Development in the first year of life
Babies are magical.
So much development happens in die first years of life.
The first 3000 days is the most important when looking at development.
Let have a closer look at the first year of life.
The most important things you as parents can do is physical touch, eye contact and loving your little one.
Skin-to-skin contact is critical for the child to feel connected to you. They were used to be inside your body and hearing your heartbeat at all times. Give them the same experience by placing them on mom or dad’s chest without clothes on (under a blankie). Then they can experience you by smelling, touching and hearing you.
By 6 weeks they will usually start to lift their head when placed on their tummy. Neck control is vital as all movement generates here.
Tummy time, Tummy Time, Tummy time!!!
Even if your little one doesn’t like being placed on their tummy this is very important from birth. The baby can be placed on your chest when you are lying on your back to facilitate eye contact as well.
By 3 – 4 months of age they will start to have head control when sitting on your lap, allowing them to observe the world around them.
By 6 months old they will be able to sit independently, enjoy this as after this they start to get very busy!! And you will have no free time to sit and read a book…..
By 9 months old babies start to crawl – this is a very important milestone!!
Crawling is important for the development of:
❖ Weight-bearing on my arms and legs
❖ Bilateral integration: coordinated movement between the 2 sides of the body
❖ Motor planning: planning and then executing movements with multiple steps
❖ Eye-hand coordination
❖ Hand strength
❖ Exploring my environment
❖ Touch integration: being able to tolerate/touch/discriminate what I am touching and to be able to handle this (have you every seen babies touching grass for the same time – most of the over-react by lifting their feet high ).
Baby should be eating solid food from around 10 months of age e.g. mashed banana/butternut/porridge.
And then they start to realize that they can say ‘NO’ by shaking their head. And they will start doing this a lot as they start to develop a sense of self. This can be a very humorous time for parents and so cute to video.
The last important milestone for this age group is walking at around 12 months of age. First the baby will start standing by holding onto your legs of onto furniture and then cruise moving from side-to-side along the couches/chairs in the living room.
Enjoy the first year of life by cuddling often, loving and laughing!!