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From Newborn to Toddler: The First Year of Development

From Newborn to Toddler-In-Training – Watching a baby reach developmental milestones is one of the greatest pleasures of grandparenthood. Whether your grandbaby lives with you full-time or just visits for occasional bonding time, you need to know what to watch for as they move toward their first birthday. They will change a lot in this first year, and you don’t want to miss one moment of the transition from infant to growing baby.

Swaddle, Scoot and Sit

Some of the biggest milestones in the first year involve mobility. Your grandbaby starts out as a tiny baby incapable of doing much beyond resting in a warm swaddled blanket and passing gas. Yes, most of those adorable smiles are actually rumbles in their little tummy. As you progress toward that 12-month mark, you will notice the following milestones:

  • Holding head high by the second or third month
  • Rolling over by the third or fourth month
  • Flipping from tummy to back by fifth or sixth month
  • Crawling anytime after the fifth month
  • Sitting up independently by the eight or ninth month
  • Pulling up to standing position by the eight or ninth month
  • Walking anytime after the eighth month

These milestones are rough estimates to serve as a loose guide. Don’t use them as rules. If you are concerned about your grandchild’s mobile development, a visit to the doctor will rule out any abnormalities. You may also gain comfort when your grandchild’s parents use an app like FirstYear to monitor and share your grandchild’s activity for the first year.

Personal Interaction

Newborns may open their eyes and look around, but they are unable to visually focus on specific objects. Further, they are unable to fully understand what is happening around them enough to interact with the world. While they may find comfort in a tight-swaddled blanket, the sound of your voice and the loving touch of your hand as you rock them to sleep, they aren’t able to see your features and interact with you until they are a little older.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can help your grandchild interact more with the world by speaking to them as often as possible. Read books out loud. Sing songs to them. Respond to their coos even if they don’t make sense to you. Make eye contact and watch as the baby learns how to verbally communicate their needs and desires.

Interacting with the world also includes the ability to physically maneuver objects. By the end of the first year of development, a healthy baby can grip their own bottle, bang toys together and grab items of interest. You can help them interact with the world in this manner by providing them safe toys to manipulate and safe spaces to roll and crawl.

For the first couple months, your grandchild may struggle to maintain eye contact and their body movements may seem erratic and unstable. Continue openly communicating with them each day and allowing them to touch and kick safe objects. Even simple games like peekaboo can encourage physical movement and personal interaction.

Make sure you take lots of pictures as the baby reaches new milestones because they will become busy toddlers-in-training before their first birthday.

Links to resources mentioned

FirstYear Pro – Baby tracker, breastfeeding, nursing timer, bottle feeding, sleep, diaper, milestone log, growth chart for newborn – Yi Ding

iPhone App: FirstYear Pro – iPhone – Yi Ding
iPad App: FirstYear Pro – iPad – Yi Ding

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