All about baby development
The first year is the most important year when it comes to a baby’s growth. From helpless newborn to active toddler, it takes just 12 short months for your baby to undergo this incredible transformation. Babies grow and change at an astounding pace, and every month brings new and exciting developments. New moms and dads often wonder what to expect next and how to know if their baby’s development is on target. Instead of focusing too much on developmental milestones, however, it’s important to remember that babies all develop at their own pace. There’s a fairly wide “window” for when it is normal for a baby to reach a particular developmental stage.
Baby development charts by month
The first smile, the first step, the first word: Most parents remember exactly when their baby accomplished these big goals. But before the baby reaches each one, you’re probably dying to know when to be on the lookout for the important milestones, camera at the ready. And while it’s helpful to understand how baby development generally unfolds, don’t feel like you have to obsessively monitor your child’s progress against the baby milestone chart. In the first month, the baby notices faces and sees bold patterns, especially in black and white. It recognizes the sound of your voice. The baby also starts to coo and make sounds beyond a simple cry. It brings his hands within a range of his eyes, mouth and moves his head side to side when lying on his stomach.
Baby development by the first year
Your baby’s weight has likely tripled since birth. At month 12, babies also have grown by 50% about 9 to 11 inches and their brain is about 60% of its adult size. After an incredible one-year growth spurt, your baby’s weight gain will start to slow down as her activity level increases. Your 1-year-old should be standing alone, and may even have taken those first tentative solo steps. If she hasn’t, hopefully, you’ll have your video camera ready to capture the moment when she does. One-year-olds are pretty good at doing a few things for themselves, such as eating with their fingers, helping their parents dress them, and turning the pages of a storybook. Your baby should be starting to use a few everyday items correctly, including a spoon, telephone, and hairbrush. Although her aim with these things might not be perfect, she certainly has the right intention.
By one year, your baby should be sleeping less during the day and more at night. Most children at this age still need an afternoon nap, but their morning nap may be a thing of the past. At one year, you can make the transition from breast milk or formula to cow’s milk. Start with whole milk. Your baby needs the extra fat for healthy brain growth and development. Don’t transition to low-fat milk or any other low-fat foods, for that matter until after your baby’s second birthday, or advised by your pediatrician. If you’ve been breastfeeding, you might decide that one year is the time to start weaning your baby. It tends to be easier on both mother and baby to wean gradually, dropping one feeding at a time. Bedtime feeding is usually the last one to go.
To replace nursing, you can give your 1-year-old a cup of milk, a snack, or something to suck on. Now that your baby is eating more table foods, be very careful about choking hazards. Avoid giving your 1-year-old whole grapes, pieces of hot dogs, popcorn, or any other foods that could get stuck in her throat. Always stay close by your baby during mealtimes. You can now give foods that contain honey. Eggs and nut butter are also acceptable.
Baby development apps
Parents can always use some extra help and sometimes that help is an app. With the growth of new technology, finding information on how to enhance and track your baby’s development is literally at your fingertips.
Source: Baby Chick/Pinterest
This interactive mobile app will help you track your baby’s development using 240 development activities. Categories include motor skills and emotional, sensory and cognitive development, all focused on helping your baby reach her first-year milestones. All activities are accompanied by beautiful songs and rhymes. Added features include post-natal mother and baby yoga-based activities, baby massage and acupressure as well as hints and tips for daily challenges. Available on iPhone and Android app stores.
2. WebMD Baby
This app gives your health information, tips and advice approved by medical experts. It also allows you to access videos and articles to help manage your baby’s sleeping schedules and milestones. With this app, you are able to take pictures, record videos and create a baby book to capture all those precious moments. Available on Android app stores.
Source: WebMD Baby/Facebook
3. Baby Brain Training
Designed by a neuroscientist and mother, and based on the latest research, this app shows you key activities for baby’s brain development and enables you to track them. How many words does your baby hear a day? Did you know that you should be aiming for 30 000 a day? Baby Brain Training helps you estimate how many words your baby hears per day. The features for the app includes activities covering communication, motor and social skills; 13 brain training activities as well as comprehensive advice and tips throughout. Available on iPhone app store.
4. What to Expect Pregnancy and Baby Tracker
This app guides you through your pregnancy day-by-day and week-by-week. Based on your due date you’ll receive personalized updates on your baby’s development, expert tips, helpful articles and the latest parenting news. The features on the app also include pregnancy videos showing just what to expect this week. Once baby arrives, you can still use the app to get expert advice and support for baby’s first year and beyond. Available on iPhone and Android app stores.
5. My Baby Today
This app aims to help you simplify daily life and be the best parent through each stage of your little one’s development. It features a personalized daily calendar of your baby’s development, information on your baby’s health and safety, weekly activities for your baby, advice on care and feeding, plus ideas for taking care of yourself, too. Available on the Android app store.
Get these baby milestone cards to capture baby milestones
Amid the sleepless nights, crazy hormones and colicky cries, find the time to document your baby’s growth every month. But even if done a week late, it still counts. You can go as simple or as elaborate as you want – from a handwritten chalkboard to fancy props. Remember to aim for consistency – use the same setting, same backdrop, same outfit, or same chair in each month. This helps to accurately capture the progress from month to month. Most importantly, have fun. Each month that passes is a monumental accomplishment in your journey as a new mom. Capture that on camera to cherish.
1. Monthly stickers
This is the most common choice when it comes to monthly pictures, as it’s an easy option. With a new baby, you won’t have time to construct elaborate photo sets each and every month, so this is a practical solution – simply peel and stick onto your baby’s clothing.
2. Monthly Stickers
This is similar to the monthly stickers that you stick onto your baby’s clothing. But it’s a slight upgrade to the DIY version, because the babygros are pre-printed and pre-sized for every month, from newborn to a year.
3. Milestone cards
A similar concept to the stickers, these are pretty flashcards that document each month.
It’s cute to use blocks as your photo props through the different stages and ages. What’s sweet is that as your baby gets older, he can pick up the blocks and play with them – so you can capture the developmental milestones as your little tot learns to interact with the world around him.
A big teddy bear or toy
By using a large cuddly teddy bear or a toy such as a rocking horse, you can track your baby’s growth from month to month. The bear will start off double the size of your tiny newborn, but by his first birthday, the roles will have reversed. This is a beautiful way to put your baby’s growth into perspective. You could also place your baby inside a laundry basket, in a suitcase or on a chair to show the differences in his growth from month to month. Use a chalkboard or belly stickers to document the actual month.
Hope these ideas will make your and your baby’s growing journey memorable.