Top Tips For Bonding With Your Baby

Top Tips For Bonding With Your Baby

In the first 12 months, your baby will go through many developmental milestones that are important for their physical, sensory and emotional growth. Knowing what to look out for with their development can aid you with assisting them in these three areas – encouraging them to build their skills.

Here’s an overview of the different development stages, and when your baby should roughly be achieving aspects of them. Remember – this is simply guidance, and not a set-in stone timeline of exactly when your baby will develop certain skills.

Physical Development

Physical Development is where your baby will begin to build their muscles and motor skills, that help them become more in control of their bodies and movements during the early years.

1 Month – In their first month, babies will often remain curled in the foetal position, with closed fists and occasional movements of their head from side to side, with other movements mainly controlled by their reflexes. They won’t have the ability to support themselves yet, so they’ll rely on you to keep their head upright when being held and fed.

3 Months – This stage is where muscle will begin to develop, and you’ll start to notice your baby will begin to unclench their fists, begin kicking their feet, and stretch and move around more in general. They may also be able to hold their head up a little during tummy time, but still require your help.

6 Months – Some begin to start rocking themselves in anticipation for crawling at 6 months old, and will continue to develop their strength by holding onto more items and toys. They should also be able to roll over and sit up with some help from parents.

9 Months – Sitting up alone and shuffling along may begin to happen at the 9-month stage, with some even attempting to stand using furniture or parental guidance. Picking things up will also be easier.

12 Months – If your baby started standing at 9 months, they should be in the swing of things by now, but others may only just start doing this at a year old. Their motor skills will have developed over this year to allow them to crawl quickly or even take their first steps.

Sensory Development

This is where your baby will develop the five senses – smell, taste, touch, vision and hearing. For babies, this will also include their nervous system’s response, helping them with behavioural and motor development and their responses.

1 Month – Hearing will be fully developed at this stage, so your baby will mostly be getting used to the sound of your voice, and the voices of your loved ones too. They’ll be able to focus on objects 8-12 inches away, and black and white or contrasting images will be easier for them to see.

3 Months – Vision is the main improvement at 3 months, as they’ll start to recognise people and objects moving around, especially their parents and frequent, known visitors. They’ll also be able to see further in the distance, and turn their heads when they hear sounds. Toys that make noise are also great to purchase for this stage, especially ones that can be held, as this doesn’t just aid their sensory development but also gives them an element of fun too!

6 Months – At 6 months, taste will form a huge art of your baby’s life as they’re introduced to different foods. This is also where you need to listen out for their language skills, as often the 6–7-month stage is where they’ll say their first words!

9 Months – At this age, you’ll probably notice your baby starts making a lot of noise, with banging toys or hands against objects becoming a fun activity for them. Babies at this age will learn object permanence, allowing them to recognise people and things still exist even when they can’t be seen. Storybooks will also become much more interesting, as they’ll start to engage with the images and colours on the pages.

12 Months – Your baby may begin to speak more at this age, even if those words aren’t 100% coherent, as they try to imitate your voice and words. They’ll continue trying to make noise with objects, but will also start to understand simple requests to do things like to pick up toys, or to sit still.


Emotional Development

Emotional development is where your baby learns how to respond to different stimuli, and express themselves. It’s where you’ll start noticing their personality shine through! They’ll gradually start to become a little more social and learn more about their emotions.

1 Month – In the times your baby is awake, they may make some small noises in response to their care or your communication with them, but they won’t be able to talk. Their main way of expressing themselves is through crying – so keep an eye on them so you can assess what they need.

3 Months – At three months, you’ll start to notice that your little one will start to make different facial expressions, and may start cooing when you speak to them. There’s also potential you’ll see them begin to smile at this stage too.

6 Months – Interaction with your baby is extremely important from birth, but by now they’ll start interacting back with you – and you’ll be able to see from their expressions and the sounds they make how they’re feeling. They’ll also recognise words you frequently use with them such as ‘bath’.

9 Months – Attachment will develop at 9 months old, and you’ll notice they’ll probably get upset even if you put them down for a few minutes. This however can be helped by a special toy or blanket that can become a comforting companion when they can’t cling onto you.

12 Months – One-year olds will often be reserved around strangers or visitors, and may get upset if you leave them. Independence will be a big thing for them, but they’ll still try and get your attention when they want you around. They’ll start to enjoy social activities and games much more too, such as peek-a-boo, as this will bring them a lot of joy.

All babies develop at different paces and there isn’t a set timetable for when they should be able to do something – it’s not a competition with other parents whose child is developing quicker, and the health and safety of your baby is the upmost priority, so don’t get frustrated if they seem to be falling behind a little. Patience is key with development, and if you have any concerns about your little one, make sure to mention it to a medical professional who’ll be able to help with your worries. Recording their milestones is great to help you keep track not just of these stages, but also for you to look back on in years to come, so you’ll always remember those special moments such as their first words.

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