Milestones, what are they?
Anything you achieve, progress, or development, is called a milestone.
Newborn kids achieve so much in the first 12 months that sometimes it is difficult to believe, is it the same kid he or she was a year ago??
Achieving milestones at the appropriate age or between the scientific age limit is what is very important for children and is a sign of good development., Yes, some kids are a little slower or a little earlier to achieve the milestone than others, but if it is within the mentioned age limit it is fine and there is nothing to worry about. Never compare two kids.
Categorizing the Landmarks
Let us understand the various type of landmarks and categorize them to make it a little more simple to learn.
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills include the skills that will include the body’s larger muscles or the whole or part of the body to move e.g. arms, feet, legs, trunk. The skills include walking, crawling, sitting, jumping, etc.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills include the use of the small muscles of the fingers and coordinating the movement with the eyes, and it requires more precision. Like picking up something, holding something, peeling an egg, coloring or writing, etc.
Communication or Language Skills
Communicating with a smile, listening, trying to speak, or even sometimes cooing is included in the communication or language skill development. The more you talk to your child the better the communication and language skills will be.
Cognitive means to relate. Relating and solving problems, thinking and exploring, and reasoning, and figuring out things are all examples of cognitive skills.
Social skills are to interact with others, and to respond. We are social beings and so social skills are a very important part of development which was hampered to a very big extent during the Covid times.
The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 0-1 months:
- The suckling reflex is active and the child will start sucking if the breast or the bottle nipple is touched on the child’s palate (roof of the mouth).
- Root reflex is when the baby’s face is touched the child will move the neck towards the side the face is touched.
- Grasp reflex is also seen when you touch the baby’s palm the child will close the fist in response. This reflex lasts approximately till the age of 5-6 months.
- Babinski reflex is when you stroke the sole of the baby’s foot the big toe will bend towards the foot and the 4 small toes will fan out. this reflex lasts approximately till the age of 2 years.
- Step Reflex is when you make the child touch the solid ground it will appear as if the child is trying to take steps.
- The baby might try to lift his or her neck when lying on the stomach
- For communication, the baby will only cry.
- Startles on loud noises.
- Can focus on objects 8-14 inches away from the eyes.
- The baby will sleep approximately 16-18 hours a day.
- Can only see in black and white.
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The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 1-2 months:
- The jerks would reduce and the body will move more smoothly.
- Has started recognizing you.
- Will look at you when you talk, so talk to your baby more often.
- Might try to hold a rattle or a toy.
- The baby might start seeing colors.
- Can lift the head to approximately 45 degrees.
- Can make cooing noises and noises like ahhh.
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The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 2-3 months:
- Starts recognizing their primary care giver
- Holds the head more steadily
- Eyes can follow moving objects
- Will try to put the hands in the mouth
- Sleep for little longer stretches at night
- The cooing and the gurgling increases
- Most of the newborn reflexes disappear by this time
- The baby might not just smile by now but also start laughing.
- The baby will start rolling, so parents need to be a little more careful now.
- The baby can now properly lift his or her head.
- If made to sit with support the baby can sit for a short period of time.
- The baby will start grasping the toys.
- Baby is amused by the various colors and sounds like in rattles.
The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 4-5 months:
- The baby can recognize you as well as the other care givers.
- The baby might respond to you when you call out his or her name.
- The baby might be blowing raspberries by now and trying to mimic you as well.
- Their eye sight is fine and their hand eye coordination is better.
- The baby can now role both front and back.
- Separation anxiety begins.
- Stranger anxiety also begins.
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The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 5-6 months:
- The baby will start putting everything in their mouth.
- The baby will start throwing things on the floor to hear various different noises it makes.
- The baby might start sitting in a crawling position.
- The baby has started recognizing certain words like hello, bye bye, etc.
- The baby can sit up with some support.
- If the pediatrician agrees you can introduce solids at this stage.
- Your baby would smile when he or she looks at him or her in the mirror.
- The baby can follow the moving object with the eyes.
The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 6-7 months:
- The baby starts responding with gestures, like putting the arm up when they want you to pick them.
- The first tooth might start erupting at this age. Sometimes there is a delay and there is nothing to worry about. You can wait till the age of 18 months for the first tooth to erupt in the baby’s mouth. But the baby’s first dental visit is mandatory by the baby’s first birthday.
- The baby will start eating solids by now.
- When the baby wants you to stop feeding he or she might turn the head towards the opposite side.
- The baby might sit up on their own now.
- Your baby might also start crawling.
- They might start clapping by 6 months.
The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 7-8 months:
- Loves playing pee-a-boo.
- They have started dragging objects, and picking various things.
- The baby is more mobile now and can crawl and even tries to stand up.
- The baby still babbles but is more relatable to the normal speech. If the child is an early talker you might here one or two easy and simple words like mama, dada, papa etc.
- They are more emotionally close to you.
- The baby might pick the food on their own and start eating.
The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 8-9 months:
- The baby has gained more strength in the legs and will try even more to stand up with support.
- The baby can now remember better, like from a previous memory the child knows the toy is a ball and if he or she pushes it, it will roll. So, the child will try to do that.
- The baby is bonding more to their favorite toys and books.
- The baby might start showing expressions like fear and anger.
- The baby starts exploring almost everything around them to know more about the world around.
- Respond and stop when you say NO for something.
The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 9-10 months:
- They become even more mobile and fast, so you might need to baby proof your home.
- They would be dragging everything down where ever they go, e.g. books from the book shelf, clothes from laundry basket, your make up from the drawers and anything that they can reach.
- The baby might start mimicking the routine daily activities, like brushing, combing etc.
- Can now sit for longer periods.
The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 10-11 months:
- The baby loves repetitions. Read a book and repeat the same book for a few days. they will enjoy it and also start remembering it.
- Some kids might take 1-2 wobbly unassisted steps by now. If your child did not take it, it is still okay.
- The baby will start understanding the concept of hide and seek. He or she understands that if you can not see it doesn’t mean it is not there. They might hide their own toy and start to find it. This is the best time to start playing hide and seek with them.
- Your baby might start saying a few words by now. If he or she is still not saying words and just
babbling, it is okay.
- The stranger anxiety might reduce a little.
- The baby is now more curious to learn new things, like opening or closing a bottle. They might try it do it once you show them how it is done.
- The baby might start standing on their own without holding anything for a few seconds.
- They now like listening to music and reading books.
- The baby can start stacking blocks.
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The following are the milestones your baby will achieve between 11-12 months:
- The baby might have started taking a few steps, if still the child has not taken an independent step, it is ok.
- The baby might want to eat on his or her own. They might grab the spoon from your hand and start eating on their own. Yes it will be a mess, but it helps in enhancing their fine motor skills.
- They feel more independent now and this might be a little more tiring for you.
- Your baby might have started walking by now, if not, it is fine, you can wait till 15 months of age.
- The baby can now wave at you and say bye.
- The baby now can relate to various more objects as the vocabulary increases.
- The baby understands better as compared to before.
- Can now understand simple requests.
Congratulations! Your baby is now a child.
Every child is different and every child will achieve their milestones at different paces and times. Never compare two children even if they are twins. Never tell them to see the other kid is doing better than you. You can just keep motivating them to do better than they did yesterday. According to AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), it is fine if your child is achieving the milestones a little early or a little late.
If you feel the development of your child is slow or is not what is expected, do not listen to the people around you. Visit a pediatrician. Get a proper clinical examination done.
This blog provides general information about normal developmental milestones. The opinion and content on this blog are only for conversational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice about any particular individual. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriate licensed medical physician or a health care provider