My child is smiling, my child is grabbing objects, my child is observing, yes these are all signs that your child is growing up. At birth your child already starts developing skills in the first few days he/she is born. Today I will be asking Midwife Lara-Marie some questions when it comes to the development of your child from 1-3 months.
MalteseDaddy: Lara, we meet again after two weeks, thank you for finding the time to answer some questions I have when it comes to the development of our children. We all know that all babies are different and some develop different skills than others. Furthermore, can you give us some predictions that most babies pass through in the first three months?
Lara: Yes, an interesting fact is that most parents ask me on a regular basis about this, is it normal my baby does this? Why is my baby not doing this?. Babies are fascinating as all of them develop differently from other babies, some are late bloomers and some develop a lot of skills at an early stage, but then most of the babies develop all their essential skills and these are split into 4 areas:
- Social and Emotional
MalteseDaddy: So, lets start with the physical development what are the key skills that are the most visible at an early stage?
Lara: The physical development is the most visible in my opinion and can start this exactly after birth, I will explain this in brief as babies start:
- Mastering movement, balance, and fine-motor skills (Is the movement of small muscles such as fingers, hands and wrists).
- Learning the basics of self-movement and begins to master the skills needed for hand-to-mouth coordination and holding objects.
- Raise head slightly when lying on the stomach
- Hold hand in a fist
- Use sucking, grasping and rooting reflexes
- Touch, pull and tug own hands with fascination
- Repeat body movements
- Pushing down on legs when there is a firm surface to raise themselves up
MalteseDaddy: Yes, I remember Sophia doing these movements at this stage it was so remarkable that such a young age and they already start developing these skills. Moving onto the next area, Social and Emotional, what happens here?
Lara: Social and Emotional are also remarkable to witness once you see them actually noticing their hands, fingers and all body parts which is a very remarkable thing to witness as a parent, some other things you might witness are:
- Skills such as self-awareness and self-regulation, start kicking in.
- They start exploring their body: including the exploring of their fingers and the sucking of their fingers
- Learning how body parts, like arms and legs, are attached to their body
- That they learn to recognise their caregivers: reacting positively to touch, smiling and response to social stimulation
MalteseDaddy: Interesting, we all know that even at a young age babies are actively listening to the tone of voice we use and react differently when they are accustomed to their parents or caregiver voices. Now when it comes to the thinking aspect, how do you notice these types of development?
Lara: The thinking aspect is mostly the development of their senses and you will see them develop a new skill every day, so that is why it is important to cherish each and every minute, as every day your child is growing to become more independent 👪
- Babies are active learners: busy gathering information about their environment
- They start seeing clearly within 13 inches
- Focus on and follow moving objects, including human faces
- See all colours and distinguishes hue and brightness
- Recognise the pitch and volume of sound
- Respond with facial expressions to strong stimuli (like odours)
- Prefer high contrast items and geometric shapes
- Begin to anticipate events: knowing that when it gets dark outside, then it is time to sleep for example
MalteseDaddy: I guess, now the only skill remaining is actually to start talking 😂 It is amazing how a newborn can start doing all this stuff at an early age.
Lara: Yes David, it is actually fascinating that they all do this in the first three months, except talk, but they do communicate and this might fascinate you even more:
- They are Active learners so be careful what to say as to when they are older than three months, some babies may imitate the sounds that they listen to on a regular basis
- Respond to speech by looking at the speaker
- Respond differently to the voice of a parent than to other voices
- React to changes in a speaker’s tone, pitch, volume, and intonations
- Respond differently to their home language and another language
- Communicate with bodily movements, by crying, babbling, and laughing
- Attempt to imitate sounds.
MalteseDaddy: That’s it for today, thank you Lara-Marie for your help as always and we will make sure to continue talking about a baby’s development throughout their first year, so readers stay tuned 😉
Lara: As always David, thank you for this, but before we finish this interview, I would like to pint out that in reality all these areas overlap however it is important to keep in mind that children might reach different milestones at different levels. Stay tuned for next week!