Every baby is different and follows her own individual timetable for development. That said, the pattern in the early months is fairly predictable. Celebrate with your baby as she reaches or nears these milestones.


Cognitive

  • Hearing is fully developed 
  • Focuses on large objects first; gradually can focus on smaller ones 
  • Born nearsighted; focuses best 8 to 15 inches away—the distance to your face during feeding 
  • Sensitive to bright light (closes eyes to keep light out) 
  • Prefers to look at simple patterns with sharp dark-light contrast and especially faces

Motor

  • Jerky, mostly reflexive motions as the nervous system continues to develop
  • Balls hands into fists when awake
  • Can bring hands within range of face 
  • Can turn head to side when lying stomach-down 
  • Moro, or startle, reflex (on hearing a loud sound, throws back head, extends arms and legs, then cries and pulls them in) 
  • Grasp reflex (grabs your finger when you touch her palm) 
  • Step reflex (when held upright with her feet touching a surface, she will seem to walk her legs) 
  • Not much neck strength yet (head flops back when unsupported)

Communication

  • Hears well at birth 
  • May startle or cry at loud sounds; prefers low, rhythmic tones 
  • Cries when hungry, uncomfortable, sleepy, or sick
  • Calms when spoken or sung to 

Social

  • Eyes follow your movements 
  • Shows interest and looks at you when you speak 
  • May seem to recognize your voice 
  • Sensitive to nonverbal language (calmed by cuddling or rocking)