YOUR BABY’S FIRST YEAR MOTOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

~ By Ashley Low

That first precious roll from tummy to back, the day your baby sits on her own and those first few wobbly steps. What do all of these have in common? Even though they may seem simple to us adults, for your baby these are major motor milestones.

Between birth and 12-months your baby is rapidly developing, building a foundation for movement skills that she’ll use throughout the rest of her life! What motor milestones can you expect to see during your baby’s first year? Check out these movement-based markers that are commonly seen by 12-months. Keep in mind, these are generally ‘accepted’ milestones – not must-meet-by dates. There’s certainly some wiggle room when it comes to the exact age that your baby rolls, sits, stands, walks or makes other new moves. If you have a concern about meeting these markers, contact a qualified medical or developmental professional.

Newborn Motor Skills (Lying on back to tummy time)

The first three months aren’t exactly packed with refined movements. Your newborn is relying on reflexes and isn’t terribly purposeful yet (just hold on a few months and you’ll start to see some pretty major improvements in this area). That said, your baby is stretching and kicking her little legs when she’s on her back, opening and shutting her hands and may bring her hand up to her mouth.

Between 6- and 8-weeks your newborn is starting to develop muscle control when it comes to holding her head up. During the first month you’re gently cradling baby’s head, making sure that her floppy neck gets enough support. By the end of month two she’s able to raise her head without your help (when she’s on her back). By 3- to 4-months she builds the neck strength to pick her head up while on her tummy.

4- to 7-Month Motor Skills (Tummy to Sitting up)

Even though your baby isn’t ready to get up and running just yet, she’s much more active than she was as a newborn. Her movements are becoming much more purposeful, and you’ll notice that instead of random sways, swings and flails she’s actually reaching for objects or trying to move her body.

Around 4-months-old your baby is starting to roll over. It’s likely that she’ll go from tummy to back first, later building up to moving from back to front. As she nears or reaches the 6-month mark she should be doing more than just rolling both ways. Babies at the half-year mark may sit up completely unassisted, reach and grab for toys and even move those objects from one hands to the other.

8- to 12-Month Motor Skills (Sitting to Standing with support)

The end of the first year brings a boom in motor development. Not only can your baby hold her head high, sit without your hand behind her back and grab at almost everything you put in front of her face, but she’s ready to take off and motor around the house. During this time period your baby is doing much more than simply holding her head up when she’s on her tummy. It’s likely that she’s pushing her whole body up off the ground, rocking back and forth and eventually crawling.

Your baby is already sitting by herself. Now she’s not waiting for you to plop her into this position. Before 12-months she’ll move herself up into the sitting stance without your help. What else is she doing by herself? You may see her pull herself up to standing and ‘cruise’ (walk while holding on to furniture) by 12-months. Some babies take their first steps (without holding on to a piece of furniture or another person) at this point. If your baby isn’t walking at 12-months, don’t worry. Plenty of 12-month-olds need a few extra months to get the hang of taking steps.

As your baby is going through these changes, we can capture her newly developed skills in the Tummy to Tippy Toes package. When planning your baby’s photo session and determining which set ups to propose to our customers, we take her current stage of motor development into consideration as safety and your baby’s comfort is paramount to us. Depending on your little one’s age, she may be more of a tummy poser or she could be up on her tippy toes! Whatever it is, do look forward to a very fun time with us during this session.

For enquiries on how we can capture these fleeting moments of your baby’s developmental growth, email us at info@ashleylowphotography.com or call +65 67024252.

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