Paediatrician approved list of baby milestones from birth to 12 months!

Congratulations! You are a new mother and we can’t praise you enough for the strength and courage you’ve shown these last few months.

Yet, motherhood is a daunting journey that can create questions and self doubts too. Worry not! We are here to help you sort what your baby needs from you at every stage of their life.  

Newborn: What they are doing

Right from the moment your baby is born, she begins to learn. First she starts with the loud wail/scream that is music to every parent’s ears. But did you know that the newborn’s wail is actually a sign that they are learning to breathe and coordinate movement of vocal chords, lips and the soft palate in her mouth.

What they need from you:

1. Newborns need a lot of comforting as they acclimatise to their new surroundings.

2. They need to understand to latch on and feed properly- every two or three hours.

3. They are looking for faces so hold them close, about 12 inches from your face and let them take a good look at you!

4. Immunizations begin by the first week of your baby’s birth. These are important to prevent future infections. Polio, BCG and HepatitisB are some of the important inoculations done this time.

Newborn to two months: What you can expect

By two months, your baby must have added at least a kilo to their birth weight. She may be able to follow your hand movements going from side to side. They respond to your voice by making gurgling sounds and stay awake much longer than last month. You can see a pattern emerging in the different pitches they cry in each showing a different need.

What your baby needs from you:

1. Hiring somebody to massage your baby’s body at this stage may be beneficial.

2. Spicy foods affect your milk and you may want to eat balanced meals that are moderately spiced.

3. To pay attention to the different sounds your baby makes. Diaper change, hungry, sleepy and need comforting all will have different pitches that your baby needs you to know.

4. Immunizations like polio, HiB and DPT are extremely important.

Three months to four months: Your baby becomes interesting

By the time your baby has touched the four month mark, your baby will be very interested in her surroundings. She will be smile when you talk and smile at her.

What your baby needs at this stage

1. Your baby’s synapses are improving by the day and need a lot of silly sounds to keep their brain ticking. Improve their communication skills by talking to them.

2. Imitating the sounds the baby makes is sure to bring on a delighted smile on your baby’s face as they recognise it. Simple clicking sounds or singing nursery rhymes will get them waving their arms and legs in delight.

3. Your baby needs a good night time routine now. You need to fix this so that they can be fresh for all the high energy activities they are doing daily.

4. De-stressing baths before bedtime will greatly relax your baby to sleep better.

Five months to six months: What your baby wants you to know

This is a magical time as around this is when babies first laugh. Not the knowing smile they offer you but a real loud rippling laughter that will add so much sparkle to your life. Though they tend to be a little too energetic now, they need you a lot more too. A range of noises and syllables are added to their ever expanding vocabulary.

What baby needs from you

1. Your baby needs to be introduced to picture books at this stage. Read them to her twice a day and watch them squeal with joy. Singsong voices delight them at this stage.

2. Baby also needs some alone time on a comfortable mat to play by themselves. Let them babble and play on their own in joy and annoyance.

3. Introduce animal sounds to encourage them to imitate you. This will improve their memory and listening skills.

4. Actions associated with nursery rhymes are a great way for them to show you their moves. They will love being the center of your attraction.

Seven months to nine months: Your baby is moving

Around this time your baby grows rapidly. Suddenly her old clothes don’t fit her and you will need to shop more frequently. They are also trying desperately to cruise around the house and will try to hold on to something and stand up by themselves.

What will benefit your baby now?

1. Toys help a child now. Invest in good interactive toys that will develop your baby’s imagination. A simple toy phone may encourage her to have pretend conversations! Your baby is expending a lot more energy now than ever before.

2. Since you may have started on solids by now it is a good idea to stock up on fresh healthy snacks. This will give your baby the necessary energy to do everything they want to.

3. Babies tend to fall ill around this time. So stock Paracetmol and teething gels to comfort your baby when they need it most.

4. Start thinking about their first pair of real shoes.

Nine months to one year: First birthday round the corner

Your baby now responds to her name. She will promptly turn around and look at the caller when her name is called out. They also know who and where their mummy and papa are. Its a good idea to talk to your baby in your mother tongue. When they grow, their bilingualism will be a huge asset.

What your baby will ask for now:

1. Your baby will want to talk to you. So give time for them to frame their responses even if it takes a tad more time than you thought.

2. Meeting family now greatly helps your baby. They can put an emotion to a particular expression and store it in their ever widening knowledge base. That’s how they can differentiate between sad and happy faces.

3. This is a great time to start talking with emphasis. Like “Papa goes bye-bye” or “toy fell down” with a downward pitch in voice will emphasise the action with the sound.

4. Exaggerating voices also helps them greatly and they can replicate it.

This said it is important to understand that all children grow at their own pace. If you feel that your baby hasn’t touched a particular milestone visit your paediatrician or GP for better guidance.