The important thing to remember is that infants are individuals — completely unique individuals. They do not all develop at the same rate. They don’t achieve certain “milestones” at the same rate. That doesn’t mean that there is anything “wrong” with them. It simply means that they haven’t read the same child development book that their mommy has and they are intent on doing things, reaching milestones, at their own individual pace.
There are four basic areas of development: physical, intellectual, social, and emotional. Remember that babies develop at their own rates, and the milestones listed below are in no particular order.
Physical development between birth and six months of age includes:
- Developing his own eating/sleeping/waking schedule.
- Growing very quickly and doubling his birth weight quickly.
- Gains control of eye movement and can focus on single objects.
- Gains the ability to hold his head up, roll over without help, pull himself into a sitting position, and sit alone for a moment.
- Learns to grasp objects.
Intellectual development between birth and six months of age includes:
- Begins learning through his five senses.
- Begins to vocalize by cooing and babbling in syllables.
Social development between birth and six months of age includes:
- Can distinguish his main caregiver (mother) from other people in his world and may indicate a distinct preference for her.
- Imitates movements
- Studies faces
- Laughs out loud
- Smiles at himself in a mirror
Emotional development between birth and six months of age includes:
- Showing excitement
- Showing pleasure
- Develops different cries to signify hunger, physical discomfort, and boredom
- Showing fear when confronted with strange objects, people, or situations
Babies develop physically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally at different rates. Some infants will speed ahead in one area and lag behind in others.