Stages of Infant Development.

So, what are the stages of infant development?

One useful way of understanding your infant’s progression is to compare what you see and hear with the following general milestones: 

For example:

  • By 3 - 4 months old the majority of infants can control their head.
  • By 6 months they can laugh and ...
  • At 8 months find hidden objects.

Just remember – before we look at these milestones – they are JUST GUIDELINES. Please refer to a medical professional if you are concerned about a specific aspect of your child’s development.


The First 12 Weeks.

This is the stage that is all about “getting to know your baby and responding to its needs”.


Key milestones to watch for: 

Your Baby:

  • Responds to noise.
  • Tries to raise head when placed on stomach.
  • Looks at your face.

If your baby is happy, feeding and sleeping well then you both can relax and enjoy the bonding that takes place at this special time!

However, the following are some of the complications that I see when parents bring their infant to my clinic :

  • Infant Feeding Difficulties – Problems in latching on to breast, sucking problems while Breastfeeding or using a bottle as well as Infant Reflux.
  • Infant Colic – Difficulty in winding or crying frantically in pain after feeds. You may be interested in seeing typical Colic Symptoms and Treatment .
  • Infant Nasal Congestion - Babies often suffer from nasal congestion in the first few weeks after birth.
  • Infant Sleeping Difficulties – Sleeping difficulties are accompanied by other factors. Often, all of these distressing symptoms - for both baby and parents - need to be treated together.
  • Infant Eczema – Normally treated successfully by a combination of approaches - often including dietary, ointments, washing regime and in my experience, treatments with CranioSacral Therapy .
  • Infant Torticollis – Stiffness in your baby's neck often causes him/her to prefer lying facing one side in the cot. It can also result in preferences when feeding.
  • Constipation – Some infants experience constipation for days at a time. This often goes hand-in-hand with feeding difficulties.


I have treated infants with these complications very successfully with 3 - 5 treatments of CranioSacral Therapy. 


3 Months to 6 Months.

By now your baby has adjusted to her new environment and you are able to distinguish a hungry or tired cry. Your bond has grown and as new parents you are more confident and secure with your baby. 

Key Milestones To Watch For:

Your Baby:

  • Can roll from stomach onto back.
  • Sits up with support and head fairly stable.
  • Smiles at familiar faces.
  • Follows moving objects and looks around.
  • Reaches out and grasps toys.
  • Begins to make sounds like “ooo” or “aaa” and babbles (in a nice way!)
  • Laughs out loud or chuckles.


As your baby grows difficulties can arise that prevent your baby reaching a developmental milestone. The following are some of the complications that I see when a parent brings their infants to my clinic during this phase of development:

  • Continued problems with feeding – Problems switching to a bottle, reflux .
  • Infant Eczema or Rashes – Normally treated successfully by a combination of approaches - often including dietary, ointments, washing regime and in my experience, treatments with CranioSacral Therapy .
  • Sleeping Difficulties – Often related to moving to a cot or baby’s own room.
  • Constipation – Some infants experience constipation for days at a time. This often goes hand-in-hand with feeding difficulties.


Other things that usually alerts the mums to baby needing help include:

  • Baby is uncomfortable in their car seat.
  • Baby finds it hard to get comfortable in their cots.
  • Baby moves around a lot during the night.
  • Baby move their heads from side to side while feeding or going off to sleep.


7 months - 12 months – Life is fun!

At this stage – baby is growing up and probably starting to rule your house!


Key milestones to watch for: 
Your Baby:

  • Is sitting unsupported.
  • Is crawling.
  • Is standing using support and may be walking independently.
  • Uses thumb and index finger in a pincer movement
  • Begins to use “mama” and “dada”.
  • Actively takes part in play (peek-a-boo, bye-bye and so on)

Studies show that reading to you infant from a very young age allows for early acquisition of language skills. Beginning with singing, making exaggerated facial expressions, or playing games like sticking out your tongue and baby will do the same all encourage the art of communication. This interaction lays the groundwork for extensive vocabulary later on. Babies move quickly from cooing to babbling and at this stage they start to imitate speech sounds such as “ma-ma”, “ba-ba” and “da-da”.


The following are some of the complications that I see when a parent brings their baby to my clinic during this phase of development: 

  • Sleeping Difficulties – Sleeping difficulties are accompanied by other factors. Often, all of these are distressing symptoms - for both baby and parents.
  • Ear Infection - Ear Infections are one of the most common problem with babies – especially when teeth start to appear.
  • Constipation – Some babies experience constipation for days at a time. This can often occur as a result of medication or diet change.
  • Separation Anxiety – By now Baby may have formed a special bond with care-giver. A change of routine i.e. return to work, new babysitter etc. may cause anxiety.


Conclusion.

These milestones are proven tools to measure your child’s development. But remember that although babies follow the same milestones your infant may spend different amounts of time at each stage. No two babies go through these milestones at exactly the same time. 

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are concerned that your infant is not progressing through these developmental stages please consult your doctor or health nurse for further advice. 


Return from Stages of Infant Development and Milestones to CranioSacral Therapy Homepage.


Contact Carina at 087 6088065 for an initial appointment (or use our contact form here to find out more).