From 6 to 12 months, our mini me’s become more and more inquisitive and are unconsciously downloading what’s happening around them like data into their brains. We put together an overview of their developmental milestones during this period, and how parents can encourage them with daily, small but meaningful efforts.
Physical & motor development
Milestone: Able to sit, starts crawling and attempts to stand and/or cruise towards 10–11 months
Try this: Have your little crawler work those muscles―place her favourite toys in front of her, especially those squeaky or musical ones she loves. And your excited cutie pie will be anxiously figuring out how to coordinate her arms and legs to get moving towards them. For those who are attempting to stand or are starting to cruise, always ensure supervision while holding them and allowing them to support themselves by holding on to a low table.
Milestone: Pincer grasp improves to grab and hold objects between thumb and second finger
Try this: Some parents embrace baby-led weaning (BLW) with their bubs, where these bubs explore self-feeding and further their food journey by holding their own food and gnawing or nibbling on their own. Alternatively, you can let your child feed himself with smaller food items such as biscuits and breadsticks during snack time, which allows him to discover how to control his fingers and hands and how to move them towards his mouth. This enhances his muscular coordination and hand-eye coordination while learning to be independent.
Milestone: Explores taking things in and out of containers
Try this: This may create quite a bit of ruckus but all in good fun, and your child can probably be kept entertained for quite a while. Prepare a clean empty box or an unused bag, and put random items in there such as a bunch of, toilet roll centres, rubber balls, stuffed toys, rattles, squeaky toys―basically safe objects available in the home. Avoid choking hazards, sharp objects that might hurt your child, and items with easily detachable small parts which may lead to choking. Your baby will be most pleased with his newfound skill of taking things in and out, as well as how each item feels.
Social & emotional
Milestone: May experience separation anxiety
Try this: Wails can break any parent’s heart. If you’re heading back to work or will be away from your child for long periods, start by allowing some time for baby to accept you will be away from time to time by slowly increasing the duration you are apart. Let him have time with his caregiver to bond and build trust with you around for the first few times, and gradually let them have more time together alone.
Milestone: Responds to familiar voices
Try this: Enjoy some peek-a-boo fun with family and friends. Engage your child by hiding and appearing behind a blanket or a piece of paper, and have her try to spot you.
Milestone: Loves mirrors and is intrigued with self-discovery
Try this: Make funny faces in front of the mirror together, watch her giggle and be amused with seeing her “double” (and mummy’s or daddy’s!).
Learning & cognitive
Milestone: Understands object permanence
Try this: Hiding things under a pillow or behind your back plays up a quick game of hide-and-seek while allowing your little one to make sense of object permanence (i.e., while they may not see it, it’s still there). Time to hide those favourite musical toys and get your little explorer to search for them.
Milestone: Explores shaking and banging of objects
Try this: Building blocks or even clean household items such as pails, ladles, or pots help your little musician enjoy a rambling time while working eye-hand coordination and learning about cause and effect. Be prepared for some noise and mess!
These milestones serve as a great overview for your child at different stages. Do understand that each child is special and develops at a different pace. We hope you enjoy these simple ways of incorporating sensory stimulation and encouraging your children to develop mentally and socially in their own unique ways. Child development is an interesting journey – have fun while you’re it!
How do you include playtime in your daily lives with your baby? Do share them with us!