Growth and Development, Ages 1 to 12 Months
How do babies grow and develop in the first year?
Babies change more in the first year of life than at any other time. From 1 to 12 months of age, most babies grow and develop in these main areas:
Each baby grows and gains skills at his or her own pace. It is common for a baby to be ahead in one area, such as language, but a little behind in another.
Babies who were born early or have health problems may grow and develop at a slower pace.
Why are routine medical visits needed?
Doctors recommend that babies have routine checkups (well-child visits) every 2 to 3 months from age 1 month to 12 months. These visits are important to check for problems and to make sure that your baby is growing and developing as expected.
During these visits, the doctor will:
This is a good time to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. Between visits, write down any questions you want to ask the doctor next time.
When should you call the doctor?
Call your doctor anytime you have a concern about your baby. Be sure to call if your baby:
Your own health is also important in helping your baby grow and develop. Talk to your doctor if you think you might be depressed or if you feel like you cannot care for your baby.
How can you help your baby during the first year?
The best things for your baby are often the most basic. Loving, holding, changing diapers for, talking to, and feeding your baby are the first things to focus on.
During the first year, other ways that you can help your baby grow and learn are to:
The first year of your baby's life is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Some days you may feel overwhelmed. Learning what is normal for babies at this age can help you spot problems early or feel better about how your baby is doing.
Ask for help when you need it. Call a family member or friend to watch your baby. If you need a break or don't feel well, ask your doctor or local hospital for some suggestions.
Frequently Asked Questions
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