiar objects while you read to her.
18 months: At 18 months your baby is able to name the things she knows and when she sees them in books or elsewhere.
20-24 months: By the time your baby is 20-24 months her memory is developed and she begins to retain things and actions.
Oral motor skills.
As an adaptation to eating external food the body of the baby also undergoes certain changes. The baby’s tongue adapts and the hand to mouth co-ordination develops.
6-7 months: At the age of 6 months, your baby is able to push out food from the mouth with the tongue. By the time she is 7 months she is able to use her upper lip to clear food off the spoon.
14-16 months: By the time your baby is 14-16 months she is able to chew well and swallow the food.
19 months: By the time the baby is 19 months, she is able to bite off the right amount of food, even if the foods are of different textures and thicknesses.
24 months: By 24 months, she is able to move her jaws well in order to adjust and chew on larger bites and she is able to eat food all by herself by now.
At different stages babies show different signs of hunger. When a baby is born, the only thing she knows to express herself is by crying and this she uses to show that she is hungry.
First 6 months: Until 6 months she uses crying to express hunger. Some babies may also begin to suck on their fists when they are hungry.
At 6-7 months: At 6-7 months the baby begins to open her mouth to show her hunger and she may try to reach out to mother’s breast or food when she is hungry.
10 months: By the time she is 10 months old she begins to recognize her food and points at it when she is hungry.
12-13 months: Your baby tries to name the food and make out sounds familiar to the name of the food by the time she is12-13 months.
18 months: By 18 months, she can specifically make actions and sounds and speak out small words to express her hunger. So now she combines these skills to let you know that she is hungry and needs to eat a particular food of her choice.
24 months: By 24 months, she is able to speak sentences to tell you that she is hungry and needs the food of her choice.
Similar to the signs of hunger, babies also develop the skills to show that they are full.
New born: Your new born baby would stop sucking when she is full
2 months: By 2 months, she releases the breast by&