Having a new baby is beautiful, amazing, and exhausting! This precious bundle needs all your attention, and you find joy in every moment. There are several important milestones to look for with your baby. What becomes stressful, though, is when you notice your child missing those significant steps. While every child hits these milestones at different times, it is hard not to be concerned.
If your baby was born prematurely, there was an improper use of medical instruments, or you experienced complications with labor and delivery; there is an increased chance of your child has received a brain injury. Babies who suffered a loss of oxygen either shortly before, during, or after birth have the highest risk of having a brain injury. When you are dealing with traumatic brain injury in a young child, it is quite overwhelming.
9 Important Milestones to Look for with Your Baby
If you are concerned about your baby meeting their milestones, here are 9 of the most important ones to look for with your baby.
1. Holds Head Up Unsupported
By the time your baby is a month old, they will be able to lift their head on their own. It’s not until they are about three months of age that they should be able to lift and hold their neck up without any support. Your little one should be able to do hold their head up unsupported while in a sitting position. If you’re concerned about this, let your baby have some tummy time which will help them strengthen their neck and upper body muscles.
2. Giggles, Squeals, and Laughs
This happy milestone usually occurs around four months of age. Hearing your baby squeal and laugh is contagious. When it happens, you can’t help joining in with them. When your baby starts laughing, it’s not just because they are learning to express their emotions. It’s also a sign your baby is developing an ability to diffuse stress. Besides that, laughter means your baby is developing a sense of humor, which plays a role in problem-solving and honing social skills.
3. Rolls from Tummy to Back
During their first few months of life, babies spend a lot of time on their tummy. When they are four months old, your baby should be able to roll from their stomach to their back. It takes a little bit longer to turn the opposite way. By the time your baby is six months old, they should be able to go from their back to their tummy.
4. Sits Up Unassisted
It’s an exciting moment when your baby can sit up on their own. Sitting-up unassisted usually takes place around six months of age. However, babies can acquire this skill anywhere from 4 to 9 months of age. When your baby can sit up on their own, it means they will no longer need to be held as much or propped up, which makes life much easier for you. It will be a little longer before they can get into and out of a sitting position on their own. Most babies are around nine months old when they can do this.
5. Babbles with Vowel Sounds
At about seven months of age, your baby should be babbling and chattering. You will most likely hear them saying things like “oh” and “ah.” Shortly after this, your baby will start using sounds that begin with the letters b and m. All this babbling might sound like nonsense, but it’s a significant milestone when it comes to developing their receptive and expressive language skills. And now, you get to hear your child’s personality really come to life!
6. Walks with Assistance
If you’re like most parents, you probably look forward to, and dread, the day your baby starts walking. While it’s great for them to become more independent, it also means they’ll be getting into more things.
By the time they are 8 or 9 months old, you can help them take their first steps by assisting them in walking. You’ll know it’s time to start practicing with them when they can pull themselves up into a standing position.
7. Scoots, Creeps, or Crawls
Most babies are around nine months old when they first start scooting, creeping, or crawling. However, this milestone can happen anywhere from 6 to 10 months of age.
Not all babies crawl the same. Many babies scoot backward first. Others do a military-looking maneuver by using their arms to pull themselves around while lying on their tummy. Still, some babies skip this stage altogether and go right into cruising or walking.
8. Plays Games
Some of a baby’s first games are peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake. Babies usually start playing these first games around 9 or 10 months of age. Pat-a-cake is an especially important game for baby as this game helps them develop hand-eye coordination and improve their fine-motor skills.
Social-Emotional and verbal development are also essential aspects of this game, plus playing these games is a great way to bond with your baby.
9. Walks Unassisted
The most exciting developmental milestone begins to happen between the ages of 9 and 12 months of age. This age is when your baby will most likely take their first steps on their own.
By the time they are 14 or 15 months old, they should be walking well without assistance. Some children take longer, and it can be 17 months before they are walking well unassisted.
9 Important Milestones to Look for with Your Baby
If your baby is not meeting any of these milestones, you should first consult with your baby’s pediatrician. If necessary, they may refer you to a pediatric neurologist to determine what is going on. Early intervention is key, especially in cases of autism and other developmental delays.