Children usually grow in a fairly predictable way but the range of what is considered normal is broad.
Remember the sequence in which your child reaches milestones is much more important than the age.
Learning to understand the world, being imaginative, expressing feelings, coordinating the body and being with others, are all related - and all are as important as each other.
Stages of Development:
All babies pick up new skills in their first year. These are called milestones. Here’s a guide to some of the major milestones.
At birth: unable to support her head unaided, closes hands involuntarily in the grasp reflex, startles at sudden loud noises
At four weeks: focuses on a face, may respond to a bell in some way (startling, crying, going quiet), follows an object moved in an arc about 15 cm above her face until straight ahead
At six weeks:may start to smile at familiar faces, may start to coo
At 12 weeks: can lie on her tummy with head held up looking around, can wave a rattle, starts to play with own fingers and toes
Your baby may be a late starter with milestones. Don’t worry, they nearly always catch up.
It’s wise to have her checked by your doctor if your newborn shows any of the following signs:
consistently doesn’t respond to sounds
doesn’t seem to see things, has white or cloudy eyes or if there is anything about her eyes that bothers you
isn’t interested in what’s going on around her
can’t hold her head up by 3-4 months
continually cries for more than three hours every day, especially after 3-4 months. (Babies usually cry for about two hours a day, peaking between 6-8 weeks.) For more on constant crying, see Newborn behaviour
doesn’t move or use both arms and/or both legs
is not grasping your fingers or objects
You know your baby best. If you are worried about your newborn’s development, speak to your GP or child health nurse.