Congratulations on your first year of parenting with your baby. It was a wonderful joyful ride, wasn’t it? Now as you move on to the next phase of your parenting journey, here are the three child developmental milestones for you to prepare and look forward to.
Physical Developmental Milestones
Beginning 12 months, your child’s body will start developing more muscles than fat as he/she becomes more active. This is the development stage of the gross motor skills characterized by the use of large muscles like the arms, legs, and core muscles. This will enable the child to perform activities like crawling, getting into sitting-up position, crawling, and probably walking or standing.
Fine motor skills, on the other hand, are characterized by activities utilizing the small muscles and demonstrating finer muscle control and dexterity. Such activities include scribbling, banging objects, turning handles, and picking up objects.
Avoid frequent picking-up or placing the child in the stroller often, as these could delay your child gross motor skills development. Encourage playing toys and games that help develop writing and drawing skills. Also, keep your home childproofed with enough space to move around for your child.
Cognitive and Communication Skills Development
At this stage, your child begins to speak a few words or babble to respond or communicate. Your child will also be able to follow simple instructions, find or identify objects, and mimic gestures. Help your child develop verbal and cognitive skills by constantly talking to him/her, introduce songs, games and toys, and children’s books, teach proper use of things like a hairbrush, baby hair accessories, spoon, etc.
Social And Emotional Development
By 12 months, your child begins to show social skills and express various emotions like shyness, nervousness, fear, laughing, smiling, frustration, preferences for toys and people. At this stage, your child would be prone to separation anxieties. Make sure you develop a routine that would make your child feel more secure and become less clingy. This means being firm when you have to leave despite your child’s resistance, leave your child with a goodbye kiss and then come back with great enthusiasm and cheerfulness.
Learn the art of redirecting when disciplining your child, that is, distracting your child from his/her current behavior and shifting that energy to a more positive direction. If your child is holding a scissor, for example, you will take the object, state that it is not child plaything and then offer a toy instead.
Again, children develop at varying rates but if there is a reason to be concerned about your child’s development, consult with a child specialist. The sooner you act upon noticing child development red flags, the better it would be for your child’s well-being.