Parents are very excited to see their babies and children first smiles, verbalize words, walk and looks at them. The progress of their baby’s development has been thoroughly documented by some. Normal progress of development has been difficult for some parents to identify. Before discussing the different developmental milestones appropriate for a specific age, let us first differentiate growth from development.
Growth vs. Development
Growth is an increase in the physical size of a child while development is an increase in his or her ability. The former is quantitatively measured through the measurement of weight and height while the latter is qualitative and the progress is determined through direct observation of the child’s gross and fine motor, language, socialization and play development. Determining whether the progress of development in a child is normal is not that easy. Thorough observation and knowledge of developmental milestones appropriate for the age is the key factor in qualitatively assessing development.
Infancy is the period of time from 1 month to 1 year of age. The growth and development of an infant is rapid in terms of size and the ability to perform specific tasks.
1 month – hands fisted; able to follow object to midline; delights in watching the face of the primary caregiver
2 months – social smile noted; cooing sounds is differentiated from cry; enjoys bright-colored mobiles
3 months – follows object past the midline, laughs out loud, hand regard noted
4 months – grasp, tonic neck, step-in-place reflexes fading, needs space to turn
5 months – turns from front to back, can handle rattle well
6 months – can turn both ways, may be able to verbalize vowel sounds such as “oh-oh,” bathtub toys are enjoyed at this time, rubber ring for teething are enjoyed,
7 months – sits with support, anticipates to being picked up, beginning to fear strangers, prefers and likes to play with objects that are good size for transferring
8 months – sits without support, develops the ability to identify known from unknown people thus, peak of stranger anxiety is at this point, enjoys manipulation of toys with different textures
9 months – can creep or crawl, needs space for creeping, and says first word (da-da)
10 months – pulls self to stand, uses pincer grasp, patty-cake and peek-a-boo are the games that infants of this age enjoy
11 months – walks with support – cruises
12 months – stand alone, pushes arm into sleeve when dressing up, holds spoon and cup, says two words plus ma-ma and da-da, nursery rhymes, loves pulling toys while walking