Your Baby's Development
Your Baby's Development
Babies grow and develop quickly during their first year of life. As a parent, you are the most important person in your baby’s life. You are their first teacher. You notice when your baby smiles for the first time, rolls over, sits up, crawls, walks, and begins to talk. These milestones mean that your baby is learning!
Since babies grow and change so quickly, it can be tricky to know if they are on the right track for their age. Your baby's doctor can tell you at their check-ups, but it's a good idea to keep track of your baby's development on your own in between doctor's appointments.
Tracking your baby's development
You can fill out a developmental screening with your baby online today! The screening will walk you through a series of fun activities to do with your baby and will help you understand how they're growing. Our friendly staff will call you with the results of the screening and send you activities you can do to support the development of your baby.
What is a Milestone?
You may have heard the term "milestones" when learning about your baby's development. A milestone is a new skill or ability that your baby learns. Usually milestones happen around the same time for most babies. Because your baby is growing fast and learning new things every day, looking out for specific milestones is a good way to make sure they are on track. Remember that every baby is different. Your baby will develop at a rate that is just right, so don’t stress out if your baby is developing at a different rate than other babies!
Your baby needs a safe, comfortable place to play. Provide a blanket, at least 5 feet by 7 feet, for your baby to play and roll on. The time your baby spends on their tummy is important for strengthening neck muscles, so have some “tummy time” every day! Later, provide a safe area for your baby to explore while crawling.
If you have concerns about your baby’s development, you’re not alone! It’s normal to feel unsure, especially if you’re comparing your baby to others. Follow your instincts—if you feel like something is wrong, talk to your pediatrician. Doing regular developmental screenings on your own is an easy way to know that your baby is on track.
How Can I Learn More About My Baby’s Development?
Washington State’s Child Profile Program automatically sends age-specific information about immunizations, well-child checkups, nutrition, growth, development, and safety to parents of all children born in Washington State. If you don’t already get Child Profile mailings, and you would like to have the brochures mailed to your house, you can sign up online or call our hotline at 1-800-322-2588.
I wish I would have known how fast they grow and I wish I hadn’t taken those little moments for granted. I would get excited with every new thing he did, smiling, laughing, crawling, and now he is walking everywhere! —16-year-old mom, Clark County
Where Else Can I Get Support?
Home visiting programs match parents with trained professionals who can give you information and support related to healthy child development, parent-child relationships, and early learning. Many communities have home visiting programs that you may qualify for. To find out if home visiting services are offered in your community, call the Family Help Line at 1-800-932-HOPE or check online.
Early Head Start offers free programs for teen parents in some communities. When you join an Early Head Start program, teachers come to your home to provide information and support. There are also family centers where you and your baby can join in parenting activities, center-based child care, and referrals to other community resources.
It’s a lot of fun to watch him grow more and more every day. After I get out of high school I want to become an ultrasound technician. I hope that I can have a good future for my son and me.
—18-year-old mom, Whatcom County
Look for these things as your baby develops vision and hearing.
Find an Early Head Start site in your community.
Your public library is a resource for learning more about the stages of your child’s development, and for meeting other parents. Visit your local library to find out about programs they offer to support your child’s early learning