What to Expect in Their First Year

Last month I was blessed with the joy of becoming a grammy for the 3rd time!  Like having multiple children, each time is unique and special.  He is absolutely the cutest.  His big brothers (3 ½ and 2 ½) are so excited.  Now, this may change when he begins to crawl. But that’s a topic for another blog.  😁

Even though I’m a preschool teacher and it hasn’t been that long since my other two were born, I always like to refresh myself on the subject of baby’s first year development.  So, I thought I’d share what I’ve found with you.

The first thing that comes to mind is that year one goes by very quickly.  I’m also fascinated by the developmental milestones for babies during this time. It amazes me as to what they accomplish in just 12 short months.   But keep in mind babies don’t always hit their milestones exactly on target.   Some reach these marks early, some a little later.  If you are ever concerned, always check with your pediatrician.

  1. Baby’s First Few Weeks of Development:
    • They focus on objects about 12” in front of them.  This is perfect since family will be that close when snuggling with them.
    • Around week 3, begin giving the baby some supervised tummy time.   This opportunity will give them the chance to practice lifting their head.  It will also help to prevent head flattening.
    • As your little one’s brain develops, they may begin to enjoy a soft toy being waved in front of their eyes for some stimulation. 
  2. Baby’s First Month of Development:
    • By now you can probably tell one cry from another, enabling you to attend to their needs quicker and more confidently.
    • You may not notice it, but they can now distinguish the sound of your voice from someone else’s.
    • Those sweet baby coos begin and is music to your ears.
    • They are in the process of finding their first toys.
  3. Baby’s Second Month of Development:
    • Tracks objects
    • Recognizes you from a distance
    • Warms your heart with smiles
    • Starts to hold their head up
    • Body movements become smoother
  4. Baby’s Third Month of Development:
    • Emotional skills are developing
    • Can distinguish your face from others
    • Begins to enjoy interaction and play
    • Discovers the toys hanging above them, and will swipe at them
    • Can open and shut their hands
    • May indicate they are bored by turning their head away from you
  5. Baby’s Fourth Month of Development:
    • More alert
    • Ready to begin exploring and participating in the world around them
    • Starts to mimic facial expressions
    • Those first laughs and adorable giggles have arrived
    • Holds their head up
    • Reaches for a toy with one hand
  6. Baby’s Fifth Month of Development:
    • Sits with support
    • Begins to roll from front to back
    • Holds a small toy and puts it in their mouth
    • Babbles
    • Likes to see themselves in a mirror
    • May be able to entertain themselves for a few minutes
  7. Baby’s Sixth Month of Development:
    • May start getting mobile such as creeping on the floor
    • Begins to recognize their name
    • Passes a toy from one hand to another
    • Rolls in both directions
  8. Baby’s Seventh Month of Development:
    • Likes to play peek-a-boo
    • May be able to sit up independently
    • Picks up a toy with their whole hand
    • Drops things on the floor for you to pick up
  9. Baby’s Eighth Month of Development:
    • Uses thumb and index finger to grasp something
    • Stands holding on to something
    • Starts to crawl (or shows signs)
    • May lean over to pick up toys
  10. Baby’s Ninth Month of Development:
    • Stranger danger may begin and clings to those familiar
    • Likes some toys more than others
    • Starts to use real letter sounds
    • Copies others
    • Begins pointing
  11. Baby’s Tenth Month of Development:
    • Explores toys by shaking, banging and throwing
    • Pulls to stand up by holding on, may cruise along the furniture
    • Gets into sitting position by themselves
    • Starts to feed themselves with finger foods
    • Better hand-eye coordination
  12. Baby’s Eleventh Month of Development:
    • Personality begins to develop
    • Can see things almost two feet away
    • Able to look and listen at the same time
    • Makes sounds with inflection
    • Separation anxiety begins
  13. Baby’s Twelfth Month of Development:
    • Shakes their head no
    • Says a few words like bye-bye, ma-ma, da-da, and uh-oh
    • Will look at an object when you call it by name (i.e., dog, cat)
    • May begin taking a few steps without holding on
    • Explores the world through their hands and mouth

Congratulations!  You now have a 1 -year-old! 

Watching your baby’s first year of development is an incredible experience.  But what lies ahead–the growth, the fun and the profound changes–will keep you busy, laughing, and fill your heart with joy.  Make the most of it!