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0 to 3 months

0 to 3 months 4 to 6 months 7 to 9 months 10 to 12 months

Physical Development:

At this stage, babies become increasingly responsive to their environment and will usually give their first smile by 2 months of age. Most infants begin to:

• Hold hand in a fist.

• Lift head up and prop self up on elbows, when lying on their tummy

• Use sucking, grasping, and rooting (holding tongue to the roof of the mouth) reflexes

• Touch, pull, and tug own hands with fascination

• Grip your finger when you stroke their palm

• Hold unto objects and wave them around

• Repeat body movements, and enjoy doing so

• Roll over in one direction or side

• Put some weight on their legs when held upright

Social and Emotional development:

Babies spend a lot of time getting to know their own bodies. They:

• Suck their own fingers

• Observe their own hands

• Bring both hands together

• Look at the place on the body that is being touched

• Begin to realize they are separate people from others and learn how body parts, like arms and legs, are attached

Infants are interested in other people and learn to recognize primary caregivers.

Most infants:

• Can be comforted by a familiar adult

• Respond positively to touch

• Interact best when in an alert or attentive state

• Benefit from short, frequent interactions more than long, infrequent ones

• Smile when you smile at them and show pleasure in response to social stimulation

• Squeal when happy

• Communicate needs by crying. Their cries could even signal boredom or request for attention

Thinking Skills:

Newborns use and integrate their senses to explore their world. Most infants:

• Can see clearly within 8-15 inches and hence can focus eyes on your face

• Focus on and follow moving objects, including human faces. This is termed "tracking"

• Can see all colors and distinguish hue and brightness. Red, white and black colors attract their attention more. Good idea to place a mobile over the crib so that your baby can follow its movements as well as enjoy the soothing music

• Develop discriminating taste buds such as sweet, sour, bitter, and salty at this age

• Respond with facial expressions to strong stimuli (like odors)

• Prefer high contrast items and geometric shapes and patterns

• Begin to anticipate events (for example, sucking at the sight of a nipple bottle)

• Are able to focus on small objects e.g. raisins

Communication Skills:

From the very start, infants pay close attention to language. In the first year, they can distinguish all of the speech sounds that occur in natural language; then they begin to specialize in the sounds of their home language. Most infants will:

• Respond to speech by looking at the speaker

• Respond differently to the voice of a parent than to other voices

• React to changes in a speaker's tone, pitch, volume, and intonation

• Respond differently to their home language and another language

• Communicate with bodily movements, by crying, babbling, and laughing

• Respond to loud sounds by becoming completely silent, crying, or acting startled

• Attempt to imitate sounds

What you can do: The most important thing in the first few weeks is to give your baby your full attention. Talk to him, smile at him, make faces, cuddle him and show him how much you love him. Place him on his tummy often so he can practice lifting his head and push up with his arms, which will help strengthen his neck and shoulder muscles.


Snooze news

The average newborn logs 15 to 18 hours of sleep per day, often in the form of short naps. Longer sleep patterns during the night won't occur until a little later. One way to move closer to that goal is to wake him if he sleeps for more than three to four hours at a time during the day.


Nurse him every two to three hours if breastfeeding. You'll know he's getting enough if he seems satisfied after the feed, continues to have wet diapers and stays within a normal growth curve.

Even if you plan to bottle-feed formula to your baby, consider breastfeeding the first few days so your baby can benefit from this nutritious natural food. Feed him formula every three to four hours. Initially, about two to four fluid ounces are required at each feeding, but gradually the amount will increase.

*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your baby hasn't yet acquired these milestones, he will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development discuss them with baby's pediatrician.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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