Baby's First Year: What To Expect As Your Infant Grows and Develops
Your baby’s first year is full of growth and wonder. Keep him on track with six well-child visits, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The first visit should occur during your child’s first month, followed by visits at 2, 4, 6 and 9 months of age. Take him for his final visit when he reaches his first year. Learn what else baby will need as he grows.
Each visit will include a complete physical examination to assess your baby’s growth and development and help identify problems early. Height, weight and other important information will be recorded. Some visits will include hearing, vision and other tests.
Expect to be given information about nutrition, sleep, safety, infectious diseases and other important topics for parents during your well-child visits. To make the most of these visits, bring your most important questions with you.
Stages of Development
During visits, you’ll also receive information about developmental milestones. Although all children grow at different rates, the National Network for Child Care offers these growth guidelines: By 3 months, your child will likely follow a moving object or person with his eyes, wiggle and kick, make cooing and gurgling sounds and react to “peek-a-boo” games.
By 6 months, he should roll over, hold his head steady when sitting with your help, reach for and grasp objects, play with his toes and help hold his bottle during feeding.
Twelve-month-old motor-skill milestones typically include sitting without support, standing alone momentarily and walking with one hand held. By this time your baby should also be feeding himself finger food like raisins or breadcrumbs, copy sounds and actions you make and respond to music with body motion.
Typical language and social skills at one year include babble that sometimes sounds like talking, your baby’s first word and recognizing family members’ names. Your baby may also show apprehension about strangers, raise his arms when he wants to be picked up and understand simple commands.
Besides well-child visits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends six vaccines for children between birth and 6 months of age to prevent eight diseases. For information about these vaccines, go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/VIS/downloads/vis-multi.pdf.
Learn from Professionals
Having a baby is a life-changing event and preparing for your newborn can be little chaotic. To help every parent prepare for their arrival, Gwinnett Medical Center offers classes and support groups from childbirth to breastfeeding and beyond. Call 678-312-5000 or visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/classes to see a complete list of classes offerings.