Developmental Milestones: 0 – 6 Months
Straight from birth babies are absorbing, learning, and reacting to the world around them through their senses. Their brains are developing, and they will rapidly start to show the early signs of communication (through gaze, smiles, and noises).
Muscles will be strengthening and will become evident as she starts being able to support her own head and possibly body towards 6 months.
Lots of interaction, visual stimulation, and talking is fascinating for any baby and will help enhance her knowledge of her new world.
Ensuring eye contact when talking, singing, and feeding a baby is brilliant at building personal bonds between you both as this will help her to recognise you. Eye contact also promotes feelings of security and comfort with regular and familiar people.
Physical contact, like cuddling, plays an important role in making your child feel cared for, loved, and safe. You can’t spoil a baby/child with too much love and attention.
Please keep in mind that these milestones are guidelines only, as all children are different and develop at their own pace. Do not be concerned if your child does not perfectly ‘tick all the boxes’ and avoid comparing your child to other children of a similar age. If you are worried that your child’s development is particularly delayed, visit your GP.
- Babies’ brains are developing rapidly and they are absorbing far more than some parents realise!
- As their senses mature, connections are being made within the brain that will form the basis of memories, help them to get familiar with routines and make them feel safe and secure in their environment
- Children are beginning to control and stabilise head movements which allows them to stabilise a gaze when tracking objects and movements.
- Babies turn to diffuse light and show fixation. Eyes widen due to ‘brightening’ and attention is fixated on the visual stimulus. This in turn helps enhance their focus and concentration
- Babies will gradually start to become more and more aware of the environment around them.
Babies love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning.
- Babies will recognise their primary carer from smell, sound, and sight.
- They are forming attachments to a small number of important people in their lives and feel safe around these people
- As they get older the circle of familiar people they recognise will gradually widen
- Physical contact with a new baby will help promote security and a sense of safety in your child. Plenty of cuddles, love, and attention can only benefit their development and confidence as well as build-essential bonds that will last and be rewarding to all
- Babies love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your 0-6 month old’s personal, social and emotional development.
- Muscles are very loose at this age but will be developing rapidly in the first few months. Supporting his/her own head is often the first sign of muscle control
- Toys and floor play encouraging “tummy time” aid core muscle development
- Kicking and swatting movements will strengthen their leg and arm muscles
- Mirrors, moving objects, and sounds all encourage a baby to lift his/her head and will in turn strengthen the neck muscles.
- Newborn babies have not developed fine motor skills at this early age, but they do have reflexes and can hold and grip onto fingers when they are placed in their palms. With use, these muscles will become stronger before the reflex regresses at about 4 months
- A baby’s first smile is the beginning of a lifetime of communication
- Even though it will be a while before a baby speaks, talking to your baby and using natural speech patterns has been shown to help language development in later months
- The rhythm of any music also facilitates language-learning, listening skills and can help children to relax.
- Artistic skills are not yet evident, but stimulating a baby’s creativity with interesting things to see and hear in his surroundings will encourage curiosity and creativity later on.
- Brightly coloured toys and images hanging from car seats, cots and floor mats will all help stimulate creativity and provide simple entertainment for your baby
- Babies will reach for objects, and enjoy exploring them with their hands and mouths
- They will begin to anticipate repeated sights, sounds and actions
- Babies will roll around to explore the space around them
- They will be drawn to faces and enjoy interacting with others, particularly familiar carers