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The Infant Milestones
You'll Want to Mark

Being aware of the infant milestones is vital to understanding your baby's current development and future behavior.

You need to be able to catch those "windows of opportunity" in your infant's life.

Knowledge of the infant developmental stages helps you guide your child along the path of becoming a healthy and functioning adult.

You want your baby to grow
not too fast...not too slow...
but at just the right pace.

This "mothersense" lets you to see into the future and identify either those areas where your newborn is excelling, or areas where he needs a little nudge.

Worst case scenario, you can bring it up to your doctor at the next well baby visit. Either way, your baby benefits!


What are the Infant Milestones?

A milestone is a significant stage or event in a persons life. Your baby will hit more milestones in this first year than at any other time in his life. There are 5 sets of developmental stages to watch for in the first year.
Infant milestones
{Photo by Nico Maessen}
There will be huge changes in each of these major developmental stages in your baby's life. Knowing what's coming and what's past will solidify this meaningful year in your memory forever.

I have found the easiest way to track all these infant milestones is in a Baby Binder (a notebook that organizes all my medical information for my baby).


Milestone Marker

How Often Do You Track the Milestones?

You can track your baby's development on a weekly basis, but that may be asking for a panic attack. What if he's a week behind? two weeks?

In the big picture that's nothing, but tracking weekly may tempt you to be overly concerned.

For the most part, observe the milestones quarterly and occasionally monthly. Briefly check what's coming up (using the Infant Milestone Marker) and then make a note when they occur.

Chances are, your Baby Binder will be more accessible than your Baby Book. You can always transfer the results over later on.


If Your Baby Seems Behind

First of all, take a deep breath. Some children may be slower in some areas, but super fast in others. Is your infant extremely active but slow to speak?

Most often these things even themselves out. Be patient. If it seems not to be improving after a few weeks, mention it to your pediatrician.

Become an expert on your baby. She is wonderfully unique and will develop at her own pace.


Influencing Your Baby's Development

Mothers (and others) can have a huge influence on their infant's development. Here are some tips on how to encourage this growth:

Can I Hurt My Baby's Development?

Unfortunately, there are ways you could negatively impact your baby's development. Here are some things you should avoid:

  • smoking around the baby
  • exposing your baby to lead (especially in older homes). Scrape away old paint chips around the windows and repaint!
  • having harmful chemicals in close contact with your baby (i.e. carpet shampoo, harsh cleansers, etc.)
  • too much exposure to television (Some is okay. A lot is not.)

Ever here the rumor that teaching your baby sign language could harm her speech later on? That she'll delay speaking, relying on sign language instead? See what expert Misty Weaver has to say about it.


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Watching your baby grow and develop through these infant milestones is one of the greatest prizes of being a mother.

Cherish these moments as you cheer your little one on. They will be too fleeting!


Other Infant Milestone Articles in the EiR

All the photos on this page can be found at www.flickr.com and were used
according to licensing requirements. The photo on the cover of the Milestone Marker was taken by Nichole Manner.

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I am not a doctor. I do not diagnose or prescribe.
When in doubt, give Doc a shout!

Copyright © The Essential Infant Resource for Moms 2007 - 2011.

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