Your baby’s development follow certain stages marked by milestones. Understanding these developmental milestones can help you provide the right kind of stimulation to your child, boost your baby’s brain development and early learning, giving your child the best possible start in life.
What are Baby Developmental Milestones
Starting to Crawl, taking the first steps, or saying Mama for the first time are all important moments in a baby’s life (and in the life of a proud parent). But in between those there are in fact many more observable milestones that can help you understand where your baby or toddler is in his or her early childhood development stages.
At ADAM & Mila we have collected all the most up to date research and compiled it in to an easy to understand guide for parents. As your child grow and develop new skills, we will help you choose the most appropriate stimulation and play activities matching the needs of your child.
Development Month by Month
The majority of the milestones we cover appear in a fixed sequence and one ability builds upon another. For instance, the milestone Reaches for Objects builds upon previously Looking from one object to another and is necessary for later learning objects related skills such as building a tower or solving a puzzle.
The earliest baby milestones we cover start already from birth. Your infant baby should be able to respond to sounds already within his or her first month of life, and within the first half year your baby should start respond to being touched. We say that the milestone respond to sounds emerges between 0 and 1 month old, and that the milestone respond to being touched emerges between 0 and 6 months old.
All our milestones have a period given in months for when they typically start to emerge with the lower number being the earliest you can expect to observe the milestone, and the higher number marking when a certain skill or behavior may be delayed.
A note on Developmental Delay
As you learn about the different milestones your baby will pass through it is perfectly natural to become a little bit obsessed with monitoring your child’s progress and worrying if everything is normal. Here we would like to offer a couple of things to remember before you start to worry too much.
It is important to understand that the age range specified for each milestone is the time when a typical kid will be able to achieve said milestone. No two kids are the same and your child is likely to hit some milestones early and some later, this is perfectly normal.
Being atypical is not necessarily a big deal. If your baby is walking at 6 months like Saryn don’t worry, be proud!
If your child is not reaching a milestone by the end of the typical range this is not necessarily cause for concern either. But check if he or she has achieved the previous milestone before this one. Not all kids will achieve every milestone, it is not uncommon for a child to skip one and move straight to the next. It is however unusual for a baby to skip two consecutive milestones.
If you are worried your child’s development may be delayed always seek professional advice from your pediatrician, physical therapist or occupational therapist. There are countless reasons a baby or toddler may fall behind, in the majority of cases early intervention and targeted therapy combined with exercises to do at home will work wonders.
Five Categories of Development Milestones
To help organize the many hundreds of milestones for babies and toddler development we cover here at ADAM & Mila each milestone has been assigned to a category and a theme.
There are five categories, they are:
The cognitive milestones help to keep track of your baby’s development of logic and reasoning and how he or she is starting to recognize familiar objects and people.
The term gross motor skills are referring to your child’s physical development and use of arms and legs. Gross motor development milestones include when your baby start crawling, sitting up and walking (hint: Tummy Time is a very important activity for good gross motor development.
The fine motor skills refer to your baby’s ability to manipulate objects with his or her hands. Fine motor skills milestones include grasping, stacking blocks and eventually learning to write.
This category cover all milestones related to speech and language development, including understanding words and learning to talk.
Developing a sense of self, expressing own feelings and enjoying play are some of the things you will find in the social skills and emotional development milestones category.
Within each category you will find several sub themes. These themes are groupings of related child development milestones that all build sequentially upon each other. Within a theme each milestone lay the foundation for the next, thus it is easy for you to see what should be the next thing you focus on as you are helping your child conquer all the milestones.
It also means that if your child has already achieved a certain milestone you can safely ignore all previous milestones within the same theme.
Learning and Educational Activities
Understanding where your child is in his or her development wouldn’t be of much use without also having some ideas about how to help him or her develop further. That is why we have included suggestions for different play activities together with each milestone.
At ADAM & Mila we think learning should be fun, and the play activities should be challenging, but appropriately so according to what the child is capable of. To give you the best suggestions our activities are ranked by the community. We hope you will also find inspiration in some of the activities on this site and help to cast your vote when you find something you like.