Pregnancy and Beyond

Not all babies sit, smile, or reach out at exactly the same age, but they do grow and develop in a predictable way. Keep in mind that every baby develops at his own rate with his own style.

General Development

Your baby's first task is to adjust to his new world. He needs to feel that there is some consistency and order to his days and nights. He also needs to learn that when he cries you will come to take care of his needs.

Development of Large Muscles

A newborn's neck and back muscles are not yet strong enough for him to support his head, so you need to provide that support when lifting your baby. At 3 to 4 months of age your baby may hold his head steady while supported in a sitting position. When on his stomach, he may lift his head and support his weight on his forearms. Put your baby on his tummy for short supervised periods of play. This helps him strengthen the muscles in his back and neck necessary for sitting and crawling.

Development of Small Muscles

Your baby is learning that he has some control over his body. The small muscles that young babies learn to control first are those around their eyes. Your baby will enjoy seeing new things and will soon turn his head toward sounds.

You can record your baby's important developmental milestones in his health record or baby book.