6 min Read
First-Year Milestones: What to Watch For
October 26, 2020
6 min Read
October 26, 2020
Your kiddo will grow in leaps and bounds in the first year—they’ll go from adorable little newborn bundles that pretty much just eat and sleep, to active, babbling babies with more personality than you ever thought possible. But for first time parents, it might be hard to know if their growth and development is on track, so with that in mind, we’ve collected the milestone info you’ll need as the months fly by.
A baby’s weight usually doubles by the fourth month—and then triples by the end of the first year.
Babies are about 70 centimetres long when they reach 12 months.
Their head size increases quickly due to the brain’s fast growth, which pushes the skull bones outward in order to expand.
This growth rate is only a guide. If parents are unusually large or small, the baby may follow their growth pattern—and if the baby was smaller at birth for any reason, growth may remain smaller or show spurts. Call your doctor if your baby does not gain weight, or appears to lose weight over a period of days.
Babies progress slowly to gain control over their movements.
Your baby’s muscles become progressively stronger, and they will have full control over neck and head motions by about six months.
Their body muscles become stronger and can control many movements.
Arms and Legs
Movements become stronger and more purposeful.
In the first 12 months, there is a fascinating progression from reflex grasping to precise reaching out and grasping actions.
Babies have an urge to make sounds and show an interest in the sounds parents or others make.
By 12 months, your baby understands several names of people or objects and shows understanding by looking at the person or object. Your baby understands tone of voice, too, and will frown if your voice is louder or sharper. Consult a physician if your baby does not show interest, does not turn their head to sounds and if your baby’s own sounds do not seem to progress.
Between the second and seventh month, your baby will connect that there are very special people in his life who are always there when needed.
Between the fourth and 12th month, your baby discovers that those special people are separate but can be communicated with through looks, touch and play. At one year, your baby is moving around, can get ahold of things, and start to communicate by changing facial expressions and making gestures and sounds.
Observe that your baby is alert, smiles, looks at and plays with you —and may show some distress when you leave (and also may “make strange” when meeting new people).
Babies are curious to see, hear and touch. As months go by, their eyes follow people as they move around. Babies also learn to scan for sounds—at the beginning with eye movements and later by turning their heads.
As soon as they can grasp, they can get ahold of anything that is nearby; they will look at what they’re holding, put it in their mouth, shake it, bang it, throw it and pass it from one hand to another.
If a toy they like is hidden, they will remember and search for it where they last saw it (like toy peek-a-boo!).
They will often bang two toys together or try to fit one toy inside the other.
For more on newborn and baby development, see Chapter 2.
Nipissing District Developmental Screen The NDDS is often touted as the Canadian standard for milestone assurances. The NDDS is a series of checklists designed to give parents a sense of whether their child is hitting age-appropriate developmental milestones, and, should there be a concern, directing parents when to have their child seen by a paediatrician or GP. Parents can register for monthly prompts up to 30 months, and then yearly prompts up to age six, at lookseechecklist.com.
As you watch your child grow and learn, saving with a CST RESP will help you support their dreams. Visit www.cst.org to learn more.
The Milestones, Charts and Checklists chapter of the Baby & Child Care Encyclopedia has been made possible by CST Consultants Inc.