Motor And Cognitive Skills Development Of A Baby 0-12 Months

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Cognitive Skills Development.

“The path of development is a journey of discovery that is clear only in retrospect, and it’s rarely a straight line” – Eileen Kennedy-Moore. As you happily bring your bundle of joy home, his growth starts ticking. Particularly, the first year will literally fly. Till the time you start understanding how to take care, communicate and play with your baby, he must be already blabbing and trying to walk! These are a series of development but are sometimes taken for granted. Find out everything about the Motor & Cognitive Skills Development Of A Baby 0-12 Months

A baby’s development is a complex procedure and manifests in reflexes, motor skills, sensations, perceptions, and learning skills. Your baby is not just growing physically, his brain is developing and he starts grasping complex thinking and reasoning capabilities too. Find out developmental milestones of motor skills.

In This Article

Physical Development

Your baby’s weight will usually be double by the sixth month and triple by the time he has his first birthday. In addition to the growth in physical appearances, such as weight, height, and heat, he acquires physical skills (gross and fine motor skills) and cognitive skills.

Gross and Fine Motor Skills

Gross and fine motor skills.

Gross motor skills involve the use of larger and stronger muscles, such as for movements of arms and legs or the whole body. Fine motor skills denote small movements of the muscles along with eye coordination. The actions include picking things or movement of the toes.

The Cognitive Skills Development

Cognitive development is not easily observed during the initial year, but may be apparent in the child’s behavior. Cognitive skills include the ability to process information, reason, remember and relate. These are gained by exposure to new stimuli – new experiences which in turn stimulate the brain. Cognitive skills aid sensory development and strengthen the baby’s interaction with his surroundings and people.

Understanding the Motor & Cognitive Skills Development Of A Baby 0-12 Months is important. Being aware of these developmental milestones will help you track your child’s progress and identify any developmental delays. The point to be noted here is that every child grows differently and the below-mentioned milestones are an indication, not a parameter. The age at which a child hits a particular milestone can be different from another.

Child Aged Between 0-3 Months

Child Aged Between 0-3 Months.

Motor skills

  • Displays reflexes, such as the startle reflex, where a baby throws out his arms and spreads fingers if he hears a loud noise or gets surprised
  • Focuses eyes on objects up to 12 inches
  • Turns head to both sides when on his back
  • Smiles back when you smile at him
  • Watches his own hands move (yay!! these are mine!!)
  • Tries to hold the rattle
  • Lifts head when held at the shoulder
  • Lifts head up to 45 degrees while on the belly
  • Brings hands to the middle of the body while on his back when presented with a toy
  • Holds other’s fingers

Cognitive skills

  • Starts developing interest in objects and people around
  • Starts anticipating familiar objects and responds to them
  • Makes eye contact with the mother and moves the arms
  • Starts following things with eyes
  • Starts acting bored (cries) if the activity doesn’t change

Child Aged Between 4-6 Months

4-6 month old baby

Motor skills

  • Kicks feet and waves their arms when he sees or hears someone familiar
  • Reaches for toys or people
  • Turns toward a familiar voice
  • Holds head steady
  • Notices small objects
  • Stands up on your lap and bounces
  • Plays with his hands and feet; he loves to observe them
  • Holds head up when being held in a sitting position
  • Pushes himself up with his arms when on his belly
  • Pivots body when on belly
  • Sits momentarily with support

Cognitive skills

  • Vision improves; now he can focus up to three feet
  • Able to identify whether objects are far or near to him – depth perception
  • Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it
  • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
  • Watches faces closely
  • Recognizes familiar people and things from a distance
  • Expresses if he is happy or sad; displays facial expressions
  • Responds to affection
  • Able to link the sight, touch, taste, and sound of a person and form his identity – sensory integration

Infant Aged Between 7-9 Months

7 -9 month old baby.

Motor skills

  • Sits without your help
  • Pushes himself against the floor or uses his forearms and elbows; he’s trying to crawl
  • Tries to stand by supporting hands and knees
  • Tries to chase toys
  • Attempts to grasp things and observe them
  • Tries to hold the bottle
  • Can roll on the stomach to back and vice versa

Cognitive skills

  • Object permanence: able to identify the sight, touch, and sound of a person and differentiate them from others
  • Able to identify absence: cries in the absence of the mother. He is further able to identify a missing object and rejoice or point at it when found
  • Form memories
  • Show expressions of preference such as crying or averting your face when trying to wipe
  • Experiences separation anxiety, i.e. crying when separated from parents or becoming uneasy in the presence of strangers
  • Able to attract attention by making sounds
  • Tries to explore things with their mouth
  • Enjoys repeating the same action over and over

Child Aged Between 9-12 Months

Child Aged Between 9-12 Months.

Motor skills

  • Walks alone or with your support
  • Able to use thumb and index finger, such as for lifting objects or turning pages. Often tries eating himself by picking food
  • Stands without support
  • Explores objects by waving, shaking, twisting, turning, squeezing, poking and even put them in his mouth
  • Crawls while holding a toy
  • Holds two toys at the same time; maybe hit them together
  • Crawls up stairs
  • Walks holding something in hand

Cognitive skills

  • Observes people and surroundings
  • Explores objects
  • Displays curiosity and emotions
  • Displays affection towards the caregiver
  • Becomes more independent by crawling or walking
  • Follows a fast-moving object
  • Responds to his name
  • Can babble mamma, papa, and similar words?
  • Understands simple commands such as ‘no’, ‘come’, ‘stop’
  • Tries to imitate animal sounds
  • Connects names with objects
  • Understands that objects continue to exist, even when they are not present in the scenario
  • Participates in getting dressed, such as by raising arms
  • Plays simple back and forth games (ball games)
  • Points to objects with the index finger
  • May develop an attachment to a toy or object
  • Fetish to open drawers and take out things; put them back in
  • Imitates you by waving bye, drinking from a cup rather than a bottle, or talking on the phone
  • Dropping toys to hear different sounds
  • Enjoy rhymes and children’s songs

Hope the information about the Motor & the Cognitive Skills Development Of A Baby 0-12 Months helps you. Understand that if your child feels secure, treasured, loved and then his own energy and curiosity will develop new skills.

As your baby progresses from one milestone to the next, remember that he doesn’t really leave any of them behind. In order to grow and develop to his full potential, he must continually build on and strengthen all of the steps that have gone before.

During this rapid year of change and growth do not forget to immunize your child, by vaccination!

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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