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Your Baby's First Milestones

Aug 2, 2008
Your baby will start to achieve milestones even before being born. They are usually easy to discover utilizing ultrasound and other methods. However, afterwards, they could be more difficult to pinpoint. They are equally significant, however, because they punctuate the important first year of your baby's fast paced development. They cover a wide range of progression affecting motor skills, sight and cognitive development.

Baby's First Month

Throughout the first month after birth a baby who is growing properly will demonstrate substantial reflexive movements. They will frequently put their hands to the their mouths, discovering all sorts of tactile feelings. They will often move their head from one side to another, exhibiting the roots of muscular control and sharper eyesight.

At this point, they are able to focus on objects around eight to twelve inches distant, approximately the length from mom's nipple to her nose. The eyes will roam, but they are not indiscriminate. They are absorbing the surroundings. The infant will blink at exposure to bright light. High contrast forms are eye-catching, but none more so than a human face.

They are able to turn their head, responding attentively to noises (particularly loud ones) and even well known voices.

The First Trimester

There's a first trimester during pregnancy, of course, but the baby also has one after its birth. Throughout these three months the newborn baby is getting bigger and developing greatly. Changes seem to appear just about every day.

Motor skills are heightening and getting stronger during this time. The baby is able to lift up his head and also the chest somewhat while lying on its tummy. It's common to see their little fists open and close as they gain increased control of the muscles in their arms and fingers. The first hints of bearing down using the feet to hold up the legs can be observed.

During this period of life the eyesight is becoming much sharper. After three months they are able to look at a face with attentiveness and intentionally observe objects in motion. They can start to tell apart people and objects. Hand-eye coordination is apparent.

Babies will now start to exhibit social skill with smiles, obvious pleasure in the companionship of other people and related behaviors. The first signs of copying the actions of others start to appear.

During the Second Trimester

Near the end of six to seven months, those early developments are accelerating. The baby is able to sit without support from his hands. He might be capable of bearing his full weight on his legs, maybe with a bit of assistance from an adjacent chair or table. Throughout this period he will gain adequate muscle control to reach out for and grip small items.

The baby can now see things in full color, and is able to discern things at a distance, even to the point of recognizing people and objects on the other side of the room. He can also follow them with his eyes as they move around.

Cognitive abilities begin to emerge distinctly during this time. He may clearly react to an individual name. Imitation becomes reply as he repeats sounds that will afterwards turn into words. Those noises begin to get put together into what will, sooner than you realize it, become short sentences.

The First Year

Near the close of the first year those lurches and gurgles have turned into walking and talking. The child is now able to take quick journeys across the room, from chair to table. He or she can speak a couple of uncomplicated words, including the significant 'mama' and 'dada'.

Cognitive abilities begin to mature into values as the baby shows a preference for particular people and playthings, rejecting the ones not wanted. The first signs of defiance start to appear. He has figured out the word 'no' and might practice it at times you'd prefer he didn't.


Each baby is a unique individual. Although he shares numerous similarities with children of the same age, each one evolves at his own pace and in his own way. Milestones are just guidelines. Avoid making assumptions of what is 'normal'.
About the Author
If you have a new baby in the house, you'll want to check out more of Ashley King's aricles at Best Baby Advice, where you'll find lots of helpful information on baby care and feeding, safety, health and more.
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