Your baby’s early development

From the day your baby is born they’re developing from what they see, hear, experience and the interactions they have, they all have a significant impact upon their development. 

It’s important to remember every baby is different and your baby may develop at a different rate to another. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your baby. If your baby was born early it may take them a little longer to reach their developmental milestones. 

  • Raise their head and chest when they are lying on their front
  • Move their head from side to side when lying on their back
  • Bring their hands to their mouths
  • Open and close their hands
  • Touch dangling objects 
  • Fix visually on objects, following objects and turning to light

  • Roll over both ways from their front on to their back and from their back onto their front
  • Grasp their feet with their hands
  • Weight bear with support
  • Start sitting up unsupported, but this may only be for a short period of time 
  • Become more mobile when laid on their front
  • Grasp and hold objects in either hand
  • Try to pick objects up by using their hands
  • Shake and bang toys and objects
  • Reach with their hands
  • Follow a toy visually from side to side 
  • Coordinate their hand, eye and mouth movements
  • Recognise familiar people and objects from a distance

There are lots of ways you can interact with your baby without having to buy expensive toys.

Tips to help your baby’s development 

  • Encouraging them to have tummy time to develop the strength and muscles they need for rolling, sitting and crawling.
  • If your baby doesn't like tummy time to start with, you may notice they become frustrated. However, the more they do the more they will get used to it. Start by offering tummy time for small periods of time until they get used to it. 
  • Playing on the floor together to develop their skills and explore their environment. 
  • Talking to your baby and tell them what you’re doing throughout the day and allow lots of physical contact.
  • Spending time outside and describe the environment. 
  • Play with lots of toys, they’ll enjoy things which are black and white or brightly coloured as well as toys which are textured and noisy. 
  • Place their toys slightly out of reach to encourage your baby to move, grasp and balance.
  • Sing to your baby. Babies enjoy music and nursery rhymes. 
  • Share books and read to them.
  • If you watch TV with your baby talk to them about what’s happening.

If you’re worried about any aspect of your baby’s development please don’t hesitate to speak to your health visitor.