Birth to 1 Year Old
What to Expect
Babies grow and change dramatically during their first year. They begin to:
- Develop some control over their bodies. They learn to hold up their heads, roll over, sit up, crawl, stand up and, in some cases, walk.
- Become aware of themselves as separate from others. They learn to look at their hands and toes and play with them. They learn to cry when their parents leave and to recognize their own names.
- Play games. Babies first play with their own hands. Later they show an interest in toys, enjoy "putting in and taking out" games and eventually carry around or hug dolls or stuffed toys.
- Relate to others. Babies first respond to adults more than they do to other babies. Later they notice other babies, but they tend to treat these babies as objects instead of people. Then they pay attention when other babies make sounds.
- Communicate and develop language skills. Babies first cry and make throaty noises. Later they babble and say "mama" and "dada." Then they make lots of sounds and begin to name a few familiar people and objects. They begin to enjoy hearing rhyming and silly language.
What Babies Need
- Loving parents or caregivers who respond to their cries and gurgles and who keep them safe and comfortable;
- Opportunities to move about and to practice new physical skills;
- Safe objects to look at, bat, grab, bang, pat, roll and examine;
- Safe play areas; and
- Many opportunities to hear language, to make sounds and to have someone respond to those sounds.
- Developing Trust
Feeling your touch, hearing your voice and enjoying the comfort of physical closeness all help your baby to develop trust.
- Touch and See
Whenever they are awake, babies are hard at work, trying to learn all about the world. To help them learn, they need many different things to play with and inspect. Objects you have around your home offer many possibilities.
- Baby Talk
Babies love hearing the voices of the people in their lives.
Next » What About Kindergarten?
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U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications and Outreach
Helping Your Preschool Child
Washington, D.C., 2005