Each baby develops at his or her own rate. There is nothing written in stone that says that a baby MUST reach a particular milestone at a particular age or be declared an “incompetent” infant. Babies are individuals, and each one perceives the world and reacts to it from his or her own unique point of view.
Big changes are made between six months and one year of age. At six months, an infant is considered, well, an infant; but by the time he or she is one year old, the rank is pushed up to “toddler.”
There are certain milestones that most babies achieve during a certain period of development. That doesn’t mean that they must reach these milestones in any particular order. We can divide infant development at this stage into four categories: physical, intellectual, social, and emotional. Moral development does not begin until a little later.
Milestones that may be achieved physically between six months and one year are:
- Learning to pull himself to an upright position
- Learning to crawl
- Learning to stand alone
- Learning to walk
- Begins to put everything into his mouth
- Begins cutting teeth
Milestones that may be achieved intellectually between six months and one year are:
- Begins learning through the five senses
- Likes to put things in (his mouth, a cupboard, a box) and take them out
- Repeats the same behaviors over and over
- Begins to understand names of common items
Milestones that may be achieved socially between six months and one year are:
- Will begin to imitate speech
- Will begin to imitate behaviors
- Will associate food with social interaction
Milestones that may be achieved emotionally between six months and one year are:
- Develops fear of separation
- Recognizes the difference between the familiar and the unfamiliar (places, people, and things)
Babies between six months and one year require a great deal of physical contact with their primary caregiver to insure proper development in all areas in the future.