Chances are, if you are reading this, your baby has probably changed quite a bit during the first six months.
Your child is likely more alert, and may even be exploring and getting in to some mischief by this time. It is certainly different from months 1 – 6, isn’t it? But what are some key milestones to look for from now until the reach one year of age?
Continuing on from part one, we will be talking about months 7 – 12.
Remember, these are just guidelines for developmental skills. Do not be alarmed or concerned if your child isn’t hitting each one right on the mark. Every child develops at their own pace. If you are worried at all about your child’s development, mention it to your doctor at baby’s next check up.
Your baby is most likely getting ready to crawl if they aren’t on the move yet. This means that you will need to start thinking about baby proofing your home if you haven’t already done so. Your baby probably enjoys a lot of floor time right now, so check and double check that there are no choking hazards within their reach, because they will find it, and it will go straight to the mouth. Keep an eye out for these other milestones:
- Enjoys playing games such as peek-a-boo
- Finds dropping things on the floor over and over funny
- Can see in full colour now, and at great distances
- Imitates speech sounds
- Babbles and may combine syllables to small words
- Stands while holding on to something
- Claps hands
- Begins to crawl
- Experiences separation anxiety from parents
- Tests you – will do something you have told her “no” to just to see your reaction
This is the month to prepare yourself for lumps, bumps, and bruises. As your baby becomes more and more mobile, they will gain more confidence in testing their own limits. Of course this will lead to falls and they still do not have great balance. As long as you have baby proofed your home, it is OK to let them explore a bit. This is how they learn. If your baby falls and bumps their head, I was always told that if the bump is bigger than a Twoonie (yes, I am Canadian) then you need to take them to be seen by a doctor. Always get them checked out if you have any concerns. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Watch out for these other month 8 markers:
- Passes objects back and forth from hand to hand
- Crawls well
- Says “mama” and “dada” to both parents, does not know difference of words
- May start to shake head for “yes” and “no”
- Develops a pincher grasp with pointer finger and thumb
- Pulls self to standing
- Points at objects
- May develop a fascination with tags on toys or clothing
- May blow kisses
- Likes to play tricks, and thinks they are funny
Do not be alarmed if your baby is not crawling by this time. Some babies do not crawl until around 10 months, and some skip crawling altogether and just go straight to walking.
Does the term Miss Independent remind you of anyone these days? Your baby probably prefers to do things herself (or himself) right now such as holding their bottle, and feeding themselves with their newly adapted pincher grasp. Chances are they are going through another sleep regression, and will be transitioning themselves in to two naps a day instead of three. This may become more of a tough adjustment for parents who are used to having that time alone during the day.
Other things to watch for:
- Has favourite toys
- Babbles word like sounds
- Copies others sounds and gestures
- Becomes wary of strangers
- May play shy
- Can recognize commonly used words
- May start to dance when they hear music
- Is busier than ever, and may grow bored of toys they have around all the time
Month 10 brings a wide range of new skills. If your baby has not crawled yet, this may just be the month where they begin to move. Babies that have been standing up for awhile now, may brave their first steps or start to balance on their own. No matter which one your baby is at, they are all well in the range of normal development for this time. If you aren’t quite through the nine month sleep regression, chances are you aren’t getting much sleep. You may notice that your baby is staying up later at night, waking more frequently, and sleeping less soundly. This will pass, it usually improves within two months. Other milestones to look for:
- Cruises along furniture
- Waves goodbye
- Crawls well
- Responds to their name
- Drinks from a cup
- Initiates wants with gestures or noises
- Enjoys songs such as paddy cake, or itsy bitsy spider
- Likely has a few teeth, and some on the way
- Biting during breastfeeding, and nipple fascination
- Enjoys meal times, and feeding themselves solid food
Chances are, by now your child has developed quite the personality. They have a strong understanding of what they like and dislike and aren’t afraid to show it. You can probably tell by now if your child is fairly laid back, or a little more wild. It may be most noticeable when you are at playgroup with other babies. You probably notice some moodiness or mood swings throughout the day as well. Do your best to spot baby’s tired cues, hunger cues, and overstimulation cues and you can help remedy these mood swings. Other things to watch out for:
- Makes sounds in different tones, much like speaking
- Crawls up stairs
- Understands simple instructions
- Understands object permanence
- Likes to explore, and get in to trouble
- May stand without supports
- Eating three meals a day along with nursing or formula
- Daytime naps are short now, only about an hour
Congratulations! Your baby is no longer considered a baby, they have graduated to a toddler! Looking back over the past 12 months it really is amazing at how much your little bundle has accomplished in such a short amount of time. Your baby is really enjoying social interactions, and has probably mastered saying hi and bye, accompanied with a wave. They may have even picked up a few more words along with mama and dada and are quite the little talkers. Other milestones for 12 months:
- Looks directly at images when they are named
- Stands on own
- May take first steps
- Starts to use items correctly, such as hair brush or tooth brush
- Responds to simple requests
- Reading books is probably a favourite activity
- Can now ingest dairy if you choose to introduce it to their diet
- Probably time to upgrade to a bigger carseat and ditch the infant seat
You are probably busy planning your little ones first birthday by this time, if you haven’t already done so. It is such an exciting time for parents and family to share.
Just remember, these are general guidelines for development, and each baby will grow and learn at their own pace. Some children do not walk until about 18 months, so don’t be alarmed if your child seems to be lacking in certain departments.
Check with your doctor to make sure they are on track and if there is anything that you can do to help them along. They will not be little for long, and we as parents will miss these days as they grow up. Don’t rush them, and savour every moment.
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