Your baby’s growth and development: what to expect from 0-12 months!

As a new parent, you may be feeling some anticipation over your little one’s growth and developmental milestones. Here at Kendamil, we’re parents too - so we’ve been in the position as you’re in, researching far and wide on what we should be looking out for. 

From watching your baby grow before your eyes, start to smile, talk, crawl and maybe even walk - whatever happens,  just know that your little one’s first year will be FULL of joy and wonder!

Remember, every baby is unique!🌟

First off, it’s essential to remember just how much development can vary from child to child. According to the NHS, children develop in their own time. Not every child reaches these milestones and some skip a few altogether. There is a wide range of what is considered ‘normal’ for growth and the process of your child reaching commonly known milestones. Take it easy and remember - every child is different!

We urge you not to hold these milestones to heart and let your baby develop in their own unique way. However, highlighting common milestones can be useful to help you recognise important moments, adapt to your baby’s development and, overall, help you to ease your baby into their own individual personality.

So, if you’re wondering “when will my baby hit their developmental milestones?” look no further. Whether your baby grows fast or slow, we’re here to help provide all the info, resources and assistance.

0-3 months: growth is happening at a rapid rate. 🚀🌱

From the moment you bring your baby home, they’re growing at a rapid pace. You might not be able to see it right away, but if your little one is eating and sleeping a lot, that’s because they need all that energy to reach those early milestones. These include:

  • Recognising and feeling comforted by the sound of your voice. 
  • Tracking and focusing on nearby objects and faces, like when they’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. And by the time your baby hits the 3-month mark they might even be able to recognise your face!
  • Smiling - first to themselves and gradually at others.
  • Lifting their head up during tummy time
  • Making noises.
  • Opening and closing their hands and reaching out for items.
  • Kicking their feet out - their motor skills are staying to develop at a fast pace.

🤔 💡 How you can encourage your 0-3 month old baby’s development: Lots of tummy time (for motor skills) and cuddling (for bonding and self-development later in life) is great for your baby’s cognitive, social and physical development. Plus they’re fun ways to introduce your baby to the world around them! As well as this, we recommend your baby has a strong routine, to get their body clock working. Babies (and parents!) THRIVE with consistency!

 4-6 months: developing your baby’s (colourful!!) personality. 🎆🌈

Around this stage, many babies start showing more personality. Besides those cute smiles and little baby babbles, here’s what you can keep an eye out for these next few months: 

  • Rolling over - usually front to back first, then back to front (but sometimes the other way around).
  • Sitting up with support.
  • Using their hands to grab and play with toys, or grabbing feet and maybe bringing them to their mouth. 
  • Putting weight on their legs when held in a standing position. And maybe they’ll do some bouncing, too!
  • Laughing and more babbling. 
  • Your baby may also begin to recognise their name.
  • Showing interest in your food as they prepare to eat their own solid foods

🤔 💡 How you can encourage your baby’s development: Have your baby play with toys and household items (make sure you monitor them the WHOLE time and never let your baby hold anything - hold the item for them!) to quicken their growth and development through sensory play

Touch, taste and smell are very important during this time - especially as your baby might be making their way from milk to solid foods. Our top resources include:

7-9 months: mobility and motor skills time! 🚶⚽

Your little one is getting bigger and starting to become quite mobile. But they’re still young enough to want to put everything in their mouth (so if you haven’t yet, now’s a good time to baby-proof your house!). You might also expect your child to learn how to:

  • Sit up all by themselves and start pulling up to a standing position using furniture and items around the room. 
  • Prepare to crawl. Before achieving a full hands-and-knees crawl, they’ll probably start by scooting or sliding around.
  • Play little games like hide-and-seek or peek-a-boo. These games are VERY important in developing your baby’s ‘object permanence’ (when a child realises that when an object disappears from their sight, that doesn’t mean it’s gone!). We all develop object permanence in our infancy. Object permanence usually solidifies by the time we hit our toddler years (sometimes beyond!) - so, practicing with your 6-month-old, by getting out a number of fun and engaging toys, can be incredibly helpful in easing separation anxiety. 
  • They may start taking notice of various emotions in your voice and respond with facial expressions.
  • Using hands to point at things they want/ are interested in. 
  • They might begin to grip objects, including food, to put in their mouths!

How you can encourage your baby’s development: During this time, your baby is probably learning how to move around, touching and tasting everything. Sensory play and regular peek-a-boo sessions are incredibly useful - especially for helping your baby with their object permanence and cognitive growth! We recommend:

10-12 months: your baby is reaching toddlerhood! 🥳💫

During these last few months of your baby’s first year, your little one is inching towards toddlerhood! Throughout this phase, your little one will be learning:

  • How to cruise. This is when a baby can pull themselves up to a standing position with support, and walk around the room holding onto furniture or other items. This sets the final stage before full on walking begins. 
  • Words have meaning! Your baby might start to use a few of their first words during this time - actually in context! They’ll also enjoy hearing the rhythmic and repetitive words of children’s books - and the pictures will help your baby grasp the meanings of some words. 
  • They will begin to mimic your behaviour and actions at this point (so be careful!).

🤔 💡 How you can encourage your baby’s development: During this time, your baby is probably learning how to use their motor skills and walk around. This is the eclipse stage - next comes toddlerhood. So this time is FULL of milestones! 

Encourage these milestones with fun crafts (so they can learn creativity and movement), movies (so they can develop their vision and language skills) and maybe even interactive play! We recommend:

Best toys for baby development, 6-12 months’.

And to get ahead of the programme, our ‘toddler activities’ blogs (to encourage those sensory milestones!):

How can YOU encourage your 0-12 month old’s development?🥰

Yes, your little one is going to do a lot of learning and growing on their own. But there are a few things you can do to encourage healthy development - throughout their entire first year. Keep these things consistent in your baby’s first-year routine:

💬 Be sure to talk to your baby throughout their first year. Make eye contact when you can. Narrate the different things you do throughout the day. Identify the emotions they experience to lay a foundation for managing them as they get older. We recommend reading, singing and playing lots of music!

🥺 In the younger stages, practice tummy time daily. To develop your baby’s motor skills and core strength!

🪑 As your baby gets older, prop them up to encourage sitting, or challenge them to reach a toy a few feet away as they learn to crawl. 

👌 Encourage grasping! Offer your child toys to reach for and grasp at from a young age to learn fine motor skills, and when they’re ready, allow them to practice the pincer grasp (when your baby learns to hold something between their thumb and their index finger) by offering them objects. 

😋 Keep your baby’s tummy full! They need all their energy to grow and develop! So, whether that means breastfeeding, combination feeding or bottle-feeding, find your feeding approach (luckily our blogs cover it ALL - and more !) before your baby makes their way into the wonderful world of weaning!

☀️🌙 Cultivate consistency and routine to promote your child’s mental and emotional development. Establish routines for the day, especially for sleeping and feeding. 

🤗 Squeeze in all the cuddles you can! For your baby’s security and comfort, and to strengthen that special bond. Trust us - you’re gonna want to get ALL the cuddles you can while they’re still young!!

And if you’re concerned about your little one’s milestones? 💙

As mentioned above, every baby advances at their own pace - but if you’re feeling some concern over your little one’s development we recommend: 

  • Initially consulting your local healthcare professional
  • If you feel you need more significant support, then NHS guidelines recommend you contact your local council’s Children’s Services team for a ‘need’s assessment’ and specialised support.

For your own peace of mind, we recommend having a look through these NHS guidelines - which provide government links and special advice for different child-development needs.

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Above all, cherish this first year. You got this, KendaFam!!

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