Watching your little baby learning is such an amazing bitter sweet thing to experience. Each baby developmental stages are so much fun to watch and super important. They are building blocks to your babies life. 

Each stage there are things they should be doing and things you as a mom can do with them to help them learn. It’s a great bonding experience for you and your baby. Keep in mind that every baby is different. So in each stage, if your baby hasn’t done a task yet, don’t be scared; give it time and practice with your baby as much as possible.

If you do have concerns always talk to their  pediatrician for guidance on what to do. 

 

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Development Stage: 0-3 months

What your baby may be doing at this stage

This part of your baby’s development their brain activity is going crazy. All the new things they are experiencing, after they are born.

All the new senses they are exploring.

Right now they are learning how to feed whether it’s breastfeeding or a bottle. Learning how to express that they are hungry, and need comforted.

They are starting to recognize who their mom is, and smiling. Closer to three months your baby will start to intact with you and being more observant with her surroundings. 

This time they are working on tummy time, and trying to lift her head and chest. She is starting to development eye and hand coordination and following objects and try to reach for them. 

What to do to help enhance development

Tummy time can be fun but kind of frustrating for both you and your baby. Sometimes they do not like it, but there are ways to get them to like it. While they are little you can have them do tummy time on your chest or tummy, to make them feel more comfortable, as they grow you can move to the floor and slowly increase the time. 

Playing with your baby does amazing things to their brain and bonding time. This time you can cuddle and sing or talk to your baby, to encourage social skills and cognitive skills. 

You can have your baby lay on their back on the baby mat or bed and dangle a toy or have them lay on their stomach and move a toy back and forth. This will help them learn to try to reach for the toy and stimulate head movement. 

Cuddle and be attentive to your baby. You can never hold them enough, it will not spoil them. Holding them as much as you can will make them know they can trust you and will be there to protect them. Crying is their way to communicate so by responding to them they will know that you are there to comfort them and know how to communicate with you.

Red flags to look for

Thing to notice at this development stage

  • If your baby doesn’t respond to loud noises
  • Doesn’t seem to react to bright lights
  • Isn’t eating or having trouble eating
  • Can’t seem to focus or notice moving things near by

 

Development Stage: 4-6 months

What your baby may be doing at this stage

This age is so much fun to experience with your baby. They are starting to interact with you more by smiling, laughing, and making babbling noises.

They are building their muscle doing longer increments of tummy time. They are able to reach and grab items in front of them. Your baby is learning how the world works around them by manipulating their toys and objects they are playing with. 

Tummy time is becoming a breeze for them, by 4-5 months they can roll from back to tummy and tummy to back, and by 6 months they can sit up and have great head control. 

By 4-6 months you can start solids. When I had my first child it was always, wait until your child is 5 or 6 (usually 6 months) months to try solids. But with my twins 6 years later born in 2017, the doctor said babies can actually start eating solids by 4 months. Just make sure your baby is sitting up on their own and not falling over. 

What to do to help enhance development

Your baby loves hearing you talk and sing, the more you do interact with your baby the broader their vocabulary will be. They observe how your mouth talks and will start to imitate you, and try to copy your sounds. 

While changing them, bathing them, laying with them you can show them where their feet, arms, belly etc. are to learn their body parts. You can play Peek-A-Boo every baby loves that game. 

Keep up with your routines for morning time, nap, time, lunch time, bath time and bed time. Babies strive on routines, routines keep babies happy and comfortable. They are constantly learning everyday and routines help them from feeling overwhelemed.

Red Flags to look for

Things to notice at this development stage

  • Doesn’t reach for objects
  • Doesn’t seem to interact or be effectionate 
  • Not able to sit up on their own
  • Not able to roll from back to tummy and tummy to back
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Development Stage: 7-9 months

What your baby may be doing at this stage

This time they are starting to get more mobile. They will start to move around on their belly, sometime army crawl. Don’t be alarmed if your baby never crawls. 2 of my boys went from army crawl to walking, they never did the normal knee crawling which is normal. They are probably starting to pull themselves up to stand and maybe holding on to things to help them walk, like a the couch.  

Now is a good time to baby-proof your house! 

They should be more responsive to their name and their surroundings. Knowing who someone is by their name like, Grandpa, Grandma, Daddy, doggy. They may even start to say those words or make noises that sound like they those words. When they try to talk or copy what you do praise them by saying “Good job!” It makes them happy and will keep doing it. 

 

What to do to help enhance development

Keep talking to them whenever you are with them, in the car, cooking, bathing anywhere. If you haven’t started to read to them, start reading. Even if they don’t sit still, or pull the book from your hands, this will encourage them to learn how a book works and they will look at the pictures; those small things really help with their cognitive development.

Point to objects or toys and name them and make the sound that they do, like a car and it’s sound, or playing in the water say, “splash, splash.” While reading point to the pages if there’s an animal make the animal sounds. 

Red flags to look for

Things You should notice at this development stage

  • Not crawling or army crawling
  • Not crawling or army crawling
  • Won’t respond to their name
  • Doesn’t seem interested in playing with toys
  • Not smiling, laughing or making baby noises

Development Stages: 10-12 months

What your baby may be doing at this stage

Your baby is becoming more and more active and playful. They are learning all sorts of new words even though they can’t say them, they are processing them and understanding them. 

Your baby maybe crawling more and possible even learning to walk or stand without holding onto anything. But if they are not doing this yet, don’t worry, most babies don’t start walking until about 15 months. 

Their motor skills are getting to be very strong. Your baby might be starting to feed itself with their hands and or a spoon, and pick up small items or food like Cheerios. 

They can communicate by pointing to what they want and making noise to get your attention. They love to copy you at this age and play pretend. The most typical thing they will do is pretend to talk to someone on the phone- I love when they do this! 

They also might be saying their first word, usually Mama or Dada, baba for bottle. They will use their baby babble and pretend to talk to you and have an actual conversation, and use gestures to tell you want they want and don’t want. 

What to do to help enhance development

You can encourage them to walk, using a walker is great- one that they push not stand it. The walker that they stand in is great for building their muscles but for a limited time, becuase they can start to depend on it too much and not build the muscles they need to walk- like their core.

So, a push walker that they can push to help guide them to walk works great and all my babies loved it! Or a walking harness,where your baby is wearing harness and you hold onto straps to help support them and guide them. 

At this point they are growing so fast and so are their brains. The best thing you can do it just interact and play with them as much as you can.

Let them explore and try new things. Set up a fun safe place for them to play and wonder around. Get them fun stimulating toys like a sensory pin, pots and pans.

My babies’ favorite things are books, noisy light up toys, stacking blocks and a tunnel they can crawl in and explore. This is the time for their brain to expand and discover so many things they have not been exposed to. 

Red flags to look for

Things you should notice at this development stage

  • Can’t stand without support
  • Doesn’t say any words
  • Doesn’t use communication cues like pointing or noises
  • Having a hard time with their fine motor skills like picking things up

There is so much going on for your baby and so much for your baby to learn all in their first year. 

Their first 3 years of their life is the most crucial for their development. Make sure you start playing with them and teaching them early from the day they are born. The more they are exposed to new fun things the more they will learn.

If you are expecting or know someone who is, share this with them. There’s so much to do and remember as a new mom. She will appreciate this to help her out on knowing how to help their baby develope.