First Year and Parent Essentials, Janine Smith
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Baby Development

Every baby develops at their own rate and they can change quickly from one week to the next. This is a basic guide to what babies might be able to do and enjoy within their first year.

Baby Development – what might your baby be doing?

0-3 months
Recognises your face, smell and voice
Responding to your smile and touch
Uses subtle body movements and facial expressions to communicate
Grips your finger

At this age, babies often respond well to looking at your face, along with contrasting colours and light.


3-6 months
Pushes his body up and shows interest in people and things he likes
Sitting with help
Reaching for toys
Exploring toys
Playing with you

Babies start to become more physical with rolling and sitting and they take more of an interest in the world around them. They will like toys and items they can explore and play with, especially with different colours, sounds and textures. A baby’s world opens up from 3 months when their eyesight has developed so they can look, play and explore.


6-9 months
Starting to copy you
Picking up small objects
Sitting, moving and exploring
Babbling
Loves new activities
May also want quiet and calm

Babies can start to become more interested in interacting with you so they can copy you, they may be babbling more and they may be able to pick up small objects.


9-12 months
Crawling, shuffling and walking
Loves repetition
Understanding more
More babbling and saying a couple of simple words

Babies may start to do simple block stacking, to enjoy peekaboo, playing with moving toys, as well as toys to sit and play with. They may be able to understand simple instructions.

Baby Behaviour

This changes so much even within one day. Babies are affected by so many factors such as:

  • hunger
  • tiredness
  • growth spurts
  • adjusting to new people, things and places.

Growth spurts

  • 7-10 days old
  • 2-3 weeks
  • 4-6 weeks
  • 3 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9-10 months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months

Growth spurts can affect a baby’s behaviour, such as how settled and playful they are. Babies can be:

  • unpredictable
  • harder to settle | cries | fussy
  • more sleepy or they could fight sleeping
  • clingy and may only want mum
  • shy with other people
  • in need of more quiet and wants to be less interactive
  • in need of familiar rather than new places, people and things

As your baby gets older, he may also:

  • experience nightmares
  • get angry
  • want to be busy and distracted.

Babies aren’t always easy to live with or understand – some days are going to be brilliant and others are going to be tough. Try to follow your baby’s lead and meet his needs – it can be easier to let him cling when he needs to – and get the support you need.

You can get in touch here to find out more about gathering more information and reassurance for you as you look after your ever changing baby.

Janine – a specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting

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