Developmental Milestones in the Months after Pregnancy

Babies begin to learn about their world as soon as they are born. Your baby's brain is the only organ in her body that is not fully formed at birth. During the first three years of life your baby's brain is growing and she is developing physically, socially, and emotionally. She's also acquiring language skills and other skills to help her keep learning. Through everyday interactions that begin at birth, you can help your baby grow into a healthy, happy child who is an eager learner.

To strengthen your baby's language and literacy skills, talk to her, sing to her, and, as she gets older, read to her. Make learning fun. Help her develop thinking skills and understand "cause and effect" by responding to her cries and meeting her needs. Remember, you can't spoil a baby. And by being there when she needs you, your baby develops a sense of security, which in turn will build her confidence. Then she'll be more willing to take on new challenges, get along with others, share, and make friends.

The following milestones can help you to track your baby's development, and include "Watch Lists" to alert you to call your baby's health care provider if you think she has a problem that may require special attention. This information was adapted from Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 by Steven Shelov and Robert E. Hannemann, copyright  1991, 1993, 1998, 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Used by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

It's important to remember that each baby develops at her own rate and in her own way, and that as a parent, you know your baby best. And don't forget to adjust the milestones if your baby was born prematurely or underweight; your baby may need a little extra time to catch up. Talk to your baby's health care provider about what to expect and don't hesitate to call her provider when you have questions or concerns.

Continue to "Milestones in the 1st Month" journey to parenthood

Most recent page update: 9/9/2010

© 2016 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.

Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
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