Kids' growing up guide

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Development milestones mother baby cuddle
Growing up isn't a race and there's no strict timetable for the speed your child will develop, but it's reassuring to know that there are some approximate timeframes for hitting some of the major milestones. Here's what to expect.

Birth to 6 months

Physical milestones

The wobbly newborn head disappears at 8 weeks. At 4 months he'll start to move, as muscle control develops from the head down. Your baby may begin sitting up by 6 months, as he gains muscle control in his lower back.

Cognitive skills

By 8 weeks, he'll know your voice and will adore looking at your face. Cooing and gurgling starts around 3 months. By 5 months, your baby will love to hear you talking in sing-song tones.

6 to 12 months

Physical milestones

7 to 9 months is the average for a baby to begin crawling. At around 8 months, he'll learn to use the pincer grip (between thumb and forefinger). At 10-11 months. He'll also be able to pull himself up and let go.

Cognitive skills

At 7 months, he realises that there are other people in the world ? but he prefers you. First words By 7 to 8 months, he may say Mama or Dada (but they are just sounds to him, not names). At 12 months, he gets clingy because he's realised that you could go away and not come back.

One to 2 years

Physical milestones

Walking 12-14 months is the average. Contact your health visitor if your child isn't walking by 18-20 months ? you may need to see a paediatrician. A baby can feed itself from around 14 months. From about 18 months they'll be able to throw or kick a ball.

Continued below...

Cognitive skills

The average age for joining up two words is 14-15 months. At 15 months, they'll start following simple instructions and pick up the cues of routine (eg, getting their shoes out when you mention going out).

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