The period from birth to the first birthday is very critical in a child's growth. There are specific stages of growth which should be attained at certain periods referred to as milestones.
The common question on the minds of many mums is: what are these milestones and when do babies reach them? Besides, how can one tell if her child is just a late bloomer or is actually delayed to attain developmental milestones?
One of the earliest milestones is the social smile, which often occurs around six to eight weeks of age. It shows that the baby's nervous system and vision has developed enough to see you and produce a smile in response. It serves as a baby's first social skill and a signal of emotional growth, to distinguish happy and sad states.
Another milestone involves the ability of your child to control his head. At between one and a half to four months of age, while lying on the tummy, the baby will be able to lift up his head and turn it around.
Another milestone involves ability of your child to roll over. This should usually occur by three months age. Initially, the baby may just lift himself into a push-up position, and then roll back and forth.
The ability to pick or grab an item occurs at around three to four months of age.
After the first few months, babies begin to gauge where things are in space, and they can plan an action.
Between six and eight months, your baby will be able to sit unsupported. It's a combination of improved balance, arm strength, body control and eyesight.
Crawling occurs between eight to ten months, though in some babies it has been seen as early as six months.
Your baby should be able to stand unsupported by the end of the first month of the second year. Walking, a milestone that often excites both parent and child occurs between ten and 18 months of age.