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Developmental milestones: from birth to 6 weeks

Developmental milestones: from birth to 6 weeks

12 May 2024

  • 1
    Smiles, toys and eye contact

    Babies prefer human faces. As such, when they are alert and relaxed, you can bring your face closer to heirs, establish eye contact and smile. You can then slightly move left and right to help them follow your face with their gaze. Gradually, you can also encourage a wider turn of their heads left and right, and later up and down. You can practice tracking with colored objects, such as a booklet with photos. Do this while playing and encouraging attention. Since vision at this age is limited to a short distance, stay close to the baby's face, a distance of about 30 cm, to allow them to get to know you.

  • 2
    Daily routine is an excellent time to enhance development and communication

    Feeding, diapering, dressing and bathing – are all excellent opportunities to speak with our child and to display enthusiasm and involvement. You should do this while they are alert. Speak to them in a pleasant and quiet voice, encourage eye contact and offer opportunities to mimic (for instance, say something, smile, stop while maintaining eye contact and give them the opportunity to react).

  • 3
    Tummy time – difficult but worthwhile

    You should place the infant on the stomach when he or she is alert and under your supervision. Tummy time is important and beneficial, helping infants gain control of the head and neck, which is the basis for their motor development. Infants may not initially like tummy time and can begin for short periods of time, even one or two minutes at a time. The more they practice, the easier they will find it. Infants can be encouraged with interesting stimuli: toy, mirror or your face. With age, head control will improve and increase in duration. Infants will then be able to lift their neck and chest, using their hands for support.

  • 4
    Maybe it’s too much?

    It is important to notice the infant’s mood and preferences and to adapt the activities and stimuli accordingly so that he or she will find it pleasant. Occasionally, too much stimulation can overwhelm and tire infants. If they divert their glance or show signs of irritability and tiredness, you should ‘clean’ the environment and remove stimuli. The infant may have had enough play and would like to sleep.

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