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Your child's 1st year development - month to month

By Donna Lee

The first year of your child's development is an ever-changing and exciting time for both you and your child. See the differences month to month.

1 to 2 months:

After nine months in the womb, your baby will be familiarizing himself with his surroundings. The familiar sound of your voice will be comforting to the baby. By the second month, you will see your newborn becoming more aware of his surroundings. At this point, your baby may recognize your voice and turn his head towards you when you speak. He may respond verbally by cooing and even begin to smile.

Your newborn does not yet have full control of his bodily motions. He may jerk his arms and legs spontaneously when startled. By the second month, his movements should be less jerky, smoother, and less involuntary.

Get close and show them bold colors and shapes. Babies are usually nearsighted and are only able to view objects 8 to 14 away. Encourage your child's visual development by showing him brightly colored objects in different shapes and sizes.

3 to 4 months:

In the third month, your baby will have more control of his movements. When lying on his stomach and using his elbows, he will be able to raise his chest and slightly lift his head. He learns to use his hands. He will reach for objects, grab his feet, and by the fourth month may be able to hold a small object.

Your baby will become more vocal. He will laugh and squeal when he is happy and cry when he is flustered. By the fourth month, your newborn will try to make different sounds.

5 to 6 months:

In the fifth month, your child will be physically stronger. He is able to keep his head steady and sit upright if propped with a pillow. By the sixth month he may sit independently. He will also be able to roll over in one direction. He may try to start crawling.

You will notice your baby has become more expressive. He will start to say consonant-vowel combinations. He may raise his arms gesturing to be picked up.

Be careful of your actions, your baby will try to imitate your actions and your facial expressions.

Your child will start to recognize his own name.

7 to 8 months:

Your baby is very aware of his parent's unconditional love. He may try to push your limits to see how far he can go.

In the seventh month your child will want to walk. He can stand while holding onto something or someone.

9 to 10 months:

By now, your child's leg strength has greatly improved. Your child will spend lots of time practicing to walk. He will be able to stand from a sitting position. He may be able to stand for a short time.

Your baby will grasp simple commands and sayings such as "no and "good girl". Your child may also try to say "mommy or "daddy". He will try to form words by speaking gibberish. By the tenth month, your child may wave hello or goodbye to visitors.

Your baby can hold his own bottle or cup. You may give your child his own spoon to encourage feeding himself.

11 to 12 months:

A new beginning, your child will begin to walk on his own. Your child's vocal skills are more developed. Baby can say "mommy or "daddy". He will be able to say one-syllable words such as "hi". He will also be trying to converse with you through gibberish.

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