Infant Development Stages
As a new parent, you're probably wondering about the infant development stages. Questions like when your baby should be walking, talking or eating may be not too far from the forefront of your mind. The medical community has created a timeline for child development but the times are approximations and your infant's development may not precisely follow the timeline.
Your Baby: Months One to Three
During the first three months of your baby's life, you'll notice many changes. Your baby will go from basically be a fetus out of utero to a little person with his or her unique personality. At birth his sight won't be very good, but he will react to loud noises just as he did in utero. He will be able to tell the difference between darkness and bright light.
Around one month your baby will start developing his neck muscles. He will probably not be able to hold his head up for extended periods of time, but you may notice that he will try to lift it up for seconds at a time. Around two or three months your baby will be able to lift her head and neck without help. You'll notice she'll respond to you and smile. She may even coo and blow bubbles when she's happy. By three months those coos have turned into squeals of delight when she's happy. Your baby may also begin to suck her fingers.
Baby development by the end of month three will include obvious recognition of you and other people your baby sees often. He'll follow you with his eyes and show a fascination with some toys and especially his hands. By this time you'll probably have become so accustomed to your baby's cries that you'll be able to tell which type of cry means what.
Your Baby: Months Four to Six
Around four months it's common for a baby to respond to her own name, especially if you've used it frequently up until now. She may be able to roll over or start rolling over. Some children start to teeth at this point while others don't begin to grow teeth until 12 months or later. The average four-month-old tries to put things in her mouth. Most babies start to babble around four months.
Around five months your baby might be able to sit for a short period of time. He may start reaching for toys. By six months your baby will realize he has feet and will constantly play with them. He'll also show more obvious attachment to you and others he frequently sees by reaching for you when he wants something or needs to be comforted.
Infant feeding typically changes around six months when solid foods are introduced. Baby food like infant rice cereal or strained squash, carrots or apples are good solids to start your baby on. You can buy pureed baby food in the store, or you can create it yourself at home with a food grinder.
Your Baby: Months Seven to Nine
According to the standardized infant growth chart created by the medical community, your baby should be gaining an average of one pound per month between seven and nine months. He should also grow approximately half-an-inch per month.
Your baby's muscles are growing stronger and infant development at 7 months could make for a mobile baby. Now is the time to child-proof your home if you haven't already. Some babies are crawling at this point while others simply pull themselves along the floor with their arms. By the end of the ninth month many babies are pulling themselves up on chairs and coffee tables.
A baby's understanding of language is clearer now as well. They'll understand specific words and may even try putting two syllable words together. Babies are also more receptive to games like peek-a-boo.
Your Baby: Months 10 to 12
One of the more endearing and annoying stages of infant milestones is this stage when your baby is old enough to constantly get under foot when you're trying to do something. She'll also be able to pick up small objects with her fingers and most of the time anything she picks up will end up in her mouth. Children play more actively at this stage and can roll a ball back to you by the end of the 12th month. Separation anxiety may set in. Some children are walking at this stage officially introducing you to the life of living with a toddler and all the stages of toddler development.