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Is Your Baby's Development on Track?

October 1st, 2017
Is Your Baby's Development on Track?
Is your bestie going overboard tracking her newborns ‘firsts’ and documenting every step with a scrapbook and dedicated Instagram profile. Well, it might not be necessary to take it all public, but don’t be too quick to judge. Watching for milestones in your little one's development is a great idea. It is, however, important not to be too comparative. Remember that each child is an individual and that there is a wide window of time within which to achieve particular developmental skills. According to Marat Zeltsman, of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, a developmental delay is when a child does not reach a milestone by the upper range of normal. Even though babies develop at their own pace, every child should do certain tasks by a certain age.

Being aware of the various stages and encouraging progress with various developmental games, interactions, toys, and activities will help your little man or lady grow into the mini superhero they can be.

So what should you be looking out for? Here is a list from webmd.com of the first milestones your little one should reach to make sure they are developing at a healthy rate in the first year of their life:

2 Months ~ Smiles at the sound of your voice and follows you with their eyes as you move around a room

3 Months ~ Raises head and chest when lying on stomach ~ Grasps objects ~ Smiles at other people

4 Months ~ Babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds ~ Holds head steady

6 Months ~ Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back ~ Moves objects from hand to hand

7 Months ~ Responds to own name ~ Finds partially hidden objects

9 Months ~ Sits without support, crawls, babbles "mama" and "dada"

12 Months ~ Walks with or without support ~ Says at least one word ~ Enjoys imitating people

18 Months ~ Walks independently, drinks from a cup, says at least 15 words, points to body parts

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Don’t worry if you are concerned that your little one needs to speed up his or her development. They may just need more opportunities to be independent. Perhaps your little one doesn’t sit up alone because she is used to being held most of the time as opposed to having time to strengthen her muscles sitting on the floor. Premature birth also results in slower muscle development and strength which will usually be resolved in time - as long as they are given the opportunities to learn and grow with stimulating activities, toys and lots of love and care.
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Use these tips to encourage your child’s all-round, healthy development:

Place infants on their tummies while awake to develop neck and back muscles

Put your little one on the floor to explore in a safe home environment

Let your baby touch and play with different textured toys

Play music for newborns to stimulate hearing

Talk to your child

Read to your child

Laugh and smile with your baby

Social interaction is vital. Switching off the television and engaging with your children daily not only enhances their physical, mental and emotional development but also strengthens your bond with them. You can’t rewind the clock, so invest in this special bonding play-time while they’re young.

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What ways do you assess your little one's development? Help out new parents in our comment section and keep the conversation going.

Helga x

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