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It’s amazing how fast babies grow and develop in their first year. On average, a newborn’s weight will triple, and he or she will grow 10 inches by his or her first birthday! The anticipation and excitement of each new developmental milestone—hearing your baby’s first word, watching him or her roll over, crawl or maybe even take a first step—is unmatched. You’ll even see glimpses of his or her personality beginning to emerge.
These and other developmental milestones can help parents and pediatricians track a baby’s physical and behavioral growth. Children’s development and growth is usually broken down into the following areas:
- Gross motor—controlling the head, sitting and walking
- Fine motor—holding a spoon, picking something up between thumb and finger
- Sensory—seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling
- Language and thinking—being able to talk and be understood and understanding what parents and other children say
- Emotional and social—the ability to play with family members and other children
While most babies achieve certain skills and tasks at similar ages, it’s important to remember that your baby will develop at his or her own pace. As a parent, you should try not to compare your baby’s accomplishments against what your friends’ or siblings’ infants did and at what ages. It’s not unusual for babies to grow in spurts or have slower progress in some areas of development than others. For example, your baby may become fixated on rolling over or standing up, which means he or she may not be as focused on verbal skills.
Your baby’s development will be assessed at each well-baby visit. If you have concerns, always talk with your pediatrician. Here is a general list of milestones and when they typically occur (on average).