Early Growth Milestones
During your baby’s first two years of life, they should hit many early growth milestones. By 6 months, your baby’s weight will double, and they will begin learning more and more about the world around them. During your baby’s first 2 years of life, their brains are growing and they are learning at a rapid rate. At Primary Care Partners of South Bend, we encourage you to make the most of these early years by asking us all your questions about sleep, nutrition, and literacy. These milestones are just guidelines, and we will assess your baby’s individual progress to see if there should be any concern about late milestones. Additionally, if your baby was born prematurely, early growth milestones should be based on the due date of your baby, not their birth date.
At the end of the first month of your baby’s life, they should have learned to recognize and respond in several new ways. They should be able to recognize some familiar voices like their parents or siblings. They should also be able to move their heads from side to side, bring their hands to their face, and make twitchy arm movements. Additionally, they should be able to focus on objects from about a foot away and recognize human faces.
By the time your baby is three months old, your baby should be able to raise their head and chest, kick their legs, and push down onto surfaces with their legs. They should also learn how to hold and shake small toys, open and close their hands, and reach for objects they see. Babies should also start to understand the concept of play by smiling or laughing during play and crying when play ends. Finally, babies should be able to focus on familiar objects from a greater distance, recognize familiar faces, and begin imitating speech with babbling and cooing.
When your baby reaches seven months, they will understand the world around them better and develop better reactions. Babies this age should be able to roll over onto their backs and stomachs, sit up with support, and support their weight with their legs when held in a standing position. They should also be able to use their voices to express their emotions (crying when upset, laughing when happy), respond to their names, and be able to tell emotion by the tone of someone’s voice. They will also understand and enjoy peek-a-boo, look into mirrors, put objects to their mouths, and babble much more.
The first year of a baby’s life is full of milestones, and their brains are learning at one of the fastest rates of their lives. By this age, babies are usually able to sit up without support, crawl, pull themselves up to stand, and walk with support. Regarding language, they should be able to say simple words (mom, dad, dog) try to imitate specific words, and use phrases like “oh no” or “ouch.” They should understand some gestures like waving or clapping, be able to point to the correct picture when prompted, and start using objects like a hairbrush or cup correctly.
During the second year of a child’s life, play, speech, and reactions make huge developments. By age 2, most children are able to walk without support, pull toys behind them, kick a ball, and start to run. They can also stack blocks, use crayons, sort by shape or color, and start to play pretend. Many children of this age can recognize body parts and familiar people, follow instructions, say several individual words, and put together small sentences.
If your baby is not hitting early growth milestones by these times, you do not need to panic – every child is different! However, it will be beneficial to let us know so we can evaluate your baby and see if there is any reason for concern. To schedule a visit with Primary Care Partners of South Bend, give us a call at (574) 251-1200.