Baby's Physical Goals
Birth to six months
Your little one may begin rolling over (and around) at two to three months. Rolling from her tummy to her back is likely to come first, followed by back to tummy around the age of five to six months. This first major skill comes from the development of her neck and arm muscles, which she’ll strengthen by pushing her upper half from the floor to take a peek around during tummy time. Once she masters the art of flipping from one side to the other, watch out! She’ll be on the move to get to you or that toy that has caught her twinkling eyes.
At five months, your little roller may begin to gain control of her upper body and sit up on her own. This happens when her back and neck muscles are strong enough to help her keep steady and she’s learned to put her legs out for support. Not only does this new milestone give her a new perspective on the world around her, it also gets her off of the back of her head.
Between six and ten months, your little one may be ready to take exploration to a whole new level. Getting up on her hands and knees and rocking is the first sign that your baby will soon be on the move, but there are many forms of mobility that count as crawling. Scooting on her bottom, pulling herself with one hand and one leg on her tummy and the traditional tummy-off-the-floor crawling technique all mark your baby’s achievement. Some babies actually skip crawling altogether, so there’s no need to worry if she hops right over this milestone.
This major milestone marks baby's move towards toddlerhood. But don’t expect things to happen overnight. ”Walking does not appear magically one day; the infant must first master sitting, standing while holding on (five to nine months), cruising (seven to 10) and standing alone (10 to 12),” advises Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky, pediatrician and director of Belilovsky Pediatrics, a 365-day medical facility in New York. “Walking unassisted should then be achieved by 12 to 15 months.” Before you know it, her newfound courage and view from up on her own two feet will have her off and running.
Amidst her move towards mobility, your sweetheart will begin to babble. Before you know it, these strings of sounds turn into comprehensible words and she’s “talking” up a storm. “Sometimes, babies say their first word shortly after the sixth month,” says Suzy Martyn, Parenting Consultant and Speaker and author of Enjoying the Ride: Tools, Tips, and Inspiration for the Most Common Parenting Challenges, “[but] more often it is closer to the first birthday (nine to 12 months) and usually typical first words are 'no,' 'dada,' 'mama,' 'up,' 'dog,' 'hi,' 'bye-bye,' following with words and phrases like, 'mine,' 'no want,' 'hi dada,' et cetera.'”
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Although each milestone makes you more anxious to witness your little one’s next big feat, try not to rush through this precious time. By the time she turns two, you'll likely find yourself chasing after your tot while she’s chattering a happy “no!” to you before bedtime!