Baby & Infant Development, Growth, Milestones & More – Simplified Guide
As a parent, it’s vital that you learn more about baby development as it will provide you with a guide to further aid your baby.
The first year of your baby’s life is crucial to his growth and development. They will rely heavily on you, as parents, to help them achieve certain goals within this time period.
Taking care of a newborn is tough, especially if it’s your first time.
Learn what your baby should know in the next few months! Of course, that includes when he should move a certain way, when his eyes become clear, and many more.
Knowing what you’re doing will help both you and your baby adjust better. Get tips and knowledge to provide your baby’s health better today!
After reading this article, you will know:
- The basics of baby development
- What topics to do further research on
- Helpful links for your baby development research
- And many more
How to Read this Article
If you are a new parent:
- Discover your baby’s development from conception until after birth
- Find out more about the topics below through helpful links
If you are an experienced parent:
- Brush up on your knowledge about your baby’s milestones
- Learn new things that you didn’t the first time around
If you are a friend of someone who has a baby:
- Help your friend get ready by reading up on her baby’s essential milestones
- Share new information and article links for your friend to read up on
If you just want to gather information about baby development and milestones:
- Learn about the essential knowledge that aids in developing a baby’s basic skills and many more.
Child Development and Milestones
There are many ways to identify baby development stages. It’s a good idea to get a general sense of things first.
You can check out baby week by week guides, baby month by month, or even before he’s born below.
Baby development during pregnancy is equally important as that is when everything begins.
So, in the article, we’ll explore:
- Fetal Development Week by Week
- Baby Development Milestones
- Baby Brain Development
- Baby Speech Development
- Baby Language Development
- Baby Eye Development
- Baby Vision Development
- Premature Baby Development
- Baby Development Toys
- Baby Development App
Fetal Development Week by Week
Okay, so you’re pregnant. You probably have an idea of how that generally happened, but it’s also good to know what goes on inside your body.
Did you know that you’re already considered pregnant two weeks before conception even happens? It’s this time when ovulation occurs.
That’s when most health practitioners start counting your pregnancy progress. When your egg is fertilized, that’s called conception.
Conception, also called fertilization, happens when one sperm out of millions penetrates the egg.
At the moment of fertilization, your baby’s genetic make-up is complete, including its sex. – Cleveland Clinic
So, as soon as you conceive, your baby is already a he or a she. Congratulations!
It’s a good idea to know what happens during your pregnancy, month by month.
For one thing, it will help you better accept the reality that there is another human being growing inside you.
Remember that your baby relies on your continued health to develop properly, so it’s vital that you take good care of yourself.
Learning about fetal development will also show you how much your baby is actually progressing even before he’s born.
Most of his physical developments have already started. His eyes, hands, and feet are being prepared for when he comes out.
His brain is also an important body part that will begin to develop and continue to do so well after your baby is cradled in your arms.
Want to know more about details about your pregnancy journey, and how your baby develops in your womb? Head on over to this article: Fetal Development Week by Week.
Baby Development Milestones
Developmental milestones are a great way to gauge how your baby is progressing as he grows older.
These milestones are usually in the form of a general 12-month guide that helps parents and pediatricians check if your baby is lagging behind.
While baby development month by month can be summarized overall, it’s also important to note that not all babies are alike. Some will progress slower or faster than others.
But that’s okay! As long as your pediatrician isn’t worried, you shouldn’t worry too much either. At the very least, you can make sure to spot any problems early.
For the first year of your baby’s life, it’s a good idea to know what he can do starting his first month up until his twelfth.
Most probably you know of the major milestones like walking and talking. But those aren’t the only achievements he’ll be making!
Stuff, like making cooing noises and rolling over, may seem simple but are actually crucial feats that will help your baby learn more as he grows.
Each month, your baby will be able to do something new. However, he won’t be able to do it if you’re not there to support him.
Talk to him constantly. Allow him to interact with his surroundings. Encourage him to move and exercise his body.
There are lots of activities you can do, both simple and complex, that will help him attain these important milestones and still be fun for both of you.
Want to learn more about these critical milestones and what to expect for the next 12 months? Head on over to this article: Baby Development Milestones.
Baby Brain Development
Unlike other body parts, your baby’s brain undergoes a different and longer baby development timeline.
His brain will undergo rapid progress from the moment of conception and continue to about 3 years old.
This is important since your baby’s brain is vital for learning his necessary skills. That includes his physical, emotional, and psychological experiences.
His brain development will affect how he relates to you, other people, and even the world around him.
To understand what your baby is undergoing, it’s a good idea to learn about the brain’s anatomy first.
The human brain is the command center for the human nervous system. It receives signals from the body’s sensory organs and outputs information to the muscles. – Tanya Lewis, LiveScience
It consists of three major parts: the brain stem, the cerebrum, and the cerebellum.
The brain stem connects the brain to the spinal cord and handles most of the involuntary processes of the body. That includes breathing and the beating of the heart.
The cerebellum handles balance and coordination.
The cerebrum handles processes like memory and learning. It also houses the cerebral cortex which is in charge of planning and decision-making.
All of these are vital in the overall development of your baby, from bodily sensations to social understanding.
Brain development doesn’t stop in the physical sense as well. As parents, you should play and perform activities that can exercise his mental abilities.
Want to learn more about how to help your baby develop his mental skills? Head on over to this article: Baby Brain Development.
Baby Speech Development
One of the most popular baby development milestones is talking. Speech is a part of child development that most parents are excited about.
But when do babies actually start talking?
To answer that question, you have to start at the beginning. Before speeches, your baby will develop his sense of hearing first.
You’ll see him listening to the sounds around him. From there, he will learn to imitate what he hears.
This is the reason why you should start talking to your baby at an early age.
Sure, he won’t be able to understand you; but your tone and words will keep them well-engaged. It will also spearhead his language progress. Soon after, the speech will follow.
There are many easy ways to improve your baby’s talking skills.
Chatting with him, reading stories, singing songs, and even watching TV programs and playing digital games can help him learn new words.
Sing along to children’s songs to help your toddler learn new words! There are many channels to check out on YouTube, like the Mother Goose Club.
However, talking is one of the later skills he will master. Typically, a baby’s first real word would be uttered at about 12-15 months of age.
To ensure that he isn’t delayed, constant interaction with your baby is essential. Repetition is key for him to parrot the words you say.
By about 2 years old, your baby would be able to string a few words together to form basic sentences of phrases.
By age 3, he will already have a vocabulary of about 1,000 words and can say more complex sentences.
Want to learn more details on how your baby’s talking skills will progress? Head on over to this article: Baby Speech Development.
Baby Language Development
Most people think that speech and language development are the same. But they’re not!
Language is wholly different from talking. For one, your baby can communicate with you without using any words.
He can even respond to you just by using his hearing. When you call him, and he turns his head, you know he understood.
That’s because language is not contained in speech only. At the same time, not all speech is language.
Language, for the most part, can be described as a set of sounds with rules that people use to relay ideas to each other. It can be in the form of speaking, writing, singing, and even gestures.
Language acquisition is a skill that allows people to grasp and understand all kinds of language forms.
Language comprehension is the ability to process both verbal and written forms of a particular language.
Speech, on the other hand, is the action of talking and producing recognizable sounds.
That being said, language and speech may be inherently connected to each other but do not develop at the same time.
Babies can start developing their language understanding as early as the first few weeks of his life.
As he grows older and interacts with more things, his understanding of language (or languages) just continues to expand.
It is important to continue encouraging your baby to interact with everything around him since language is a vital cognitive skill he needs to develop. It will help him master his communication skills better.
Some studies think that baby talk is actually intelligible. Can it be true? Watch this video to find out:
Also, to learn more details on how your baby’s language development will progress, head on over to this article: Baby Language Development.
Baby Eye Development
Similar to speech and language, eye and vision development are closely related but not the same.
It’s vital for you, as parents, to familiarize yourselves with these kinds of baby development, week by week.
The eye is the physical organ that gives people the ability to see. In simplest terms, it’s the actual body part we possess.
Your baby’s eyes will start to develop during your pregnancy. When you give birth, he will have very blurry vision.
But don’t worry! It’s normal for babies to have a visual acuity of 20/400. As he grows older, his vision will slowly become clearer until he reaches a visual acuity of 20/20.
The important take away is that your baby will be able to see as soon as he is born.
Another curious phenomenon that some parents worry about is your baby’s eye color. Some of you might notice that your baby’s eye color is changing.
That’s perfectly normal. The cause for this change is the amount of melanin that your baby produces.
Some babies are born with light-colored eyes because they lacked melanin when they were born. In time, melanin production will normalize, and your baby’s eyes may darken as a result.
However, not all babies experience this. If your baby already has dark-colored eyes, chances are they will stay the same.
Want to know more about your baby’s eyesight? Head on over to this article: Baby Eye Development.
Baby Vision Development
You now know that your baby’s vision is not fully developed when he is born. That’s why the first few months are crucial.
While newborn vision is hazy at best, your baby can still see, explore, and experience his surroundings through his eyes.
To encourage strong visual development in both eyes, try alternating sides while feeding. That way, both eyes will be visually stimulated equally. – Parents Magazine
As soon as his first week, your baby can actually see 8 to 12 inches from his face, and the only colors he can see are black, white, and some shades of gray.
As he grows older, his vision also becomes clearer and stronger. He’ll be able to recognize faces, see the whole color spectrum, start tracking objects, and even improve his hand-eye coordination.
But that doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth sailing. Sometimes vision problems occur, no matter how careful and attentive you are.
The good news is that eye and vision problems rarely occur in babies. But when they do, it’s better to correct it as early as possible.
Some of the symptoms to look out for are:
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
- Constant eye crossing
It’s recommended that you have your baby’s eyesight checked by 6 months old.
It doesn’t matter if he’s exhibiting symptoms or not. While there might be no apparent proof, problems might already be developing.
Want to learn more about visual activities you can do with your baby? Head on over to this article: Baby Vision Development.
Premature Baby Development
If you’ve done initial baby week by week research, you know that pregnancies usually last about 37 weeks.
However, it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes your baby just wants to come out earlier.
Prematurity in birth is a huge concern for parents, both first-timers and experienced ones alike. That’s because babies born prematurely are at a higher risk of developing medical problems.
One main reason is that premature baby tend to be physically weaker than full-term babies.
But with extra care and attention, you can keep your little preemie happy and healthy!
That is not to say that all preterm babies are delicate. Some may develop normally as if they were born full-term. That is usually the case if they are born near the 37-week mark.
Babies that are born before or at 25 weeks might need a more extended stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to help them grow stronger before they try living on their own.
Some preterm babies will also exhibit symptoms of prematurity. So don’t be surprised if your baby is smaller than he should be.
In time, he will develop more and gain back all of the things he lacked.
Want to learn more about prematurity and what you might need to undergo? Head on over to this article: Premature Baby Development.
Baby Development Toys
Toys aren’t just made for entertainment.
While it’s highly possible for you to teach, support, and improve your baby’s skills without the use of toys, they are still great tools that you can utilize.
During his early childhood, toys are a great way to keep your baby happily engaged with the developmental activities you have planned.
Toys help stimulate brain activity and develop both physical and mental abilities since they are all exercised during playtime.
A toy’s level of difficulty should depend on your baby’s age.
For newborn babies, you will need toys that will encourage them to interact with and observe their surroundings.
Brightly colored things and toys that have bold patterns will keep them busy for quite a while.
The next few months, you could swap these toys for things that improve tactile sensitivity.
Different textures, different sounds, and new colors will help him improve immensely.
As he learns more skills, like crawling and walking, you can increase the difficulty of his toys to things that move or logic puzzles he needs to solve.
Want more examples of toys you can get to help your baby’s development? Head on over to this article: Baby Development Toys.
Baby Development App
With everything that’s happening during these first few months, it will definitely be hectic. A way to keep track of milestones and whatnot are great tools to have on hand.
With the fast evolving digital world, you can instantly scour for online articles that can give you tips and advice on different parenting concerns.
Aside from that, you can even download mobile apps to help you keep track of your baby’s needs and routine.
You can also download an app that shows a baby development chart to help you check off your baby’s achievements.
These apps also make it possible for you to share the good news with all your friends and family!
You can even start downloading as early as your pregnancy to track your pregnancy week by week.
Mobile apps are essential since they can help you learn more conveniently, and remember everything you need to remember.
Want to know more about the best mobile parenting & baby development apps of today? Head on over to this article: Baby Development App.