A Little More Wisdom

New Mom 101 – Behavioral Milestones

Written by
Cathy Hale
on October 25th, 2016


Behavioral Milestones: The Fun Stuff

As a new parent, lots of exciting milestones lie ahead: baby’s first smile, her first real laugh and that wobbly first step.  Your seemingly fragile newborn will be bouncing around like a chatty acrobat before you know it.  When can you expect all of these fun behavioral milestones to occur? Let’s take a look at what’s in store.

Newborn Behavior

Life with a newborn may be exhausting, but newborns are pretty easy to understand.  Your bundle of joy has one main language – crying.  Like it or not, that’s her only form of verbal communication for the first month. But she’s also communicating with you by making eye contact and responding to your voice.

Flashing A Smile

By the time she’s about 8-weeks-old, she’ll be flashing that cute gummy smile at you and your heart will melt.  This is her first foray into the social scene.  She may seem to study faces intently, which is perfectly normal. Soon that smile will involve her whole body because she’ll open her hands, lift her arms and kick her legs with excitement. It’s the happy baby dance!

Baby Gets Mad Too

When you start to see her expressions of happiness emerge, you’ll also start to see her get angry or upset. If you’re playing with her and you stop, or you put her down for a nap when she doesn’t want to sleep, she’ll let you know.  By the time she reaches 5 months old, she’ll start to assert herself.  Think of it as a sneak peek of what lies ahead!

She’s a Person with Personality

Baby’s 6-month-old milestone is very exciting because she’s developing quickly and she’s forming her own unique personality.  By this age you will know whether she’s an easygoing child or a temperamental one.  You’ll also be fully aware of whether or not you have an active or calm kiddo. By this age, both of my boys only stopped moving when they were asleep.  They were both on the go all of the time. 

The Game of “No”

By the time she’s 8 months old, she enjoys being a social butterfly and she’s figuring out how things work. One word that tends to dominate life with your baby now is “no.” And she fully understands what that word means.  You may find yourself in a battle of wits with your 8-month-old anywhere and everywhere, but that’s part of being a mom.  

Moods, Responses and Awareness

By the time she reaches her first birthday, your bundle of joy is bubbling with emotions and expressions. She has moods now, so you can tell if she’s happy, sad, anxious or angry.  She loves positive reinforcement like clapping and cheering. She’s mimicking your facial expressions, actions and gestures, and likes to pretend play. You’ll also start to see her sense of humor developing. She’s now developing other forms of awareness like noticing heights, unfamiliar places and separation anxiety.  All of these developments are completely normal, and will help her engage with the world around her as she gets older.

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Cathy Hale

About Cathy Hale

Cathy Hale is a nationally recognized writer and lifestyle blogger.

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