Baby Development In The 1st Year
From the moment a baby is born, they will grow and change rapidly. During the first year of life, a baby develops a range of essential skills that they’ll go on to use in everyday life, including; fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional skills, and language skills. They will reach various milestones in their first year too and these are a great way to track development.
Although many babies will reach the same milestones at a similar time, it’s important to remember that all babies develop at different rates. You may find your little one is advanced in certain areas but needs additional encouragement in others and this is completely normal.
As a parent, it’s so beneficial to support your little one’s development with sensory play and there are several benefits associated with incorporating sensory toys and props into everyday playtime. Below we have broken down first year development into quarters and listed some sensory items that can help your little one at different stages.
0 - 3 Months
If you’re a first-time parent, you may be surprised by how quickly your newborn starts growing and learning. In their first three months, they may be able to;
- Start to respond to sound and light
- Develop reflexes such as sucking and grasping
- Lift their head and chest when lying on their stomach
- Smile and make cooing sounds
Your newborn's eyesight will still be developing in the first few months of their life and using monochrome toys can help to stimulate their senses at this time. A black and white sensory box will be very useful, this box is specifically designed for newborns and there are lots of textures and sounds to explore that will support brain development and start encouraging their curiosity.
3 - 6 Months
From three to six months your baby will be much more alert and inquisitive. You can expect them to;
- Start to reach for objects
- Hold their head steady
- Roll over and pivot from side to side
- Sit up with support
- Start babbling and making noises
So many different baby sensory toys can be used as your little one starts to become stronger and more alert. Noisy toys, like rattles, egg shakers and maracas, are beneficial at this age and they will create lots of curiosity and encourage focus during playtime. They can also help to develop motor skills, hand-eye coordination and teach the basics of cause and effect.
6 - 9 Months
In the next three months, so much will change and your baby will start turning into an independent little person. They may be able to;
- Start crawling
- Pull themself up to standing
- Try feeding themself with their fingers
- Imitate sounds you make
Supporting your little one and helping them to explore the world around them is really important, especially as they start to have better body awareness and control. Using things like sensory balls and push-along toys will help to support tactile development and gross motor skills, and they will encourage your baby to start moving around independently. Your little one may be more inclined to start playing by themself at this age too.
9 - 12 Months
The first year goes by so quickly and before you know it, you’re making plans for a first birthday party. In the last three months of the first year, your little one will probably;
- Start walking with support
- Use their thumb and forefinger to grasp things (pincer grasp)
- Point to objects they want
- Say simple words such as ‘mama’ and ‘dada’
When they’re approaching their first birthday, your little one will be much more intrigued by sensory toys and what they can do. Stacking toys like stacking cups, stacking rings and stacking boxes are made for little hands, and they will help your baby learn lots of new skills. In addition to motor skills, they help with cognitive development and problem-solving skills.
Using baby sensory toys to support developmentIf you would like to start using some baby sensory toys and props, and creating sensory experiences to support your newborn’s development, explore the My Little Goody Box website today. We supply high-quality sensory items from trusted brands and we aim to inspire parents and children alike with the range of sensory products in our store.
Not only can baby sensory toys help your little one to reach their early years milestones, but they can help you to bond and create everlasting memories, so don’t hesitate to order some sensory items online today. Our team is always on hand to answer any questions you may have about the sensory toys and props we supply too.