We wait eagerly for our child’s first steps and words, but there are also many adorable milestones that can be happening right under our adoring eyes. That’s because motor skills and language don’t develop overnight. There are many small changes (even the way he blinks his eyes and crinkles his nose) that are actually the foundation of bigger victories. Here are some of those important, and all so cute, micro milestones.
Smiles don’t just say hello
Our hearts melt when we see our baby’s big, gummy grin. And guess what? That smile means that your child is learning to connect emotions and expressions—the beginning of EQ, socialization, and self-awareness. Encourage him with plenty of smiles and also funny facial expressions for him to mimic.
At about 4 to 6 months those smiles will progress to laughs and giggles. Tickle his neck or make funny faces or noises. You’ll develop your bond and help set the stage for a sense of humor.
Oh, those adorable baby sounds…
At around 3 to 4 months your child will start cooing, squealing, grunting, and making those messy raspberries. This repertoire of baby music is more entertaining the New York Philharmonic –and it also sets the stage for more complex speech. Your child is practicing tongue, lip and mouth muscles.
Another related milestone? Sticking out his tongue (which will boost muscles needed for talking and eating solids) and babbling.
Shake, rattle, roll!
Your baby will begin holding and shaking a rattle at about 4 months old. He thinks it’s fun…and he’s also learning things like cause-effect, a very important foundation for learning and even independence. “if I do this, that happens” and “if I want this to happen, I can…” Shaking rattles also develops rhythm. Read tips on how to raise a child who loves music.
Many babies go through a time when they like to suck their feet. That’s because his lips and tongue are very sensitive, and he uses it to learn and explore things—and the pink, wriggling little toes he sees at the end of his legs seem so fascinating! The good news is that each time he reaches over to touch (and nibble) on his feet he learns flexibility, coordination, and gross motor skills.
Hugs and kisses
By one year old your baby can lean over and give you one big smack on the cheek! Aside from being super sweet and super cute, these noisy kisses indicate that your child’s facial muscles and vocal chords have developed. And her social skills have developed to the point that she can express affection intentionally
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