Development: Crawling Baby In The First Year

Development crawling baby milestones within the first year of life, and what you as a parent can expect to see your children doing.

Your baby's first year is a worrying time for you as a parent. For many people it is their first adventure into parenthood and you may not have an idea of what to expect in that initial period. There is no worse feeling for a parent than to be sitting talking to someone, beaming with pride that your child just crawled to you at the tender age of eight months, only to be told that their little Susan was, in fact, crawling at five months. No, resist that urge to rush your child off to the nearest pediatrician, remember your child is an individual and will develop at his or her own pace, what will follow here are just guidelines.

Your child's' first smile will be at about five weeks of age, unless the child was born early in which case the chances are good that they will smile a little later. Your child will smile in response to higher pitched sounds because they appear to sound like mommy, and only at about three months will your child begin to choose whom he will grace with a smile.

At two months of age your child will begin to respond to outside noise, for example a door slamming. He will begin to reach for things and will be able to recognize mom and dad. At about four months your child will begin to watch you very carefully, and will also start to watch his fingers toes and arm movements. From six months he will be fascinated by objects; a picture, paperweight or glass, and from seven months he will understand that even though you aren't in the room, you still exist. A comforting thought for a mom! Your child will introduce you to wonderful games at about ten months of age. He will drop toys on the floor for you to pick, hand to him and then he will repeat the process. It will delight him; it will also drive you round the bend.

As far as talking goes, your child will begin to babble and make "coo" noises at around two months of age, and studies have shown that the more stimulated he is by having mom talk to him, the sooner he will try to respond. He will also be fascinated by easy storybooks, and the changes in your voice as you read to him.

His first word will only be at around eight months when he will begin to use "momma" as well as "baba", but by eleven months he should have graduated onto words that are meaningful to him and by eighteen months he should know about forty words. Boys generally start a little later than girls and in fact mine only started talking at all when he was eighteen months. He is now thirty months and never keeps quiet!

Crawling will begin at around seven months and will be encouraged by smooth surfaces and toys placed just out of the child's reach. Entice your child into moving towards either yourself or a toy, but don't frustrate him, rather give him the toy or move closer to him, he will crawl in his own time. On average ten percent of babies never crawl they go straight to walking. The first step is generally taken when the child is around ten months and unaided walking (not leaning on a chair, table, etc) will start around fourteen months of age. He will begin by holding onto things, so arrange your furniture in such a way that there are gaps he will have to walk across unaided. Holding out your hands to him will also encourage more mobility.

Some babies are quite happy to shuffle around on their bottoms for the first few months, which is also fine. Once he has mastered walking he will learn to go sideways as well as backwards. Ensure that your baby is safe once he is mobile. The best way to do this is to crawl around the house on hands and knees and look to see what he can reach as well as what looks like a danger. The world is a completely different place at knee level.

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