Infant Development: The First Year of Life

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1 Infant Development: The First Year of Life Your child's first few years are critical in the development of his or her temperament, learning style and pattern of growth. You are your child's first and most important teacher! Give encouragement and provide appropriate toys and instructions. Young children learn through play and exposure to different people, places and things. : Important Tools for Learning When choosing toys, choose ones that match their age and are safe. do not have to be expensive to be good. Many common household items make good toys (measuring spoons, plastic and metal pots and pans, etc.). Be sure to have a small variety and let your child choose a play item. Look for these developmental changes and toys that are appropriate for each age group. Birth to 3 Months of Age (0 to 3 months) Lifts head while on stomach and turns it side to side Turns head to sound, knows your voice and responds to your touch Explores hands with mouth Grasps objects placed in hand More on next page Learn more about your health care. Copyright April 10, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center - Upon request all patient education handouts are available in other formats for people with special hearing, vision and language needs, call (614)

2 Page 2 Starts to coo and babble Begins to make eye contact with another person and moving objects Begins to bat at objects Can be soothed if talked to, rocked or patted Seeks face or voice he knows Begins to turn his body from side to side Hanging mobiles, large pictures of faces, large unbreakable mirror Musical toys, tapes of familiar voices, singing activities Rattles, large rings, sucking toys Three To Six Months (3 to 6 months) Sits with support for short periods Works on rolling, lifts head and chest when placed on stomach Starts to belly crawl or scoot for short distances Reaches for objects to hold or puts objects in mouth Swipes at or kicks objects Begins to let go of objects, toys Coos, smiles often and screeches or laughs; prefers to play with familiar people Babbles when alone or with someone Turns eyes and head toward sounds and voices, and listens intently Repeats sounds he/she hears Holds an object in each hand and brings objects to mouth Soothes self with thumb, pacifier, blanket etc.

3 Page 3 Activity center or a busy box, roly-poly balls Squeeze toys, soft dolls, objects that make noise when batted Bright clothing and bed sheets, large unbreakable mirror Approved teething and chewing toys Simple songs and face games (peek-a-boo) Common items with handles or that are small enough to hold Baby books with cloth or vinyl pages Six To Nine Months (6 to 9 months) Sits without support Crawls and begins to creep on hands and knees Climbs over or onto low objects Holds onto objects, and begins to bang and drop objects on purpose Moves objects from hand to hand Begins to say words like "ma-ma," "da-da," or "ba-ba" Responds to own name and other common words Finds toys hidden under cloth Drops and looks for objects Begins to finger feed Enjoys seeing and being near others May be shy or scared around strangers or cry when away from mom or dad

4 Page 4 Large plastic balls of different textures and colors Mirrors, stuffed animals, puppets Toy telephone, water toys, animal sounds, and picture books Stacking ring toys, dump and fill toys Household items baby can hold, inspect and make noise with (examples: plastic containers and lids) Children's books with lots of pictures Nine To Twelve Months (9 to 12 months) Sits alone Creeps on hands and knees well Walks along (cruises) holding onto furniture Likes to walk holding onto adult and may be able to push a walking toy Holds spoon and puts it in mouth Uses thumb and first finger to feed self Holds and drinks from a capped cup Likes to look at picture books Says at least two words besides "ma-ma" or "da-da" that have meaning Enjoys praise or attention from adults and likes to "show off Follows simple directions like "bring me the ball," "no," "give it to me" Points to objects, familiar people or body parts when asked "where is it? Repeats what they see you do Plays quietly with toys, pots, and hard plastic spoons or tools Imitates pat-a-cake" and "peek-a-boo" games Likes simple ball games, pegboard activities and emptying containers Remembers simple events and routines

5 Page 5 Assorted boxes for building, sitting in, crawling into and out of Nesting and stacking toys, cups, buckets, and other unbreakable containers Children's tape player for music tapes, more picture books Wooden or cardboard blocks Pull or push toys, cars, trucks, dolls and puppets Toy telephone, balls, bath or water play toys, stuffed animals Simple musical instrument for blowing Blowing bubbles Low climbing toys, swings Wagon, low riding toys Talk to your doctor or others on your health care team if you have questions. You may request more written information from the Library for Health Information at (614) or

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