All you need to know about the growth and development of your baby
The most important developments in your baby’s life will happen in their first year. Even though not every baby follows the same growth pattern, the common areas of growth and development are mapped below. You need to be aware of these stages because it’s also a way of tracking whether your baby is growing properly. A delay in development of some of these acts, should be discussed with your paediatrician. Read on to understand more about the different facets of child growth and development from the time, he or she becomes 6 months old:
- Physical development:
- Your baby will try to stand up and then take his first few steps between the first 6-9 months. Some babies will progress from standing to walking by the time they complete their first year.
- He or she might even try to climb a stair while holding on to something for balance.
- Babies at this age usually manage corners and obstacles very well.
- They are even capable of building blocks with 3 to 5 blocks.
- Your baby will also be able to drink from a glass and eat with a spoon.
- Language development:
- Your baby will be able to speak 6 to 12 single words all by themselves by the end of the first year.
- He or she will also be able to repeat the last words of sentences.
- He or she will be able to point to someone and tell him what they want.
- Your baby will also learn to say ‘no' or shake his or her head, suggesting the same.
- Cognitive development:
- Your baby will be able to understand simple commands even without gestures. For instance, he or she will sit when you tell him or her to sit down.
- Your baby will start scribbling.
- He or she will be curious and show interest in dolls or other toys and start playing pretend games with these toys, like pretending to feed the doll.
- Your baby will start to understand the usage of some everyday things like telephone, brush, etc.
- They will try to get attention from others.
- Your baby will also be able to identify body parts when you name them.
- Emotional development:
- Your baby will gradually become independent as he or she approaches 2 years of age, and will like to do things without getting anybody’s assistance.
- He or she will also start showing visible affection towards people who seem familiar.
- Social development:
- Your baby will show shyness on meeting strangers and cling on to his or her caregivers.
- Even though your baby will like to explore the surroundings, they will want a parent nearby always.
- Your baby will start to join your family routine.
- Frequency of breastfeeding:
Another important change you should note at this stage, along with baby development goals, is the frequency of breastfeeding. This may vary depending on the following factors:
- The complexity or the amount of energy in the food that your child eats.
- The amount of food that your child can finish.
- Your baby’s desire to be breastfed.
If you are breastfeeding after 6 months, here are some tips that can guide you better.
- If your child is eating 3 to 4 energy-dense meals and 1 to 2 snacks, then breastfeed your child according to his or her appetite and desire.
- If your child is comfortable eating a wide range of foods with a mashed consistency, like chapatis, rice, pulses, and some other animal foods like eggs, meat, yoghurt, etc., breastfeeding can be done less often.
- You can also decide to breastfeed them only at night and give them complementary feeds throughout the day.
Note: You need to contact your doctor in case the following child development goals are not observed:
- If your child cannot take his first steps within the first year.
- If your child cannot imitate others and does not respond to his or her caregiver.
- If your child is not learning any new words.
Remember that every child is not the same. Baby development stages are affected by age, sex and activity levels. As a parent, all you need to do is encourage your baby to achieve the goals in their own way and provide them with a safe and nurturing environment. Happy parenting!