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Overview of the Developmental Stages of Infancy

Guest Post by Joyce Brister.

While the first five years of a baby’s development is a period of incredible growth and learning, every baby is different and each develops at its own pace. Understanding the rapid developmental changes can help parents and primary caregivers provide a nurturing environment for the child.  Since a baby’s future begins even before birth, how parents deal with the baby’s development has effects that can last his/her entire lifetime.

All parents worry about their child’s growth and development, especially if the birth was difficult or the child developed a disability or chronic condition.  Although each child’s rate of growth is different, the patterns of growth have common denominators and are fairly predictable.  It is the timing of the stages of development that differ, even amongst siblings. For instance, many babies are walking by age one, but it is still considered normal to be walking anywhere from 9-16 months of age.

The milestones listed for a child’s development are only guidelines but there are assumptions that are universally accepted. That does not mean you should remain silent if you are concerned about the timing of any area your baby’s development.  Premature babies’ developmental milestones will be different, but it is not uncommon for normal, healthy babies to race ahead in some areas and lag behind in others.

All children differ, they differ in how they respond to people and their environment, in how they show affection, in how they play, in their physical size, their social, emotional, and cognitive growth.  Children vary in their energy levels, emotional highs and lows, and ability to take in stimulation.

The developmental stages listed below include some of these predicted milestones:

The first month of life – keeping hands in tight fists, bringing hands near their face, having acute hearing, recognizing sounds including the voices of the parents, while lying on its stomach, moving the head from side to side,

The third month – following a moving object with its eyes, recognizing at a distance, familiar people or objects, grabbing and shaking its toys, enjoying playing with people and crying when the play stops, smiling when it hears its parents’ voices.

By the 5-6th month – the baby’s weight at birth will have doubled; it will have tripled by its first birthday.

The seventh month- rolling over from stomach to back and back to stomach, reaching for objects with its hands, transferring objects between hands, expressing job and displeasure by using its voice, struggling to reach objects, enjoying the game of peek-a-boo, showing significant interest in images in the mirror.

A baby’s growth is amazing and most will be right on schedule with the guidelines for the normal developmental stages of infancy. What seems to be a very common occurrence is that parents are startled by how quickly they go from being a very young baby to talking and walking to being ready for school.


Joyce Brister is a loving parent and blogger for the My Baby Blog.  Joyce loves writing about situations that parents are often faced with.  She would like for you to take a look at the Glenna Jean Finley Bedding Collection at My Baby Bedding Shop.


Related Posts on this Blog:
Guide to Baby Milestones in the First 12 Months
10 Surprising Facts about Having a Baby

About the author: This blog post was written by a guest contributor. If you’d like to guest post for Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies, please read my Guest Writing Policy for a guideline of what I am looking for. All guest posts need to be at least 500 words and be original to this site only.

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