Baby's First Year

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Got a newborn? He'll likely be walking, talking, feeding himself and expressing his own unique personality by this time next year -- hard as it may be to imagine.

The transformations will astonish you. Your feelings will likely range from awe and pride as your baby masters each new accomplishment to a tinge of sadness as you watch your infant quickly mature and become more independent.

There's always a gentle fear that your baby will need you less. But, like most parents, you'll probably learn that as your baby develops her needs don’t diminish, they change.

Remember: There is a "normal" range of growth and development, but you shouldn't be concerned if your child isn’t doing something exactly when it’s expected. Each baby develops at his individual pace, and it's important not to compare your child with others -- your child will reach each milestone when he's ready.

Although the time of skill development may vary from baby to baby, the sequence of developmental tasks progresses about the same. Babies usually focus on developing one major task at a time. For example, when your baby is learning to babble new sounds, she will slow down in developing her body movement or rolling over. Then, when her verbal development has achieved a new proficiency level, she’ll change her focus to exploring new body movements again. Be aware, by the way, of how these changes affect your need to make your baby’s environment safe and secure.

Next Page: What to Expect from Preemies and a Month-By-Month Development Guide

Find Out More About Your Baby's Development Here

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