When you have a baby there are certain developmental milestones they should be reaching by certain times in their life. A milestone is just an easily identifiable skill that baby is able to perform. Some parents take the milestones very seriously other parents just let baby do what they do when they do it. I think I fall somewhere in between that, closer to following the milestones closely.
My junior year of college I started working at a preschool for some extra money but ended up loving it. I learned so much about babies and toddlers while there. The preschool provided me with training that taught me about milestones for the children. As a teacher I needed to be aware of whether or not the children were reaching their milestones that way I could inform their caregivers and my school director. There are usually three categories for the milestones: motor development, language development, and social/emotional development. Of course no two babies are the same so each milestone has a range of time that most babies meet it by.
Let’s start with infants. For the first month of your precious bebes life most of their moves are automatic or reflexive. Babies this age have mouth reflexes that are important for their survival. They automatically begin to suck when their mouth is touched or root when their cheeks are touched. If you’ve ever gently rubbed a babies cheek then you’ve seen them turn their head that way. That is because they are looking for a nipple. Baby gotta eat! Another reflex is the Moro reflex or the startle reflex. This is seen when a baby hears a loud noise or “falls” backwards. Their arms and legs extend quickly away from the body. Babies this age also have a grasping reflex which is just how it sounds, they will grasp a finger or object that is placed on the palm of their hand. Finally, they have a stepping reflex. Obviously a baby cannot support their own weight but if their feet are placed on a flat surface then they start to step one foot in front of the other. Because I worked in a preschool and had taken child development courses in college I noticed these easily with Rhea. Some other milestones for an infant are focusing on objects 8-12 inch away, raising head during tummy time, and keeping hands in closed fists. I’ll post some photos below that I find showing some of these off.
From 1-3 months babies will start to open and close their fists, bring hands to mouth, support their head while on tummy, grab and swipe at dangling objects, push legs down while on a flat surface, turn head to follow moving objects, makes cooing sounds, smiles at familiar faces, and enjoys playing with other people. Rhea is going to be 3 months old on Christmas Eve and I have noticed she is able to do all of the milestones I listed here. I love seeing her learn new things! She just makes me so proud and she’s only 11 weeks old! Ugh, my heart. Anyways, I like to make a really big deal out of everything she does. Her daddy and I are her biggest fans. When ever she does something new I applaud and cheer for her to encourage her to continue what ever it is she’s doing. She loves it! She smiles and coos whenever she’s cheered for, it is so cute. Back to milestones, I have also noticed Rhea loves to sit up. She tries so hard to sit up on her own it is so cool to see. She also enjoys laying on her side so I am thinking she will roll over soon. Rhea also loves to talk. As soon as she wakes in the morning she smiles and then gets to talking. It’s really cute except for at 4am.
So after writing this I realized I guess I do follow baby milestones pretty closely. Probably because I am a first time mom and I don’t want her to fall behind. Even though I know all babies are different and don’t necessarily follow the milestones to a T, I like that there is a list of things I can look for. I already know I’m going to be jumping up and down when she rolls over so I can’t wait to see everything she does next month! I will keep writing these milestone blogs so y’all can keep up with the new things Rhea is accomplishing.