Infant Development in the First Year

 

What can you expect in the first year of your baby’s life, and what can you do to help his or her development?

In the first 2 months, your baby’s head still needs support. In your baby’s first several months, when they’re awake let your baby play on his/her tummy several times a day as long as your baby will tolerate, to help develop neck and back muscles. Also place toys in their hands to help teach reaching and grasping.

Around 3-4 months, babies will start to put things in their mouths -- this is how they explore and learn, so be sure toys are clean and without small parts.

Around 6-7 months, your baby may begin to sit alone. Avoid or limit the use of doorway jumpers, they don’t help with trunk strength. Ensure exersaucers are set so your baby’s feet are flat on the bottom.

At 8-9 months, let them play with cheerios to practice their finger skills, they dissolve easily, so they’re a good first solid food. By now they may be crawling. Bare feet, socks, or soft slippers are best as they learn how to stand. Outdoor shoes should be flexible.

At 12 months, your baby should be crawling quickly, cruising around furniture, and some may be walking alone. They’re fascinated by other babies, so take your baby to playgroups or the Early Years Centre near you.

Now keep in mind that each child is unique, so not all children will develop at the same rate or in the same way.

If you have concerns related to your child’s development, check with your child’s doctor.

Most of all, enjoy this first year!

 

Authors:
Angela Mitrovic PT, Physiotherapist, and Myra Del Rosario OT Reg. (Ont.), Occupational Therapist

Credit Valley Hospital