Baby milestones are a topic all parents think about! All mums and dads wonder when their baby will reach certain milestones like the first smile, rolling over, and crawling. While every baby’s growth and development is different, generally baby milestones will follow a pattern (even if it’s a meandering one!).
Baby milestones: What to expect and when they might happen
While you don’t want to get ahead of yourself, it is fun to imagine when they’ll be doing all of those cute little things you can show off on social media. Here are some guidelines about what to expect and when it might happen.
0–3 month baby milestones
This is a time of rapid growth for your baby, when you’ll settle into a routine of feeding, burping, changing nappies, soothing, sleeping, and repeating. It may sound like Groundhog Day, but there are many small victories that come in these early months. Most newborns will focus on learning to lift their head, staring at bright objects, and responding to sounds. Their hands and feet will be a source of endless fascination. They’ll study your face avidly, too, and during this time they’ll also start building emotional bonds with you and your partner. It’s around this time that you’ll likely get your first smiles, laughs, and giggles.
3–6 month baby milestones
Now your baby will be starting to get really interactive. At this age they can recognise your face, scent, and voice, and will coo when you talk to them. Your baby will be your biggest fan when you respond to their baby talk and make lots of eye contact with them. These chats will ramp up quickly as your baby starts mimicking your speech sounds. They’ll also be making a lot of headway with their motor skills, such as rolling over from their tummy to their back, grasping, kicking, and chewing. Speaking of which, your baby might be getting pretty grizzly around the five-month mark because this is around the time when they cut their first tooth! When this happens, it’s a good time to check in with your baby’s Well Child provider or Plunket nurse to see if they’re ready to start on solid foods.
6–12 month baby milestones
Your baby’s growth and development will be in full swing by this point. This is when their motor skills really kick into gear. They may have advanced from rolling in both directions to sitting without any support. Whether your baby’s a bum shuffler, a nimble crawler, a furniture cruiser, or goes straight to walking, they’re set to make a move. This is an important learning period for your baby, and you can foster their curiosity by constantly exposing them to new experiences. One area that has potential for a lot of those new experiences is the progression from feeding them only breast milk or formula to starting on solid foods. Letting them try a range of different flavours and textures will help set them up for being open to trying new flavours and foods well into adulthood.
Please keep in mind that this timeline is approximate, and if you have any concerns about your baby’s development or baby milestones, have a chat to your Plunket nurse or Well Child provider.
Check out Breastmates’ range of baby gear, including awesome products for starting solids and teething, to help you survive these sometimes stressful milestones!
IMAGE COURTESY OF SHARON AT BLOOM PHOTOGRAPHY (BLOOMPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.NZ)