Keeping track of developmental milestones is one of the most exciting parts of being a new parent. Seeing your child grow before your eyes will quickly make you forget all of those sleepless nights and stressful trips to the doctor. Here are four of the biggest developmental milestones that you should keep an eye out for in the next few years.
Speak Their First Few Words
Your infant will probably speak at least a few words by their first birthday. This often starts with them saying “da-da” to the father and “ma-ma” to the mother. They might also be able to identify a sibling or pet that they regularly interact with. By the time they start speaking, they should recognize a handful of words as well. Parents can encourage their baby to speak by reading to them and making eye contact when speaking to them.
Use Their Imagination
A child’s imagination will continue to develop right alongside their other cognitive abilities. Around 18 months, they might start to mimic and pretend. When you notice those behaviors, you must provide them with plenty of stimulating toys and activities. Many different areas of the brain grow during that time, and they need to be constantly challenged. They usually pretend to do activities that they see adults doing such as making meals, eating, cleaning, using a toothbrush, or driving.
Respond to Their Name
There is nothing in the world quite like seeing your infant respond to their name for the first time. As a general rule, a baby should be able to identify their name at around seven months. If your child was injured in the womb or during birth, then this milestone might take a little bit longer. Parents who are worried about birthing injuries should speak with an attorney about their legal options, like Snyder & Wenner, P.C.
Take Their First Step
As soon as your baby takes their first step, your life is going to change forever. The best way to help your baby walk faster is to have them move around as much as possible. Sitting, crawling, pulling themselves up, and walking with assistance will strengthen the muscles that are needed to move around on their own.
Every baby will hit these milestones at slightly different times, and there most likely isn’t a problem unless your infant is more than a few months behind. If you ever suspect that something is wrong with their development, then you should contact your pediatrician to discuss your concerns.