Newborn (0-1 month)
During the first few weeks and days, newborns are still adjusting to life outside of the womb. Certain reflexes that they practiced in the womb can still be seen after birth, while some are gradually disappearing.
• Basic reflexes such as sucking, swallowing, coughing, gagging, grasping, blinking and startling.
• Their hands are always clenched.
• Crossed and uncoordinated eyes.
• They cannot coordinate movement between eyes and feet.
• They have jerky, uncontrolled arm and leg movement.
• They follow an object that is slowly moving with their eyes, the object should be about 12-15 inches away.
• Learns more by using their senses: feel, sound, sight and smell.
• They try to examine their hands and fingers.
• They prefer sweet-tasting fluids and immediately recoil from unpleasant smells.
• Repeats movements that helps in the development of their brain and memory.
• They usually communicate through cries but can also make other types of sounds
• They respond immediately to their mother’s voice and immediately pays attention in that direction
• Certain sounds perk their interest such as a familiar voice or white noise.
Social and Emotional Development
• They are asleep most of the day, about 17-19 hours.
• They like to be nursed.
• Even though they are just newborns, you can already distinguish their personality.
• They begin to recognize their primary caregivers.
1 TO 4 months
During these months, they are starting to explore the world around them. They are learning to reach out and manipulate things using their hands. Also, they are now starting to recognize the voices of the people who take care of them.
• On prone position, they should be able to lift their head and chest and are able to look both ways.
• They are now able to open and close their hands.
• Can lift arms when on belly.
• When given an object, they wrap their hands around it and hold onto it.
• They are now able to recognize faces by watching people.
• They can still recognize familiar faces from a further distance than before
• They become fussy when bored or irritated.
• Can coordinate hands and eyes especially when reaching for toys.
• They try to put things inside their mouth.
• They are attracted to toys that make sounds.
• They coo and make gurgling sounds whenever a person or caregiver pays attention to them.
• Crying is still their main form of communication when they need or want something.
• They can smile and laugh softly.
• They can associate sounds with activities or objects.
Social and Emotional
• They smile back whenever someone smiles at them.
• Peek-a-boo is the popular game at this age.
• They are quite ticklish and like to get jiggled about.
• Their moms or primary caregiver’s voice can soothe them when they are upset.
• They love it interact and play with people.
• They are able to imitate facial expressions.
4 TO 8 months
At 4 to 8 months, they can already get started with complementary feedings as their first few teeth are appearing. They can also use their hands and feet to get to their toys and play with them.
• Their first tooth might be cutting, which could cause them to be more fussy than usual.
• Can hold their own milk bottle when feeding.
• They are able to sit assisted.
• They are able to roll-over onto their stomach or back.
• They scoot forward before they can crawl.
• Can move things from one hand to the other.
• Puts weight on legs when feet are flat on the ground.
• Opens mouth when presented with food.
• Imitate expressions and movements of caregivers.
• Focus on an object and reaches for it.
• They search for things that they have lost.
• Plays with one toy at a time.
• Likes to babble.
• Responds when name is called.
• Can perform simple, one-word request such as “eat” and “wave”.
• They can do lip-smacking and tongue clicking.
• They can repeat the same sounds multiple sounds.
Social and Emotional
• Are reactive towards strangers.
• Plays with caregivers by sticking out tongue and patting their toys.
• Greatly attached to their primary caregivers.
• Reacts towards their own reflection in the mirror.
• They start to show stranger anxiety around unknown people.
• They understand that they are a separate entity from their caregivers.
• Cries when their toys are taken away.
8 TO 12 months
This is the transition stage from being an infant to a toddler. They are becoming more independent and they tend to try to do things on their own. They are also capable of calling-out their mom and dad and can recognize their own name.
• Drinks from a cup with support.
• Able to reach for toys using one hand.
• Sits on their own.
• Can crawl on stairs.
• Walks with support by someone else.
• Follows a falling object with their eyes.
• Looks for an object when they see you hide it.
• Plays patty-cake.
• Starts to understand the concept of no.
• Copies and points along with other gestures.
• They imitate the actions of their caregivers.
• They can see things from afar and point at items.
• Able to respond to simple instructions.
• Drops a toy when given a new one.
• Are starting to understand how to use simple objects such as a comb, spoon and the like.
• Can make vowel-consonant sounds like mama or papa.
• Speaks their first word.
• Nods or shakes head when they agree and disagree.
• Knows the name of their caregivers and reacts when it is called.
• Tries to talk with their caregivers.
Social and Emotional
• Tries to make sure that their caregiver or moms are always within their sight.
• Becomes attached to their favorite toy or blanket.
• Shows assertiveness by shouting or pushing people away.
• Have separation anxiety and cries when mom leaves.
• Shares belongings with other kids.
• Understands what “No” means.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for newborns until 6 months of age. It is the healthiest food for infants since it is produced by our body and is packed with vitamins and immune boosters. It lowers their risk from having asthma, allergies and bouts of diarrhea.
At 6 months of age, you can already start to do complementary feeding as this is the ideal time to introduce some foods to their diet. You can start with iron-fortified cereal or and one pureed fruit (without skin/seeds) per day. Refrain from giving them foods with different ingredients for the first few weeks in order to tell if they have an allergic reaction to any.
When to talk to your pediatrician
If your child shows signs of any of the following at around 12 months of age, consider having a talk with your pediatrician:
• Problems with eye contact
• No response to his or her name
• Problems with following another person’s gaze or with pointing a finger to an object
• Poor skills in pretend play and imitation
• Problem with non-verbal communication
• Any other problem that you think your child suddenly stopped developing