Wondering What Your Baby Will Do During His First Year Of Life?

Infants spend every moment taking in the world around them. What sort of development should you expect of your baby during that first year? Here's a handy guide.

Nancy Paulu

Dramatic changes
Babies grow and change dramatically during their first year. They begin to

  • Develop some control over their bodies. They learn to hold up their heads; roll over; sit up; crawl; stand up; and, in some cases, walk.
  • Become aware of themselves as separate from others. They learn to look at their hands and toes and play with them. They learn to cry when parents leave, and they recognize their name.
  • Communicate and develop language skills. First babies cry and make throaty noises. Later they babble and say mama and dada. Then they make lots of sounds and begin to name a few close people and objects.
  • Play games. First they play with their hands. Later they show an interest in toys, enjoy "putting in and taking out" games, and eventually carry around or hug dolls or stuffed toys.
  • Relate to others. First they respond to adults more than to other babies. Later they notice other babies but tend to treat them like objects instead of people. Then they pay attention when other babies cry.

Babies require:

  • A loving caregiver who can respond to their cries and gurgles;
  • Someone who gets to know their special qualities;
  • Someone to keep them safe and comfortable;
  • Opportunities to move about and practice new physical skills;
  • Safe objects to look at, bat, grab, bang, pat, roll, and examine;
  • Safe play areas; and
  • Opportunities to hear language and to make sounds.

If you have questions about your child's growth or development, contact your pediatrician. (Don't feel silly -- that's what your child's doctor is there for!)PregnancyAndBaby.com

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