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Duty Calls: Movement in the First Year of Life

Mar 9, 2021

Parenting is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. At least, in our opinion! Not only do you get to teach your little one all about the ropes of life, but you get to watch them transform into an incredible human along the way. In the first year of life, your kiddo will be already on their way to reaching new and greater heights each and every step of the way. Since slowing time down isn’t an option (sadly), you’ll want to savor these big motor moments that your little tot experiences in the first year of life.

The Earliest Days

When it comes to motor milestones, you can think of these as the achievements that concern big movements. They often involve the core and upper body. Around one month, you may notice that your kiddo is a little, let’s say, squirmy like a worm. They make jerky movements, ball their hands up into tight fists, and their head will fall backward if unsupported. It’s up to you, mom and dad, to ensure that your little one has the physical support they need at this stage in their lives. Don’t worry! They tend to grow strong muscles rather quickly.

first year

Before Year One

It won’t be long before you notice big changes from your growing tyke. From around 0-3 months, watch out for pushing up on arms, holding their head up when on the tummy, and bringing hands to their mouth. If your little one gets excited, they’ll be sure to let you know by kicking and moving their arms around and around.

Once 4-6 months arrive at your doorstep, you’ll watch your baby use their hands to support the sitting position. You’ll even capture them rolling and reaching for things around this age, but real mastery generally starts creeping in a little later on at about 7 months of age. When your little reaches this age, they’ll be sitting without hand support and will have more precise movements when reaching and rolling. In a blink of an eye, your kiddo will hit these checkpoints with their very first birthday in sight.

More Milestones in the First Year

With so many achievements under their belt, your little one is still ready to go, go, go! When one year rolls around, expect to see sitting, crawling, pulling up to stand, and maybe even walking with a little help from surrounding furniture. With those future first steps lurking around the corner, parents will want to have their camera all set to go. There’s a lot to take in with these seemingly small, yet enormous feats.

How to Help Your Tot Sprout

How can you help your little one reach for the stars in their first year of life? First things first, your little one needs you! Interacting with your little one and providing support such as with praise will do wonders as your baby reaches toward big, new, and perhaps intimidating milestones. Another key player for helping your kiddo reach milestones is tummy time. Tummy time is paramount for rolling, sitting, and standing because it gives your child a way to build strength in the neck, back, arms, and core. When at play during tummy time, you can try different activities such as putting objects a little out of reach. Watch as they interact with their environment and continue to explore the wonders of movement.

First Year

What to Look Out For

Milestones are simply amazing, but what happens when you’re not seeing your child hit their goals? It’s important to realize that every child is different. Just because one milestone comes a little later doesn’t necessarily mean there is an issue to worry over. Concerns are more likely when several milestones are late or missed entirely. Additionally, when babies are born prematurely you’ll track milestones a little bit differently.

If your child appears to have very tight muscles and appears a bit floppy like a fish, this is a red flag, indicating a greater problem. They may show no interest in people or affection and be missing the milestones mentioned above. The best thing to do when noticing these conditions (or if you still have concerns for any reason) is to talk to your pediatrician as soon as possible. They can refer you to a physical therapist that can help and offer tremendous guidance.

Should your child need a little assistance in the first year of life, know that we are here to help. That’s what we do best! Don’t wait to reach out today.

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