Baby Care: Baby (Birth – 2 years) – Infant Development & Parenting Tips

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Raising a baby, especially for the first time, is both exciting and challenging.  This is a time for developing the bonds that will last a lifetime providing the child with the inner resources to develop self-esteem and the ability to relate positively with others.  It is also the time for parents to begin to discover who this new person really is.  Each child is unique and it is imperative that parents learn to understand, respect, support and encourage the unique characteristics and abilities of each child.

 

Moving Onwards (Encouraging Development):

Play Activities
Recommended Books for Parents
Videos on Infant Development

Developmental Milestones:

PhysicalLanguageIntellectual - CognitiveSocial - Emotional

Birth to Six Months

Gross (Large) Motor Skills

  • Lifts head and chest when on stomach.
  • Rolls from back to side or side to back.
  • Rolls completely over from back or stomach.
  • Sits with support.
  • Holds head erect.
  • Can raise him/herself up on forearms (while on tummy) and hold head up
  • Rolls from back to tummy (by 4-6 months)

Fine (Small) Motor Skills

  • Reaches for objects.
  • Holds objects for short periods of time before dropping them.
  • Touches and pats bottle.
  • Usually responds to objects or faces as they move
  • Plays with fingers, hands and toes
  • Holds and manipulates objects; sucks on everything!

Six to 12 Months

Gross (Large) Motor Skills

  • Progresses from sitting steady when supported to sitting without support.
  • Crawls on hands and knees.
  • Pulls to standing position.
  • Walks with help.
  • Stands alone.
  • Learns to crawl, stand up and walk
  • Sits without support (by 8 months)
  • Begins to cruise and eventually walk
  • Develops eye-hand coordination

Fine (Small) Motor Skills

  • Reaches for small objects.
  • Places objects in a container.
  • Picks up medium and large objects.
  • Changes objects from one hand to another.
  • Plays with two toys; one in each hand.
  • Points with fingers.
  • Transfers toys from hand to hand
  • Sees almost everything with good vision
  • Develops eye-hand coordination

12 to 18 Months

Gross (Large) Motor Skills

  • Stands alone.
  • Walks without support; starting and stopping with control.
  • Walks backward with pull toy.
  • Runs stiffly.
  • Squats down to pick up object and stands up.
  • Climbs up stairs; creeps down backwards one at a time.
  • Climbs out of crib and play pen.
  • Can throw a ball
  • Walks well
  • Can walk while holding an object

Fine (Small) Motor Skills

  • Turns several pages of book at one time.
  • Scribbles on paper with crayon.
  • Releases ball with slight thrust.
  • Picks up small objects between thumb and forefinger.
  • Can open small box.
  • Holds spoon with fist.
  • Feeds self with fingers.
  • Holds and drinks from cup.
  • Picks up small objects with pointer finger and thumb
  • Can build a tower of cubes
  • Turns pages in a book

Birth to 6 Months

  • Vocalization with intonation
  • Responds to his name
  • Responds to human voices without visual cues by turning his head and eyes
  • Responds appropriately to friendly and angry tones

Six to 12 Months

  • Uses one or more words with meaning (this may be a fragment of a word)
  • Understands simple instructions, especially if vocal or physical cues are given
  • Practices inflection
  • Is aware of the social value of speech

12 to 18 Months

  • Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words
  • Vocabulary made up chiefly of nouns
  • Some echolalia (repeating a word or phrase over and over)
  • Much jargon with emotional content
  • Is able to follow simple commands

Birth to Six Months

  • Listens attentively to sounds and voices (by 1 month)
  • Cries deliberately for assistance (by 1 month)
  • Coordinates eye movements (by 2 months)
  • Discovers hands and feet as extension of self (by 3 months)
  • Likes to repeat enjoyable acts (by 4 months)
  • Recognizes and responds to name (by 5 months)
  • Studies objects intently (by 6 months)
  • Recognizes and responds to own name.
  • Discriminates between familiar and unfamiliar faces.
  • Demonstrates happiness and unhappiness with sounds.
  • Demonstrates memory by waiting while feeding is prepared and stopping crying when person enters room.
  • Looks forward to feeding by sight.

Six to 12 Months

  • Anticipates events (by 7 months)
  • Finds hidden objects (by 10 months)
  • Can point to body parts
  • Puts nesting toys together correctly
  • Develops expectations about familiar events
  • Waves bye-bye
  • Follows simple directions.
  • Searches for object that has disappeared.
  • Pours objects out of container and puts each back in.
  • Imitates actions of others.
  • Understands basic cause and effect relationships (touching hot stove burns hand).
  • Enjoys repetition of events.
  • Enjoys picture book for short period of time.
  • Assembles simple nesting toys.

12 to 18 Months

  • Identifies family members in photographs
  • Enjoys cause and effect relationship
  • Is able to make choices between clear alternatives
  • Begins to solve problems
  • Remembers more
  • Learns by exploring.
  • Responds to simple directions.
  • Points to familiar objects upon request.
  • Remembers where things are in different areas of house (room).
  • Hunts for hidden toy.
  • Shows brief interest in picture book
  • Gives mechanical toy to caregiver to activate
  • Places a large round shape in a form board.

Birth to Six Months

  • Expresses affection.
  • Shows interest in human faces.
  • Has sense of humor.
  • Becomes excited when played with.
  • Stares at strangers.
  • Smiles at familiar faces.
  • Develops attachment to primary caregiver.
  • Becomes trusting when needs are met; fretful when needs are not met.
  • Shows displeasure when loses contact with person.
  • Smiles and babbles at people and toys.
  • Reacts to discomfort and pain
  • Recognizes parent’s voice
  • Makes eye contact
  • Shows affection by looking, waving, kicking and smiling
  • Shows feelings of security when held or talked to
  • Expresses delight
  • May form attachment to one special object
  • Laughs when tickled
  • Builds trust when cries are answered
  • May begin to cling to primary caregiver

Six to 12 Months

  • Becomes more emotionally attached to caregiver.
  • Protests at separation from mother.
  • Shows some negative reaction to strangers.
  • Seeks approval; doesn’t want disapproval.
  • Plays simple games with adults.
  • Enjoys being center of attention.
  • Enjoys communicating with others.
  • Smiles, pats and plays with image in mirror.
  • Expresses pleasure and displeasure.
  • Enjoys being with other children
  • Has an increased drive for independence
  • Expresses anger more dramatically
  • Has a fear of strangers
  • Is aware of social approval or disapproval
  • Performs for others
  • Has pride in personal accomplishments

12 to 18 Months

  • Is self-centered, demanding, stubborn and self-assertive
  • Imitates adults.
  • Is inconsistent in expressing emotions.
  • May become upset when adults place limitations on activities.
  • Expresses anger.
  • Engages in parallel play.
  • Rolls ball to adult.
  • Likes to show off for audience.
  • Shows fear of strangers.
  • Is unable to share.
  • Responds to simple instructions.
  • Takes pride in accomplishments.
  • Increases negativism.
  • May show fear of storms and animals.
  • Is easily distracted.
  • Prefers to keep caregiver in sight while exploring environment
  • Demands personal attention
  • May reveal stubbornness
  • Unable to share
  • Responds to simple requests