Babies grow and change dramatically during their first year.
They begin to develop some control over their bodies — they hold up their heads, roll over, sit up, crawl, and some even walk.
They also become aware of themselves as separate from others. They learn to look at their hands and toes and play with them. They recognize their own names, and they may cry when their parents leave.
Communication and language skills also begin to form in the first year. First, babies cry and make throaty noises. Later they babble and make lots of sounds. Then they begin to name a few close people and objects.
Playing games becomes an important part of child development.
They begin by playing with their hands and then show an interest in toys by banging them together. Eventually, they carry around dolls or stuffed toys.
During this critical first year, babies require a loving caregiver who responds quickly to their cries and gurgles.
They need someone who gets to know their special qualities and can keep them safe and comfortable.
They also need opportunities to move around and practice new physical skills, along with a supply of safe objects to look at, grab, bang, pat, and roll.
They need safe play areas and the chance to hear people talking as they learn to make their own sounds.
It’s a time of rapid growth, and loving caregivers make a real difference.