The first year of a baby's life

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By Caroline Garcia
Last updated: October 19, 2018

The first year of a child's life is the most amazing, the most difficult, the most important and the most unusual period for the baby himself and his parents.


It is during the first twelve months that all the systems of the body develop swiftly, and the child from a helpless bundle turns into a merry "year-old", confidently standing on strong legs.



The first year of a child's life is the most amazing, the most difficult, the most important and the most unusual period for the baby himself and his parents.


It is during the first twelve months that all the systems of the body develop swiftly, and the child from a helpless bundle turns into a merry "year-old", confidently standing on strong legs.



It is during the first months of the parents that they get acquainted with their baby, and he - with them. Parents begin to understand what the child's temperament, his preferences, favorite actions, songs, toys, etc. The kid, in turn, starts to sing out "his own" from many people and people, to rejoice in them, to demonstrate their successes, to build with the relationship.


It is during these twelve months that the child has a basic attitude to the world. Getting the first experience of interaction with people (primarily with parents and close family members), the child decides how, with confidence or distrust, he will continue to treat the world around him.


In the first year of life, the baby changes every moment. Every new day brings parents pleasant surprises and occasions to admire their beautiful baby. Now, literally yesterday, he was lying on the back, and today he took it and rolled over on his tummy! Or today he saw you and smiled for the first time! Or suddenly on a walk, he resolutely pushed away your hand and took his first step!


Of course, in the first year of the child's life, no parent will pass the alarm and anxiety about "whether my baby is right and at the right place".


There are certain norms for the physical and mental development of children.


The indicators of physical development include the height, weight, circumference of the head and chest of the child. To indicators of mental development - the skills and skills that the child has learned during this or that month.


These norms are necessary, because, on the whole, parents are given the opportunity to understand whether their baby is developing in the right place. But we must take into account that, despite the average indicators, each child has a different pace of development. And it is not at all necessary that your baby will be the "textbook" child who will have his teeth chiseled exactly in half a year, and in a year he will start walking. Even children from one family are more likely to have their own, unique scheme of development.


First month

Your baby is absolutely helpless after birth and is therefore helpless. Now your baby is completely up to you. You will be for him all - warmth, love, nutrition, protection, happiness and a source of information.


This week, you and the baby, most likely, will spend in the maternity home (if you did not give birth at home). The first days you will consider each other, study, adapt to each other. Some children in the first days of life almost all the time sleep, others can stay awake for short periods of time. Some babies easily tolerate long breaks between feedings, others need to take food more often. Some need motion sickness in order to fall asleep. Try to immediately put the baby to his chest and let him suck as much as he wants.


First-month results:

So, your baby:

·         Crying, if he is hungry, and calms down if you take him in your arms;

·         Flinches and flashes when there are sharp sounds;

·         Keeps eyes on bright objects;

·         Lying on the stomach can keep the head upright for a few seconds;

·         And maybe your baby has already given you a real conscious smile!


Second month

From this age, your baby will grow and grow stronger "by leaps and bounds." He has already adapted to the new conditions of life: he gradually understands that you are his family, and gets used to a new home.



Second-month results:

For this month your baby has adapted to the environment even better and has already firmly taken his place in your family. You can already notice the first manifestations of the child's temperament according to how he behaves: the baby is lazy during feeding or actively eats, lies quietly in the crib or unrestrainedly demands an examination of surrounding objects while sitting in your arms.


So, your baby is already:

·         Catches your eyes, keeps eye contact, and learns your face.

·         Smiles back laughs.

·         Guilt coos, squeal, gurgle, and sigh.

·         Lying on the belly rises and holds the head.

·         Shows emotions: satisfied, dissatisfied.

·         Captures the mood of adults (grieved when one of the parents is upset).

·         Monitors the moving person.

·         Signals and waits for a response trust you; establishes associations: after crying, feeding or assistance follows.

·         Aimlessly threshes with handles, the cams are partially opened.

·         Cannot hold the rattle in hand for long.


At this age the kid loves


·         Wiggle and bounce (with your help).

·         Look at black and white images.

·         Listen to lively speech and music.

·         To bathe.

·         Massage.

·         Lie on your stomach.


The third month

An entertaining period begins, both for the baby and for the parents. The brain of the child is still in the process of development, but the baby's sensory system and the ability to learn work at full strength. Your baby feels better and perceives the world around him. The child becomes more lively, active, organized and responsive. Communication with him passes to a qualitatively new stage - and the child and parents begin to understand each other's signals.



Massage and gymnastics:

Carry the baby's massage as usual. Massage his hands, legs, tummy, and breast, back. Then do the following exercises:

1.      The child lies on his back. Let him grab rings (or thumbs of an adult), let the kid hold them tight. Cross his arms in front of the chest and set aside.

Repeat 6-8 times.

2.      The child lies on his back. Let him grab the rings, and then you need to pull both hands down, lift forward, then along the head up and back.

Repeat 5-6 times.


Fourth month

In the life of your baby begins a very interesting period. The analytical centers of the brain and the entire nervous system as a whole continue to develop: all motor and speech skills, the foundations of communication that have already formed in the child, are being improved at an unprecedented rate. You observe how each new stage of development is accompanied by the appearance of a new skill, which then grows into a whole set of skills and opportunities.



Fifth month

Improving the motor skills of the baby continues. He is already raising not only his head but also his body, leaning on his outstretched arms. If the baby is put on his stomach, he will forcefully move his arms and legs, roll from side to side, stretching his neck, and try to lift him up. If you put his hands under his feet, he will push away from them and move forward.


Developing the speech:

Speech is not an innate ability of a person, it is formed gradually, together with the development of the child and under the influence of adult speech. Without the presence of a healthy language environment, it is inconceivable to fully develop the child's speech development.


The Sixth Month

In most babies, it is at this age that teething begins. The exact time of appearance of the first teeth is not. In some, this is the 4th month, for others - the 10th, in the main it depends on heredity. Ask your parents when the first tooth has arrived, from your husband, from relatives.



The formation of teeth in a child begins in the womb of the mother. Children are born with a full set of twenty milk teeth, which are in the gums and are waiting for their time.


Seventh month

The child was six months old. And now your recently helpless little man has turned into an active, mobile, curious kid, who is interested in everything around him. Already behind the time when his world was limited to a crib, and the center of the universe was Mom and Dad. Now the child has the opportunity to expand his range of interests.



The kid is asking less and less for you on his hands or on his knees and is increasingly busy with his own research and play. At this stage, the development of the child's mental abilities is accelerated. Cognition of the world around now forms the essence of his emotional and emotional existence.


Eighth month

The kid mastered the ability to move independently because he learned to crawl. He masterly uses this opportunity: he crawls quickly and in all directions. The child can even crawl up the several steps of a small children's hill.


The ninth month

A child grows up before his eyes, changes not only physically, but also spiritually.


For the psychophysical comfort of the child, it is very important now in what environment it grows: how the people around him communicate with each other, how they express their emotions, what is the general culture of life and the role of the child in the family. Social factors of development come first, and from them, in turn, all the others depend on speech, actions with objects, mastering basic skills.


The kid begins to badly need the family, to react to the social assessments of others. At this stage, he especially needs your friendly attitude.


The tenth month

The kid grows up before our eyes. Now, from all the lines of development, the objective activity comes first. The child is increasingly interested in surrounding objects and toys - he no longer just grabs their hands, but also tries to do something with them.



During this period, when dealing with the baby, try to pay more attention to mastering the so-called subtle actions of the hands and the development of fine motor skills of the fingers.


Eleventh month

The stormy activity of the baby is aimed at studying objects and toys, which contributes to the rapid development of his thinking. During this period, there appears and clearly manifests an understanding that certain actions lead to certain results. The child notices the changes that he himself makes. He feels the effect of his own actions and, therefore, feels himself.

Babies R Us

Toys R Us



The twelfth month

Qualitative changes appear in the subject-play activity of the child. Every day it becomes more stable, selective and purposeful.


Baby for a long time, without being distracted, is engaged with one toy. A child may have a special relationship to one toy, to which he will give a clear preference. Among several new toys, the kid already chooses the most entertaining by playing properties. It can be a cognitive toy with a "surprise" (hidden properties) that the child will find in the process of searching, that is, orienting-research and game-manipulation actions.




Results of the twelfth month:

So, your baby is already:

·         Can move smoothly from one movement to another (for example, stand without support, then sit down, stand up, straighten, bend over and sit down again)

·         Walks alone can overcome relatively large distances

·         Can bypass the obstacle encountered in its path

·         During a walk alone, a non-heavy object can be carried

·         Makes attempts to independently climb up (for example, on the steps of a children's hill)

·         Independently climbs on a low sofa (chair, chair, etc.) and climbs down from it

·         Performs game actions of a motor character, imitating an adult and peers

·         Performs all manual operations with both hands, acts more harmoniously

·         More often uses the leading hand (right or left)

·         Has a perfect grasp, adjusting the position of the palm and fingers to the shape of the object

·         Independently drinks from a cup, holding it with both hands

·         Begins to learn hand washing techniques

·         When dressing, serves things

·         Without being distracted deals with one toy for about 10 minutes

·         Can give clear preference to any one toy

·         Performs mostly "creative" actions: collects a pyramid, builds a turret, etc.

·         Can one by one collect in the box several items (toys), moving purposefully from one to another

·         Moves from elementary methods of motor action to an object (strokes, tremors, compression, etc.) to targeted orienting and research actions (stroking, approaching the ear, examining the tip of the index finger, etc.)

·         Plays with toys of different sizes, shapes, colors

·         Acts not only with three-dimensional objects but also with flat geometric figures

·         Emotionally reacts to the positive result of their actions and experiences because of failures

·         Understands game shows with story toys

·         Quickly notices a new object that appeared in a familiar environment

·         Shows interest in objects of animate and inanimate nature

·         Emotionally bright and more consciously reacts to the surrounding world (for example, notices colored balls, colored garlands of lights, etc.)

·         Understands the adult's warnings: "You cannot!", "Do not go!", "Do not touch!” Etc.

·         Performs separate assignments: "Give me", "Put it here", "Take it to your dad", "Give it to your aunt", etc.

·         Understands (without showing) the names of individual items, actions, names of adults and children

·         Learns familiar toys in pictures

·         Learns from photos of relatives and friends

·         Makes the first generalizations (for example, all dolls)

·         Easily imitates the adult intonation and rhythmically, repeats after him new syllables; says about 10 babbling words

·         Begins to use babbling speech more widely as a means of communicating with adults.


At this age the kid loves:


·         Do everything yourself

·         "Talk" by phone

·         Review your photos

·         Point with your index finger at the item of interest

·         Watch the animals.



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