Baby Development Overview
As new or expecting parents, you want to be prepared. Understanding the various stages of baby development can help provide you with a sense of the various milestones that your child will be going through. Your newborn will be faced with various stages of development in her first year of life - physically, mentally, and emotionally. As a toddler, you will need to be by your child's side and guide him as he takes his first steps, begins the process of potty training, and as he learns how to express himself.
Your Baby’s Developmental Milestones
The first year of a baby's life is marked by tremendous change as she overcomes various developmental milestones. As parents, it is important to be aware of these changes so that you can help guide and support your growing child. As a toddler, your child will be going through changes that will require assistance from parents. The following are some of the major milestones that your baby will be going through.
One of the first major milestones that your child will experience is the teething process, which can be a painful and emotional time for your baby. Knowing how to help your child through this process can relieve the stresses placed on both baby and parents.
Teething typically begins at the age of 6 months, and symptoms can include irritability, drooling, finger sucking, red cheeks, swollen or sore gums, crying, and disrupted sleep. It is a good idea to prepare your baby by practicing brushing using a washcloth and gauze to gently wipe your baby’s gums.
At eighteen months, your child's back teeth will begin to emerge, and this is when using child toothpaste may begin.
Generally speaking, potty training your child and getting him out of diapers will begin between the ages of 18 and 24 months. It is important for parents to make sure that their toddler is both physically and emotionally ready to begin toilet training. One way to do this is by making sure that she understands the concept of the washroom and can use words such as "pee" and "poop" to communicate.
Your toddler should be interested in what goes on in the washroom, and she should be able to keep her diaper dry for several hours at a time. Boys will tend to stay in diapers longer than girls. Potty training can be a difficult process, but there are some potty training tips that parents can use as a guide during this time.
Almost as soon as a baby is born, she begins to communicate. Between the ages of 1 to 4 months, your newborn will be crying, laughing, cooing, gurgling, and frowning. These early forms of communication will begin to change, as your baby begins produce single syllable sounds at the age of 5 months. He will learn to string these syllables together up until the age of 8 months.
By 9 months, your infant will be making meaningful gestures and may begin to babble. By 11 months, your baby may speak her first words – such as "mama," "dada," "up" or "more." At 12 months, toddlers begin associating meaning with words, and will begin assigning words to objects.
By 14 or 15 months, as your child's understanding of vocabulary improves, he will be able to understand at least one command. By 17 or 18 months, most toddlers can say at least two words. However, it is not until your child reaches two years that real language explosion takes place. By that time, your toddler will be able to form simple, two-word sentences; by 30 months, your toddler will likely know more than 300 words.
Walking: Your Baby's First Steps
Your baby’s first steps will be preceded by many developmental milestones that will lead up to this stage. While a baby will usually take her first steps 11 or 14 months, this developmental stage begins much sooner.
In fact, during the first month following birth, your newborn will be able to raise his head when lying on his stomach. By the third month, your baby will be able to raise her head at a 45 degree angle, and keep it steady. By four months, your baby will able to stand with some help from her parents, and by ten months she will be able to stand on her own.
When a baby is able to stand while holding on to steady objects (around 8 months), they can begin taking their very first steps. The best method parents can use to help their toddler as he begins to walk, is to hold their hands out kneeling or standing in front of the child as he walks towards you. It is best to avoid holding your toddler's hand, as this can make them too dependent; it is important that toddlers learn to walk confidently on their own.