What to Expect: Milestones for Your Infant

celebree_57As infants grow and learn there are some wonderful moments to look forward to. The child development professionals at Celebree Learning Centers discuss significant milestones that you and your infant may come across.

Doctors have been able to classify a handful of milestone estimations as to when your child will develop key skills and abilities. Below is a list of some activities you should expect to see as your child grows. Remember, all children develop at their own pace and many different factors can impact the development of your child. If you find that your child is at least two months behind on any of these skills, consider consulting your child’s doctor.

Eye Contact – 6 to 8 weeks

Around 6 to 8 weeks you will notice your baby will be able to pay attention to you and follow your movements with his or her eyes. The best time to look for this is when your child is quiet but alert. This is seen as the very first communication skill your child will have!

Social Smiling – Roughly 8 weeks

Your baby may smile for many reasons leading up to the 8-week mark. But it is around 8 weeks that your child will really smile as a response to an emotion. Smiling is very important because it is a sign of both emotional and physiological growth.

Reaching and Grabbing – 3 to 4 months

This process often begins with your child’s realization that they have the ability to hold toys and create sounds while shaking rattles. A child’s natural curiosity helps this skill to develop. Place new and exciting toys just out of reach. Your child will not be able to resist trying to get a hold of these items and will reinforce the skill.

Hugging – 5 months

One of the happiest milestones for a child to reach is when they begin hugging their loved ones. This is also often developed by mimicking others. Hugging trials can occur throughout the day or right around naptime, so be on the lookout!

Sitting Up – 8 months

This milestone shows growth of balance, arm strength, head and neck strength and overall control of the body. Sitting up is a sign that eyesight is improving because the child can now see beyond their direct line of sight. After your child starts sitting up, try exercises of dangling a toy in all directions around them to build up torso strength.

Crawling – 6 to 10 months

Crawling is a key sign of arm strength. Baby-proofing is especially necessary at this stage. Physically get down to their level and see what trouble your baby might come across while exploring this new skill.

Pincer Grasp – 8 to 11 months

This milestone represents one of the biggest keys to independence. The pincer grasp skill starts out small with your child being able to use all of their fingers and their thumb to pick up a toy or spoon. The official pincer grasp is achieved when the child is able to use their thumb and forefinger to pick up something like one Cheerio or a single cracker. This is one of the first fine motor skills your child will develop. It is the building block for skills a needs in the future such as feeding themselves, dressing themselves or brushing their teeth.

Pulling Up to a Stand – 9 to 10 months

This is a major sign that both strength and motivation are developing and will eventually lead your child to begin walking. The ability to pull up is based on a combination of both leg muscle and torso muscle development. Pulling up on small tables, couches and toys will help your child develop enough strength to eventually support themselves on their own.

First Words – 12 to 14 months

After months of cooing, babbling and gesturing, your child will be able to start putting sounds together to create simple words. By connecting items to the sounds associated with them, your child will start to build his or her vocabulary. The best way to promote language development is through consistent interaction by talking to and singing with your child as much as possible. This will support their foundation of word knowledge an further their overall understanding of objects, locations and directions.

Each infant milestone is a thrilling part of your child’s journey through development. For more information regarding your infant’s milestones, contact the child development professionals at Celebree Learning Centers today.