After your newborn has reached the four-week mark, which in itself is a baby milestone, baby development really cranks up. Your little one is starting to become more alert, bigger, stronger, and more confident with the world. In this section, our experts explain the various facets of baby developmental milestones – what to look for, how to tell when you’re about to achieve a key milestone, and what you can do to gently encourage your little one’s first steps and early attempts at language.
Watching your baby develop is an amazing and often highly entertaining experience, especially for first-time moms and dads. Everything is so new and something funny happens nearly every day. As a parent once said, “It’s like a science experiment brought to life in your lounge.” No wonder so many parents buy video cameras to capture hours of baby development on film.
Regardless of how you see it or what your little one is up to, you’re probably hungry for baby development information. Is that a first word or a burp? Was that a step or a stumble? Do they remember the book you showed them yesterday, and if so, does it mean they’re ready to start learning the alphabet?
Maybe you’re worried your baby’s development is a bit slow, or possibly going too fast?
Growth and development
In this section, we’ll tell you what’s happening, what to expect and when to expect it. We’ll even tell you how you can help boost baby development by giving your little one a helping hand, a gentle prod, and well-timed words of encouragement.
By now, you’ll be used to your little one making lots of different sounds and interesting noises. But is it the start of language or just a load of babble? First words, although they seem like nonsensical babble, are indisputable proof that your baby is ready for a little conversation with you. Read this section to find out about the key signs of baby language development. You may also discover that your baby understands quite a bit more than you might realise.
First steps to independence
Those first steps are so special – not only is your little one embarking on a significant chapter in baby development, but they are also beginning their journey towards independence. There are a number of things you can do to build your baby’s confidence, skills and strength. Read this section to find out what they are.
You may have realised that your baby’s memory is far from perfect in the first few months of life. With on-going baby development, a baby’s capacity for remembering words, faces and objects gets better and better. Learn how you can help your little one’s memory develop with some fun techniques for fostering memory. It’s never too soon to start, and you’ll both enjoy the process.
Baby development has a wide range of parameters, with every baby growing at their own unique rate. Try not to compare your baby’s growth to your friend’s baby and then panic because they don’t look the same. Keep in mind that even the biggest people started off on the dainty side and it’s all a matter of time.
The growth charts in your baby’s health book give an excellent idea of just how much babies vary in size, length and head circumference. In this section, we explain what those graphs mean, and talk you through the various stages of growth.