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Developmental Milestones to Watch for in Months Seven to Twelve

The second half of a child’s first year is full of developmental milestones that indicate whether a baby is growing and learning like most other children. These milestones guide parents and medical professionals in determining if a child is developing properly or if there may be developmental issues.

The Seventh Month

Infants engage their sight, hearing, and touch while their motor skills improve. Babies learn to grasp, roll over, sit up, and some begin crawling. Babies develop full-color sight, and their distance vision matures. Their ability to track moving objects also improves.

Babies respond to their name and to “no.” They also distinguish emotions by tone of voice and respond to sounds by making sound, even using their own voice to express emotions. Infants babble a chain of consonant sounds, can find partially hidden objects, and enjoy social play and looking in mirrors.

A few milestones to expect:

  • Rolls both ways, from front to back and back to front.
  • Sits with the support of hands, then without hands.
  • Uses a raking grasp (not yet a pincer grasp).

Signs of concern:

  • The body seems very stiff with tight muscles or very floppy like a rag doll.
  • Baby refuses to cuddle or shows no affection for caregivers.
  • Doesn’t respond to sounds around them.

The Eighth Month

During the eighth month, infants are busy! Babies are more mobile and put everything in their mouths, so baby proofing is imperative. Babies roll or start to crawl and may pull themselves to a standing position near furniture, building core and leg muscles for walking.

Babbling is frequent and babies can experience separation anxiety. An infant makes sounds when spoken to and use the thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp) to pick up objects. Sitting unassisted and rocking back and forth on hands and knees are other milestones.

Some milestones for month eight:

  • Makes different vowel and consonant sounds.
  • Eat more solids though half of daily calories still come from breast milk or formula.
  • Transfers an object from one hand to another.

Signs of concern:

  • Baby doesn’t make eye contact or isn’t babbling.
  • Can’t sit on their own or uses one hand significantly more than the other.
  • Loses a skill they previously developed.

The Ninth Month

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports babies are “shy, clingy, or fearful around strangers” as separation anxiety sets in full force. They use facial expressions and look when their name is called. Babies smile or laugh when playing peek-a-boo.

Babies make many sounds, which are the precursor to language. They lift their arms to be picked up and look for objects that drop out of sight. Babies can bang two things together and get into a sitting position alone. They “rake” food towards themselves and crawl, roll, or scoot to objects out of their reach.

Milestones to watch for:

  • Waves “bye-bye” when prompted.
  • Enjoys opening and closing things and explores how things work.
  • Turns pages in a book.

Contact your pediatrician if baby:

  • Doesn’t babble or play games involving social back-and-forth play.
  • Doesn’t respond when their name is called or fails to recognize familiar people.
  • Doesn’t look in the direction you point or transfer objects from one hand to the other.

The Tenth Month

This month, babies should be pulling to a standing position, taking steps, and feeding themselves, according to Parents. They should be saying “mama” and “dada” with intent and continue to develop the pincer grasp.

Babies start to understand object permanence such as when a toy is hidden, they know it still exists. They may still cry or fuss when their caregiver leaves the room due to separation anxiety.

Some milestones to watch for:

  • Walks with you holding their hands.
  • Demonstrates curiosity.
  • Shows a preference for certain tastes and textures.

Be concerned if baby:

  • Fails to crawl or consistently drags one side of the body while crawling.
  • Doesn’t gesture such as pointing, shaking their head, or waving.
  • Isn’t babbling or using words such as “mama” or “dada.”

The Eleventh Month

Babies are more mobile during this last month of infancy. What to Expect states babies may stand alone for one or two minutes, clap their hands, and hold small objects with a pincer grasp. They copy sounds and gestures and may roll a ball back during playtime. Blocks and puzzles, books, activity cubes, and musical toys are a big hit.

The process of bottle weaning should begin with the aim of being bottle-free after the first birthday. By the end of the month, baby should:

  • Stand and cruise around the house.
  • Understand and follow simple instructions.
  • Use a sippy cup and feed themselves. warns parents should be concerned if baby:

  • Doesn’t make eye contact, follow objects with eyes, or has an eye turned in or out most of the time.
  • Fails to respond when their name is called or isn’t interested in sounds.
  • Doesn’t let you know what they want using body language, sounds or words.

The Twelfth Month

At 12 months, babies sit without help, stand alone, and are likely attempting to take steps alone. They communicate using gestures and try to say words, according to Help Me Grow.

Babies demonstrate a preference for certain toys and people, imitate sounds and gestures, and may cry when left by caregivers. They “help” with dressing by putting out arms and legs, enjoy playing games such as “pat-a-cake,” and show affection for familiar people.

Other milestones include:

  • Putting objects into and pulling them out of containers.
  • Looking at the correct picture when an object is named.
  • Uses index finger to poke and follows simple directions such as “pick up your book.”

Signs of concern:

  • Can not stand when supported.
  • Fails to search for objects that are hidden while they watch.
  • Doesn’t use single words such as “mama” or “dada” and fails to point at objects or use gestures.

While each child is different, parents should listen to their instincts. If something seems “off,” consult with your pediatrician or contact the pediatricians and developmental experts at Jiguar.

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