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Develop & Learn

First Year Development Milestones

Babies' rate of development during the first year is dependent on many factors - some being their size and/or health at birth, the nourishment they receive, congenital factors and the environment in which they are being raised. Parents importantly are their baby's provider of an enriched life through the loving interactions and protective, nurturing home environment that enables every opportunity for growth and development.

As a parent, it is important to see your baby as being unique - she is her own little self. And as a parent, I know what it is like to compare your baby's development to that of others you may socialise with (discussed in Parenting Styles → Conflicting Ideas About Raising Baby). This can cause new parents a great deal of stress!!! Knowing that you are providing your baby with love and the best of care, enjoy watching her grow - at her own pace.

However ... parents' ability to know when 'things aren't right' should not be ignored. Even though babies may have routine check-ups things can be missed, as during the first year they are developing rapidly. If you are unsure or worried about Baby's development seek the advice of a paediatric specialist. NEVER FEEL SILLY ABOUT ASKING QUESTIONS AND SEEKING ADVICE. EARLY DETECTION CAN HELP TO SAVE DELAYS IN BABIES' DEVELOPMENT.

Babies' developmental milestones are gauged according to 5 main areas - these being Physical, Language, Cognitive (Intellectual growth), Social and Emotional development. However, these areas of development tend not to advance 'in isolation' of each other. One area of development influences others. For example, as a baby physically develops she becomes more mobile which enables her to further explore, discover and learn (cognitive development), vocalising her needs (language) and grow in independence (social/emotional). She loves to show that playing with Mum/Dad is fun by babbling words, laughing (social/emotional, cognitive and language) and clapping hands (physical). (The section Let's Play discusses the importance of play for babies' development and learning, and guides you with play ideas for the first year.)

To gain a better understanding of babies' development during the first year according to these 5 developmental areas, a summary of each is provided Next.