What Are the Emotional Milestones My Baby Should Reach Within the First Year?

Parenting is hard, especially when it comes to babies. Children are a source of joy to their parents. But how do parents know if their baby is developing on time and meeting the emotional milestones that are so important in the first year of life?

When a baby is first born, they cannot express emotions for the simple fact that they are not capable yet.Newborns cannot genuinely smile until they are about 8-12 weeks old. For the first few months, reflexes cause baby’s motions, such as the Grasping Reflex and Stepping Reflex. These reflexes help your baby strengthen their muscles for bigger challenges ahead like reaching for and holding an object and walking.

One of the first signs that your newborn has reached an emotional/linguistic milestone is from your little one’s response to your voice. Within the first three months, your child should smile at you when he sees you and as you talk to him. Your baby will also smile at other people he recognizes. As you talk to your child, he may “talk” back to you and cook with you. Your newborn should also like playing with you and interacting with others.

The next set of milestones aren’t as noticeable, but according to EmedicineHealth.com, http://wwwemedicinehealth.com/infant_milestones/article_em.htm, your infant can determine how you are feeling depending on your tone of voice. This kind of differentiation usually happens around 4-7 months old. Your little one will know when you are happy with them and when you are not. If you are like most parents, you probably play Peek-A-Boo with your baby. This game helps him learn object permanence and will help him learn that you are still present even when he can’t see you. In these months, your baby should begin to create some consonant sounds, such as mama, dada, or gaga.

Finally, by the end of the first year, your little one will cry when parents leave, and is generally shy around strangers, although this one partly depends on the child’s demeanor and if they are shy or outgoing. But a crying baby, however unnerving as it is, is an excellent indication that your infant is emotionally attached to you and you have established a strong bond with your little one.

Here are some encouraging parenting tips that will help to foster emotional development in your baby:

  • Talkto your baby. Children are smarter than you think and they absorb so much information regarding the spoken word, including the vocal inflections and pauses in your speech patterns. Your voice will also soothe your infant, especially if your little one is distressed or uncomfortable. The objective is to connect with your child and help your little one acquire language skills that he will learn and use to express themselves effectively later in life.
  • Play with your little one, especially when he is alert and relaxed, like after a nap for instance.
  • Lavish love and cuddles on your child. Expressing your love to your infant makes him feel secure, as well as wanted, accepted, and loved. Babies who experience close nurturing from their parents flourish in their emotional development.
  • Read to your baby. Reading to your infant is an excellent way for him to gain a better understanding of language and he will start to associate different pictures with sounds.
  • Sing to your child. Apart from being relaxing, music is a great way to introduce different musical sounds to your child. Music, particularly classical and instrumental piecessupport brain development.

Each child is different and will develop in their unique timeframe, this is true with their developmental skills as well. However, if you don’t see your baby is reaching theses milestones within a reasonable time, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician. Delayed emotional progress could be a sign of something more serious. Give you and your infant time to grow and establish an emotional connection with you and your family. This is a special time to enjoy your little one.