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Dad watches as his baby crawls away

Tips to Keep Your Baby's Development on Track

By Dr. Robert Fink, Pediatric Specialists

It’s amazing how much your baby can develop in just a few short months. Before you know it, they are walking, talking and developing the cognitive skills of a toddler. Here are some tips to help your baby meet their first important physical developmental milestones.

Birth to 3 Months

  • Explain your actions and name objects throughout the day to help your baby’s communication skills.
  • Set aside at least 15 minutes of “tummy time” every day to improve your baby’s motor development.
  • Physical affection goes a long way. Have a cuddle or tickle time every day to help build bonding.
  • Bright colors and familiar faces can also encourage your baby to respond and communicate.

4–6 Months

  • Increase tummy time, and encourage your baby to roll over often and reach for objects.
  • Continue to build motor skills by giving your baby toys that require two hands to play.
  • Babies will start to babble around this time. Respond to your baby’s babbles and build their communication skills.
  • Start to read to your baby everyday starting at 6 months of age.

7-9 Months

  • Place toys in front of or a little bit away from your baby to encourage movement and crawling.
  • Play cause and effect games like peek-a-boo.
  • When naming objects, go further by describing the objects to build your baby’s comprehension skills.

10–12 Months

  • This is the time to establish long term routines, like at bedtime and mealtime.
  • Continue to read to your baby every day.
  • Provide interactive toys like blocks or push and pull toys that help build your baby’s problem solving skills.
  • Ask your baby questions to stimulate the decision-making process.

13-15 Months

  • Encourage crawling or walking by providing soft surface floors or piles of pillows in case of falls.
  • Engage in more interaction during reading time. Have your baby point to objects or characters that you name.
  • Ask detailed questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer to build communication skills.
  • Give your baby small tasks to do, like bringing you items from across the room or shutting doors.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.