14 Apr Which Baby Milestones Matter?
Did you know that crawling isn’t a major baby milestone? In fact, some babies never crawl at all, and that’s totally okay. While crawling isn’t a necessary milestone for your baby’s development, there are other physical and verbal milestones that they should be reaching.
Walking the Walk
The first physical development milestone will be holding their head up. At around two months, babies should be able to lift up their head and look around when they’re lying on their stomach. By four months, they should be able to support their head up on their own when you’re holding them up.
Around four months, your baby should also be reaching for toys or other objects and bringing objects to their mouth. Usually they’ll first do this with their hands and then gradually do it with other things, like toys or someone else’s hand.
At four months, your child should be able to bounce on their legs. They won’t be able to stand on their own just yet—you’ll have to hold them up. But when you hold them so that they’re standing up, they should be able to support at least a little of their own weight. You should feel them pushing against the floor (as opposed to their legs being completely limp and floppy).
Around six months, your child should be trying to do a few things. The first is rolling over. This goes for both directions—tummy to back, and back to tummy.
At nine months, they should be able to stay sitting without help once you sit them up. They should also be stand by themselves, even if they need your help getting to the standing position. When standing, they’ll probably need to lean on an adult or a piece of furniture.
For more physical development milestones, use this checklist from healthychildren.org.
Talking the Talk
The first language development milestone your baby will hit is crying. Yep, this is a milestone! And it should be one that they reach within the first few days of life.
Around eight weeks, they should be cooing, and the amount of cooing should gradually increase over the months. Your baby might utter their first word around eight months, but this milestone really depends on the child, and everyone is different. By one year, they should have a couple simple words down and be using them intentionally (e.g., when they say “mama,” they’re referring to Mom instead of just saying the word).
At eighteen months, your baby should be saying a few more simple words, but they’ll be able to understand over 200 words. At around two years, your child should start speaking in short, two-word sentences, like, “Up mama,” or, “All done.” For more information on language development milestones, check out this article.
Of course, if you’re worried about your child’s development, bring up your questions with a pediatrician. Most children who reach certain milestones late end up catching up to their peers in no time, but sometimes a developmental delay is a sign of a health condition.
For more information on the web, visit healthychildren.org. If you have questions or would like to discuss any concerns you have regarding your baby’s development, you can schedule an appointment with me, Dr. Kathryn Mandal, by calling 817-617-8600 or scheduling online at continuumtx.com.