Being a new parent is both an exciting time, but can be nerve wracking as well! Many parents are concerned about if their child is developing at the appropriate time and as their child should. This is especially important to new parents, who have just had their first child. Going on the Internet and reading various articles can be confusing, especially if they are written geared towards your child’s pediatrician. So for new parents, here is an easy reference with many of the major developmental milestones your child will reach at the appropriate times and what you can expect. It is a good idea to write down when these milestones occur to keep for your reference.
• At birth, you may hear the term Apgar with a number following. The Apgar scoring is to evaluate a child’s neurological status immediately after birth. The scoring will assess your child’s coloration of arms and legs, ability to breath and cry, heart rate, reflexes, and ability to move arms and legs. The highest Apgar score is 10. Very few newborns will receive a 10 due to the hands and feet being slightly blue in coloration; however, this is normal! An Apgar score as low as 7 is considered in the normal range.
• At one month, your child should be able to lift their head upwards when lying on their stomach. Your child should also be able to tightly grasp your finger, start smiling, and recognize your voice.
• At two months, you will begin to hear your child laughing and cooing. Your child will also be able to lift their head higher, and will be able to make eye contact with who or what they are looking at.
• At four months your child will be able to roll from their stomach to their back with minimal assistance, and will be more interested in playing with you and other people.
• At six months, your house may begin to be noisier, since your child will be babbling, is able to bang objects together, and may answer you back with some babble. Your child should be able to recognize when their name is called. Also at this time your child will be able to roll back and forth and sit unassisted for short periods of time.
• At nine months, your child will be crawling, pulling themselves up to stand, and cruising around the house. They also may begin to say basic words.
• A child should begin walking around one year. However, their walk will obviously not be as stable as yours. The child will land each step with the entire foot hitting the ground versus hitting the ground with the heel first as adults and older children do. There will be no arm swinging and the child will walk with the hips and knee bent, with the toe pointed slightly outwards. As your child approaches two years old, their arms will have a slight swing while walking, toes will begin to be less pointed outwards, and instead of hitting the ground with the entire foot flat, the heel will hit the ground first. As a child approaches 3 years old, the toes will no longer be pointed outwards and the walk will begin to look more natural and less clumsy.
If your child is walking on their toes at any point, this is not normal according to most experts. It is important to be following-up with your pediatrician. In addition, if you are questioning the way your child walks, Dr. Yakel sees and is knowledgeable about pediatric patients as well, so visit the Boulder Foot and Ankle or Platte Valley Foot and Ankle Clinic for further evaluation of your child’s walk.
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