New parents can get so caught up in their baby meeting their milestones that it can add a lot of stress to their time with their baby in those first couple of months. It shouldn’t be like this. Milestones are important and you should always be aware of them but they are not something you should become obsessive about.
There are a few milestones, though that are you do need to pay attention to.
Rolling can happen anywhere between 2 and 4 months and it is important because it means your baby has the muscle strength to move from their back to their tummy and vice versa. It also means that they are able to coordinate the activity.
If your baby does not roll over, it does not automatically mean that there is something wrong but try to increase tummy time and encourage them to reach over.
Head control is an important milestones and should happen at around 3 months. This is one of the milestones that you need to pay attention to. Being able to control their own head, means that your babies muscles are developing and getting stronger and that they have good coordination.
Tracking images with their eyes.
Your baby should start tracking objects with their eyes from 3 months. Tracking objects is a sign of coordination and also signals that your child’s social skills are developing, their eyes will follow you as your leave the room, or look to someone who has just entered.
This is also a pretty important milestone and if your child not showing any signs of trying to track objects then it may be a sign of a bigger problem. You can start early on to move objects in front of your baby, training them to track them.
Your baby should start to sit anywhere between 6 and 8 months. Being able to sit shows that their core muscles are strengthening and being used correctly. It also requires gross motor skills which shows that these skills are developing in your baby. If your child is reaching all their other milestones by 8 months but is not sitting, you can mention it to your paediatrician but it is probably not something too serious.
Most babies start using a few basic words by the time they are a year. Generally, these words are words that only their parents can understand but they are words non-the-less. Speaking is part of their social and cognitive development but children can vary greatly in reaching this milestone so don’t worry too quickly. Talking to your baby may seem silly but the more you talk, the more they are likely to start saying words, try to use proper words though and not “baby talk”
Imitation can start from early on but the official milestone is around 18 months old. This is an important milestone because it shows your baby’s cognitive skills are developing. It is also important for them to be able to understand different personalities.
It is very important to look at your child’s development as a whole and not in isolation. Maybe your child talks a little later than the recommended milestone but they may have rolled over earlier. Before you panic or start worrying, look at the overall development of your child but if you are concerned ask a trained professional for their advice.