Thursday, June 23, 2005

Baby Development: Second Half of the First Year

Many exciting things will be going on in the second half of a baby's first year of life. Babies always develop at different rates and speeds, so please be aware that any chart is only to be used with the awareness that if a baby is ahead of or behind what the charts say should be occurring, it is just a normal happening and he or she will be reaching milestones when ready.

During the seventh month of life, the baby will be quite verbal and "bouncy." He will want to spring up and down when being held in a standing posture. He will not need support when sitting upright as he did in months past. He may seem like an aspiring drummer as he thumps objects on tables, crib, or anywhere else he can reach. He should be able to recognize his name at this point. The baby will begin to show food likes and dislikes around this time. Fine motor skills are starting to be developed during this time period.

It is during the eighth month that you may start seeing a baby trying to stand up holding onto furniture. With the added mobility, be sure the house is "baby proofed" because by the eighth month, the baby will be picking up items that he sees as he begins to cruise around the house. More words are now being understood and he will try to put more syllables together.

It is around the ninth month that the baby will truly become mobile by starting to crawl. He will be able to understand some simple instructions and comments you make, and he knows what "no" means. He will most likely hate getting dressed and bathed.

During the tenth month, the baby will sit down by making himself fall into that position. He will show signs of wanting to walk by taking "steps" while holding onto something. He is now calling out to his parents with his names for them, usually mama and dada. He may be saying another simple word or two.

The baby will at this age will often wave goodbye when someone is leaving the house or room. He may enjoy the baby "games" everyone recognizes such as peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.

There are many things happening during a baby's eleventh and twelfth months. These are often the months when the baby will begin to walk, first by holding onto someone else's hand and then alone. It is important to keep in mind that while some babies are walking by their first birthday, many others are not ready for that quite yet. This is perfectly fine and all children develop at their own rate.

These are also the months when the soon-to-be toddler will be able to put things into containers. He is very inquisitive about the things that are going on around him. He is able to play some simple games like rolling a ball back when rolled to him.

He will enjoy being read to at this point and will help to turn the pages while looking at the illustrations. By the twelfth month, the baby will be saying additional words and will understand many other words. He will repeat the same words and will enjoy making numerous sounds.