Topic updated: March 2013

Infant Health

Developmental Milestones

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye-bye" are called developmental milestones. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping).

In the first year, babies learn to focus their vision, reach out, explore, and learn about the things that are around them. Cognitive, or brain development means the learning process of memory, language, thinking, and reasoning. Learning language is more than making sounds ("babble"), or saying "ma-ma" and "da-da". Listening, understanding, and knowing the names of people and things are all a part of language development. During this stage, babies also are developing bonds of love and trust with their parents and others as part of social and emotional development. The way parents cuddle, hold, and play with their baby will set the basis for how they will interact with them and others.

Positive Parenting Tips

Following are some things you, as a parent, can do to help your baby during this time:

Read this and other articles at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may also wish to see the HealthyNJ page on Infant Illnesses & Problems, and various other specific pages, such as Hydrocephalus and Jaundice.

baby taking dangerous items out of a drawer

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