Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Monitoring Your Baby's Emotional Development: 16 Key Milestones for the First Year of Life by Susan Hawkins

Posted Nov 01 2008 10:44pm

If you think that six-month-old staring at you from her crib doesn't have a clue as you and Daddy make mad, passionate love, think again! New research is telling us otherwise, and earlier beliefs about the emotional and intellectual abilities of even very young babies are being replaced by a much different view. Infants are not the blank slates who grasp only the most basic emotions - happy, angry, or sad. Science now shows that long before their first words or even sitting up, they're already feeling jealousy, empathy and frustration.

Babies are also more intellectually sophisticated than we once believed. Even four-month-olds have powers of deduction and can decipher intricate patterns. Their visual palette is detailed to the extent that they can notice small differences, particularly in faces, even better than adults and older children. And surprisingly, babies have long memories - maybe teenage rebellion is payback for something you did to him at seven months old, like make him wear a lame, little piggy Halloween costume that you thought was too cute for words. Keep that in mind when October 31 rolls around.

Because research has shown that there's a lot going on inside those little heads, doctors are now using a system of milestones to determine if the learning, behavior and development of a baby are on track. Though children develop differently, some pronounced differences may be cause for concern. As a parent, you should be aware of these milestones and watch for them during baby's first year. Your child should:

At 4 Months:
Follow and react to bright colors, movement, and objects
Turn toward sounds
Watch people's faces
Return your smiles

At 6 Months:
Relate joyfully to you
Smile often when the two of you play
Coo or babble with happiness
Cry when sad

At 9 Months:
Smile and laugh when looking at you
Exchange smiles, loving faces, and other expressions with you
Exchange back-and-forth sounds with you
Exchange back-and-forth gestures with you, like giving, taking, and reaching

At 12 Months:
Use gestures to get needs met, like giving, showing, reaching, waving, pointing
Play social games like peek-a-boo and patty cake
Make sounds, like "ma," "ba," "na," "da," and "ga"
Turn to the person speaking when they call his/her name
Keep these milestones handy and pay attention to your child's abilities at these key times during the first year. Discuss them with your pediatrician, and let him or her know if you notice a deficiency or a lack of ability in a certain area. The good news is that, because of this research, babies with early symptoms of emotional disorders like autism may benefit by developing their powers of observation and emotional interaction.

About the Author

Susan Hawkins is a writer for Corner Stork baby Gifts at Visit Corner Stork for unique baby gifts, personalized baby gifts and much more.

For more articles on baby's development visit

Was this information useful? If not find more information on this topic by searching Google. Enter your search term in the box below. Your results will open in a new window.


Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches