Your newborn is totally ensnared by the world surrounding her. She smiles, giggles, and even “talks” to you. Plus, she’s always on the move. By the time your baby is 7 months, she can likely roll onto her stomach and then back again, sit without assistance from you, and support her weight with her legs so that she can bounce. Your baby uses her strong grasp to pull items close to her and can move toys from one hand to the other with ease.Suddenly, your newborn is becoming more sensitive to your voice, even listening to your warnings when you tell her not to do something. In fact, your baby even knows her name now. She turns to you when you call out to her.
Peekaboo is now her favorite game, and she enjoys searching for items that you have partially hidden. She sees the world in complete color now, and she can see farther than before. She follows toys carefully with both of her eyes, and she even looks at herself in the mirror.
At this point, your child thrives on interactions with you, so you need to integrate play into everything you do together. She loves to smile and cuddle, and you should reply when she talks so you can encourage her communication. Read with her every day, naming the items you see in books, pictures and other things around you.
It’s time to give the baby opportunities to build strength. Do this by helping her sit up and by setting her so she can play on her tummy and her back. Before she learns to crawl, make sure that you have taken steps to childproof the house and that you keep her area safe to explore.
Your next step is to provide age-appropriate toys and other items (like a large wooden spoon or box) to spend time exploring. Establish a solid schedule for sleeping, eating, and playing.
By the time she is 6 months old, your little one may be ready to begin eating solids.
Every infant grows at her own pace, but you should speak with your baby’s pediatrician if she:
• Appears either extremely stiff or very floppy
• Is unable to hold her head steady
• Is unable to sit without help
• Will not respond to sounds or grins
• Is not affectionate with people she is familiar with
• Will not reach for nearby items
8 to 12 Months Milestones
Your baby is really going now! He has become eager to explore, and it is surprising how rapidly he can get around scooting and crawling. He even sits on his own, grabbing anything within reach to pull himself up to stand. He may even take a couple wobbly steps before his birthday.
Your infant’s chattering sounds more like an actual conversation, and you are going to hear his first words soon – typically “mama” or “dada.” Soon your little one will talk in short phrases, but in the meantime he uses his hands to show what he wants – or does not want – and pays careful attention to words you use.
Baby’s hands are becoming very nimble. He entertains himself by putting things into containers and then removing them. He also uses his thumb and his finger like pincers to eat solid food. Your infant wants to be exactly like you. He shows this by brushing his hair, sipping from a “big boy” cup, and acting as if he is babbling on a phone.
Your baby may appear outgoing, but he might be reserved around people he doesn’t know well. When you leave the baby alone, he might get upset. Don’t worry; separation anxiety is a normal reaction right now.
Keep chattering with the little one. This is a critical era for developing language skills. Frequently describe your routine, what you’re doing, what you will be doing next, and what you see.
Your baby learns about feelings when you describe what you are thinking. Read to your baby frequently and play games like peekaboo and hide-and-seek.
As baby becomes increasingly active, it is important that he has safe places for his adventures. While he may not be walking just yet, you help him prepare by holding him so that he puts weight on his legs.
It’s important to pay extra attention to things your baby likes and that you give him freedom to use his five senses to learn new things. Offer your baby crayons, paper, blocks, empty containers, pots and pans for playtime.
Offer praise and rewards for positive behavior. If your baby gets into trouble, a simple “no” and and direction toward something else is sufficient. Although your baby is too young to comprehend and listen to rules, you can show him which actions are not allowed. This will help him find appropriate activities.
Respect your baby’s separation anxiety. Build trust by allowing him time to get used to new caregivers and by always saying bye when you leave.
Every baby develops at his own speed, but make sure to make a pediatric appointment if your baby:
• Will not crawl
• Drags one side while crawling for longer than a month
• Is unable to stand with assistance
• Will not try to find objects hidden in front of him
• Does not say any words
• Will not use gestures, such as shaking his head or pointing