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Physical Development in Your Baby

Your baby is growing and developing every day. Each month or even each day, brings new skills, new processing, and progress. Read about your baby's developing skills.

4 mins to read Oct 14, 2021

At what age can your baby recognise faces?

Sight is the last sense to develop in your baby. At around 2-4 weeks, your baby will start to recognise your face while feeding and by about 2 months old, your baby can see your face at a distance. What your baby sees however is still unclear. They react to stimuli but may not really recognise their parent, except by smell, voice and unique movements. At around 3 months they will be able to identify the faces of regular family members.


Why does your baby grab onto everything and anything they can at around three months?

To begin with and completely by accident, your baby grabs onto objects without meaning to, and so discovers a revolutionary aspect in their world – hands! Your baby may be able to grip their little fingers around an object when they are given the opportunity. Help your baby discover and practice this extraordinary ability.


When should I start feeding my baby solids?

Solid foods should be introduced at around 6 months, and not before 4 months. Aside from age, it will also depend on the individual baby and their signs of readiness. You can find out more about introducing solids here.


What motivates babies to start walking?

Your baby is motivated to walk as they see you do it every day, and want to become more  independent. This applies to all other skills as well. At about 6 months, your baby will start to learn to turn onto their tummy, sit up alone (at around 7 months) and may even pull themselves up onto their knees. Towards 10 to 11 months your baby may take their first hesitant steps while holding onto furniture or the bars of the playpen (known as cruising). If your baby hasn’t taken their first steps by 18 months talk to your healthcare professional for advice.

Babies tend to improve their motor development through movement and play; including the following important developments:

  • Sitting
  • Crawling
  • Tummy time
  • Promoting eye movement by looking at colourful pictures in books
  • Encouraging your baby to lift their head by rolling objects in front of your baby
  • Placing toys just out of reach to encourage reaching.  

 

Once your baby has turned one, the following can be included:

  • Ride on toys
  • Simple songs with simple actions to follow
  • Walking upright and eventually running
  • Climbing
  • Jumping
  • Carrying
  • Pulling
  • Pushing
  • Throwing


What games can I play with my baby to support their development?

All babies develop at their own pace, so try not to force your baby’s development to speed it along. 
Here are some simple tips to start with:

  • Talk to your baby about what’s going on in their world from the day they are born;
  • Your baby will love to watch mobiles move, listen to soft rattles and grip onto thin objects with their little fingers.
  • An activity mat is ideal for baby’s first urges to move around, watch and grab things. Spending time on the floor is the best and safest form of sensory discovery and muscle development – you will need to start baby-proofing your house though!

 

More ideas for play here.


Does diet and food affect my child’s motor development?

At around 3 to 4 months you will notice your baby is interested in putting anything and everything in their mouth. Understanding the importance of your baby’s mouth shows the significance of introducing solids – combining different textures, colours, shapes, and tastes on a daily basis. Balanced nutrition is also essential for the development of your baby’s brain and mobility.

Try not to compare and worry if your little one is behind in any of the physical developmental stages such as crawling, walking, and self-feeding as your baby is individual in how they develop. Seek professional advice if you are concerned.

Now you’re up to speed on your baby’s physical development, learn about their emotional development here.