The First Year of Your Child’s Development

In the first 12 months of your little one’s life, there are so many ‘firsts’ to enjoy and watching them develop is an exciting time. Here’s what you have in store for you during your child’s first year.

first year of child development

Month 1

Your baby’s vision is still pretty fuzzy, but they can recognise your smell and hear your voice – they may even turn their head in response. Hands are mostly still clenched in fists and communication is via crying!

Month 2

Neck control begins to improve and your baby may be able to keep their head up when you hold them in the sitting position. Hands will start to unfold and your little one will enter into the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle during sleep, when dreaming occurs.

Month 3

Your little one may start to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ and you could well have your heart melted by that first smile that isn’t wind! They will also start to grasp objects and explore the direction that sounds are coming from.

Month 4

No longer living in a world of black and white, your baby can now distinguish the colours of the rainbow. They are probably starting to sit without support and reach out for objects.

Months 5 and 6

You may be starting to introduce solid foods now and baby may also start rolling front to back, and vice versa. Babbling begins to imitate speech and your little one will recognise you and smile at you from across the room.

Months 7 and 8

Crawling might begin; your baby will respond to their name and may start to understand ‘no’. Peekaboo has probably been a favourite game for a few months, but your little one is now at the stage they’ll start to join in.

Months 9 and 10

Touching and textures are heightening the senses now. Little one may pull themselves up to a standing position and start shimmying around the furniture. You may find baby will start to sound out some consonants during these months.

Months 11 and 12

Baby will start standing alone for a few moments, understand requests such as ‘wave bye-bye’, start to say ‘mama’ and ‘dada’, throw some moves to music, and have developed motor skills that make banging a drum easy.

But, you need to remember that no two babies are the same. Each child develops at a different pace. I remember my friend being in awe of my son’s speech ability, when her boy wasn’t really saying much at all. She began to compare her child to mine. I reminded her that her little one was standing and walking way before mine was – they all evolve differently.