Cognitive & Developmental Milestones

Cognitive & Developmental Milestones

Posted by Kerry Nevins on

Babies are born with the ability to learn. Listening to language, playing with sounds, moving their bodies, reaching for items, tasting foods, and exploring their surroundings are all ways for them to learn. During the first three years of life, their brains undergo incredible transformations. This blog will focus on baby cognitive and developmental milestones and what to look out for.

What Are Developmental Milestones?

Developmental milestones are a collection of functional skills or age-appropriate actions that most children can perform by a certain age. Milestones are used by your pediatrician to assess your child's development. Although each milestone has an age level, the actual age at which a properly developing child hits that milestone varies greatly. Every child is one-of-a-kind!

baby crawling

What are Cognitive Milestones?

Cognitive milestones are significant advancements in a child's development. Babies have frequently been thought of as simple, passive beings throughout history. Prior to the twentieth century, children were frequently regarded as miniature copies of adults.

Adults frequently underestimate babies' outstanding intellectual abilities, but modern thinkers and researchers have recognised that babies are constantly learning, thinking, and examining their surroundings.

Even newborn babies actively absorb information and learn new skills. Babies are continuously learning new things about themselves in addition to learning new things about other people and the world around them.

From Birth to 3 Months

The first three months of a child's existence are filled with awe. At this age, major developmental milestones revolve around exploring the fundamental senses and learning more about the body and the world.

During this time, most babies start to:

  • Exhibit anticipatory actions such as rooting and sucking near a nipple or bottle.
  • Determine pitch and loudness disparities in sounds.
  • Identify objects more clearly at a distance of 13 inches.
  • Pay attention to moving objects, including caregivers' faces.
  • See all of the hues in the human visual spectrum
  • Tell the difference between sweet, salty, bitter, and sour flavors.
  • Respond to their surroundings by making facial expressions.

From 3 to 6 Months

Babies begin to develop a stronger sense of perception between the ages of 3-6 months. Most babies at this age start to:

  • React to common sounds
  • Identify familiar faces
  • Respond to other people's facial expressions

From 6 to 9 Months

baby in high chair

Examining a baby’s cognition is a difficult task. Researchers cannot simply ask a baby what he or she is thinking at any particular time. To learn more about infant mental processes, researchers devised a series of creative exercises that show the inner workings of the baby brain.

Researchers discovered that most newborns begin to:

  • Differentiate between images with varying quantities of objects.
  • Recognize the distinctions between animate and inanimate items.
  • Use an object's relative size to calculate how far away it is.

From 9 to 12 Months

As babies become more physically adept, they are able to explore the world around them in greater depth. Sitting up, crawling, and walking are just a few of the physical milestones that allow babies to develop a better mental awareness of their surroundings.

Most infants can do the following as they approach one year of age:

  • Enjoy looking through image books.
  • Imitate motions and simple activities.
  • Manipulate objects by flipping them over, attempting to fit one into another, and so on.
  • Gestures and voices are used to respond.
  • Understand the concept of object permanence, which states that a thing exists even if it cannot be seen.

Remember, all babies are different! Because each baby develops at their own pace, not all babies will hit these milestones at the same time. 

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