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Your Baby's Physical Development
(from about 6 to 12 months)


Newborn Development       
Infant Motor Development(1-6 months)

How can you best support your baby? Physical development includes gross motor skills (like crawling, standing and walking) and fine motor skills (like grasping and dropping). Learn when your baby reaches those developmental milestones and how she gets there.

Mobility and Your Baby's Physical Development

Now, that your baby is getting more mobile, she really starts to explore. Suddenly wastebaskets turn into real treasure-chests, stairs into mountains to be climbed and those bottles on the wine rack are unresistable.

You probably moved all those dangerous or yucky out of reach already or you will do so in the near future. Babyproofing the house never ends - it's an ongoing process.

Please keep in mind, though, that this exploring is a very important part of your baby's physical development. No use to stop her doing so. The challenge is to provide various opportunities to explore that are safe but meet her interests.

Why does she like the bin so much? Maybe it helps to put some toys or intresting materials in boxes that she can unpack? Do you have any buckets she can open and close safely? 

She loves to climb the stairs (or later explore a ladder)? Let her do so when you can take the time to stand behind her in case she turns around. And keep the stairs out of reach when you don't.

A playpen is a fast and easy way to keep her safe during those times when you can't supervise closely. But letting her roam free gives her so many more opportunities to follow her own interests and provides a much greater range of experiences which boost not only your baby's physical development. 

Please remember, though, your baby can’t remember your "no’s" for a very long time yet. Try to reduce them to a minimum and do patiently remove your child from no-areas that you can’t remove.

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Your Baby's Crawling
Baby Physical Development

baby crawling - photo by Jim Craigmyle

Usually babies start crawling around 7 to 9 month of age, but this time can vary considerably. Some never crawl, preferring to pull themselves up and learn to walk instead. Others shuffle on their bottoms for a long time. 

Most babies first try to use their arms to “pull” themselves forward and use their legs only minimally. Then they start flexing their legs to pull them under or close to the body.

Crawling backwards is the usual first result of that until your baby starts to use her legs more efficiently. Your infant will also start to lift her body further and further, enabling her to pull her legs under her body and rock back and forth. Some babies start crawling efficiently around 9 month of age but most only do so around their first birthday.

You can encourage this area of your baby s physical development by putting toys or other interesting objects in front of her – just outside her reach. But watch out, once babies can crawl effectively they will also successfully attempt to crawl up stairs. They won’t be able to come down safely at first, though. 

Your Baby Starts Standing
Baby Physical Development

This is another big milestone in your baby's physical development. Standing allows her to walk, which in turn enables her to explore her surroundings much more. That again not only influences the further fine and gross motor development, but also her social learning and problem solving skills.baby walking  / first steps

Some babies maintain standing position when assisted as early as 6 month of age. Usually at about 9 months babies start to pull themselves up from a sitting to a standing position while holding onto something like a piece of furniture. This is followed by a time of testing how to balance, while they're holding onto less and less often. 

Most babies can stand by 1 year, usually with their feet quite wide apart and their hands held high to balance.

Finally Walking
Your Baby's First Steps

As with crawling, there is a considerable variation in when your baby starts to make her first steps. Very few children can already walk unassisted by 8 months, most will need lots of support to make a few steps at that age. 

Around 10 months most babies can walk with little support “cruising” around furniture. A month later they might be able to walk when led by another person until they manage to walk unassisted around their 1st birthday. 

Again, some take their time and don't walk until they're 15 or 16 months old. If you wan't to help him, be patient and follow his interests to provide lots of fun opportunities.

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Fine Motor Development 
your baby is grasping and dropping things

Around 6 or 7 month of age babies have gained enough coordination in their hands and arms to try and pick up small things as well. Until they're 9 or 10 months they'll develop the pincer grasp being able to hold things only with their thumb and one finger. This way they can't only pick up cheerios, this development also opens the way for writing, tyins shoe laces and other delicate work.


Stages of Child Development
Physical Development

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