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You are here: Home > Baby > Baby Development

Guide to Your Baby's Physical Development

by Alison Wood | May 27, 2013 12:00 AM
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The first year of life is filled with lots of growth. Emotional growth, physical growth, mental growth and social growth are all a part of a baby's first year. While all these growths are important, let's focus on physical growth and its milestones.

0 - 3 Months

During the first few weeks, your baby is mainly sleeping or eating. Even though you may not recognize it, your little one is going through a lot of changes. Many times a breast-fed infant will lose weight during these first two weeks, and a formula-fed baby may gain weight. Your pediatrician will check the weight and height of the baby to make sure your little one is growing steadily. By the end of the third month of life, the average baby has gained 30% in body weight and has grown 20% taller than his or her birth measurements.

Also, you will notice that your baby will know your scent and voice. She may often turn her head in your direction when you speak.

Even at such a young age, she can clearly see objects that are 8 to 15 inches away. Your little one will also discover her hands during this time period. It's fun to watch little ones examining their hands in intense curiosity.

During these first few months, your baby will learn how to raise her head and may even turn over a few times.

Your baby will also exhibit the Palmar Grasp Reflex. This one is a favorite of many siblings because the baby will automatically curl his or her fingers around something that touches his or her palm. Many siblings love to hold their new baby sister or brother's hand.

3 - 6 Months

By three months of age, most infants have doubled their birth weights. They also begin to lift their heads and chests off the floor with their arms. This makes learning and exploration even more fun. This would be the perfect time to bring in a play mat with an unbreakable mirror and several textured toys.

Your baby may also begin rolling from back to front. She has become a lot more mobile than the first three months of life!

Also, around five months of age babies begin to sit up supported, and around six months sit unsupported. This will make shopping trips and playtime a lot more flexible.

Your bambino will also be able to pass objects from one hand to another. Try placing a new rattle or noise-making toy in her hand to encourage her to exercise these newfound skills.

Exciting new sounds may fill your home as your infant begins to coo and babble. Not only will you enjoy this new music, but it will be entertaining to her as well!

6 - 9 Months

This tiny wonder has now mastered the skill of rolling. She can roll from tummy to back, and then from back to tummy and repeat the process many times in a row.

Play time gains new levels of excitement as the tiny one can now reach for toys while sitting unsupported. Use this new desire of exploring the toy world to encourage your infant to begin crawling. This is the perfect age for the crawling milestone. Place toys just a few inches out of her reach to encourage her to get moving. Within a few weeks, you may have a crawler on your hands!

At this age you may also see your baby respond to simple words and phrases. Some parents begin teaching simple sign language to increase communication with mom and dad. Many parents like the fact that sign language helps the baby communicate their desires before they can speak their desires.

9 - 12 Months

By this time your baby has gotten some major growing accomplished! The majority of babies in this age bracket has tripled their birth weight and has grown 10 whopping inches! WOW! Learn how tall your baby will be.

With all this growth, your little one's body is getting prepared for the biggest milestone yet -- walking! This exciting step for mommy and baby typically occurs between 10-13 months of age. Many times the timing of this milestone is dependent on a baby's personality. The more laid-back or lazy the baby, the later he or she begins walking. The more independent and determined the baby, the earlier she takes her first few steps.

Your baby's vision has also improved so much that she can see as well as an adult.

Your baby will also be able to verbally communicate with you even more.

Keep a record of all these exciting milestones through pictures, books and videos. Your baby's first year is full of so many special "firsts". Be sure to take the time and enjoy the journey with him or her!

Source: WebMD

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

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