Do I need to worry about how my baby is developing?
Childhood development is a complex topic, some people study and research it at University. But as a parent, you don't really need to know all the details all you need to know is that if you focus on caring for your baby they will focus on developing in their own time.
Your baby will start off very focused on learning their own body and all the very basic feelings of what it means to be alive. One saying we don’t mind is “all babies do is eat, sleep and poo” because that might sound a bit dull but it’s really quite an achievement to get the hang of all these natural functions regulating themselves.
Once again we’re coming back to recommending the benefits of skin-to-skin. One thing you can do to support your baby’s early development is to spend time skin to skin. Being snuggled inside your top, under a blanket or in the bath next to your skin (or your partner’s skin or other supportive family members if you feel comfortable with that) will help your baby regulate their temperature, digest their food, produce wet and dirty nappies, sleep peacefully and generally begin to get the idea that being out in the world is not too bad.
As they grow babies will naturally develop ways of interacting with the world around them. They will learn to recognise the people in their lives and interact socially with them and eventually learn to talk. They will learn to reach out use their hands to interact and eventually learn to write. They will learn to move around and eventually walk, run and jump. All of these things will happen at their own pace and in good time. The best thing you can do to support your baby’s development is to enjoy your time with them, chat to them as you go about your day, interact with them as you change nappies and encourage your partner and any siblings to do the same. Children will grow and thrive when they have that solid basis they can rely on.
Childhood is not a race
Meeting developmental milestones is not a race and if your baby is happy and healthy just know you can enjoy watching them learn at their own pace. Comparison is the thief of joy and so many things in parenting will be challenging and stressful that if you can give yourself the gift of enjoying your child for who they are rather than wishing them on to the next stage of life you will avoid unnecessary extra stress.
Something just feels off to me
If you have a gut feeling something is not quite right though there is support available and you will get through. Your first contact with any concerns about your baby’s development is your health visitor they should be able to offer reassurance and support with any issues.
For more information about stages of baby development, you might want to check out this NHS website https://www.nhsinform.scot/ready-steady-baby/early-parenthood/your-baby-s-development-from-2-to-12-months