Growth & Physical Development

Growth and Development

For the first several months, your newborn will only need breast milk or formula for proper nutrition. When your baby is able to sit upright in a highchair and begins showing interest in food, you can start transitioning your baby to solid foods with pureed foods and cereals (iron-fortified).

While every baby is different and will grow at his or her own pace, during the first year your baby will change dramatically in five areas of development: physical, cognitive, emotional and social, language, and sensory and motor skills.

Every baby is different. Always ask your pediatrician if you have questions or concerns.

Physical Development

By four months babies grow about 3 inches and gain an average of 4.5 pounds from their birth length and weight. Their head circumference also grows between .25 and .5 inches a month during the first year of life. By six months, their weight has usually doubled from birth, averaging a gain of .5 oz to 1 oz. a day. Growth may begin to slow around this time for infants and become more gradual. By their first birthday, babies have grown about 10 in. in length and their weight has tripled.

Some babies may begin teething at this age, with the first tooth coming in between four to 18 months.

ref:https://www.northshore.org/pediatrics/ages-and-milestones/infant/

BIRTH TO 4 MONTHS

  • moves whole body  

  • squirms, arms wave, legs move up and down  

  • eating and sleeping patterns

  • startle reflex when placed unwrapped on flat surface/ when hears loud noise  

  • head turns to side when cheek touched  

  • sucking motions with mouth (seeking nipple)

  • responds to gentle touching, cuddling, rocking

  • shuts eyes tight in bright sunlight

  • able to lift head and chest when laying on stomach  

  • begins to roll from side to side

  • starts reaching to swipe at dangling objects  

  • able to grasp object put into hands

EYLF Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity - Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency. E.g. “display delight, encouragement and enthusiasm for children’s attempts.” (p.22)

4 TO 8 MONTHS

  • plays with feet and toes

  • makes effort to sit alone, but needs hand support

  • raises head and chest when lying on stomach

  • makes crawling movements when lying on stomach

  • rolls from back to stomach

  • reaches for and grasps objects, using one hand to grasp  

  • eyes smoothly follow object or person

  • crawling movements using both hands and feet

  • able to take weight on feet when standing  

  • watch activities across room - eyes move in unison

  • turns head to sound of voices

EYLF Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners - Children develop dispositions for learning such as ….persistence… E.g. “Persevere and experience the satisfaction of achievement.” (p.34)

8 – 12 MONTHS

  • pulls self to standing position when hands held  

  • raises self to sitting position  

  • sits without support  

  • stands by pulling themself up using furniture

  • stepping movements around furniture  

  • successfully reach out and grasp toy

  • transfers objects from hand to hand  

  • picks up and pokes small objects with thumb and finger

  • picks up and throws small objects  

  • holds biscuit or bottle  

  • crawls

  • mature crawling (quick and fluent)

  • may stand alone momentarily

  • may attempt to crawl up stairs

  • grasps spoon in palm, but poor aim of food to mouth

  • uses hands to feed self

  • alerts peripheral vision  

  • rolls ball and crawls to retrieve

EYLF Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing - Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing. E.g. “engage in increasingly complex sensory-motor skills and movement patters.” (p.32)

1-2 YEARS

  • walks, climbs and runs

  • takes two to three steps without support, legs wide and hands up for balance  

  • crawls up steps  

  • dances in place to music  

  • climbs onto chair

  • kicks and throws a ball  

  • feeds themselves  

  • begins to run (hurried walk)

  • scribbles with pencil or crayon held in fist

  • turns pages of book, two or three pages at a time  

  • rolls large ball, using both hands and arms

  • finger feeds efficiently  

  • begins to walk alone in a ‘tottering way’, with frequent falls  

  • squats to pick up an object  

  • reverts to crawling if in a hurry  

  • can drink from a cup

  • tries to use spoon/fork

EYLF Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity - Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency. E.g. “Be open to new challenges and discoveries”, “Motivate and encourage children to succeed when they are faced with challenges.” (p.22)

2-3 YEARS

  • walks, runs, climbs, kicks and jumps easily  

  • uses steps one at a time  

  • squats to play and rises without using hands  

  • catches ball rolled to him/her  

  • walks into a ball to kick it  

  • jumps from low step or over low objects  

  • attempts to balance on one foot  

  • avoids obstacles  

  • able to open doors

  • stops readily  

  • moves about moving to music  

  • turns pages one at a time  

  • holds crayon with fingers  

  • uses a pencil to draw or scribble in circles and lines

  • gets dressed with help  

  • self-feeds using utensils and a cup

EYLF Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing - Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing. E.g. “show enthusiasm for participating in physical play and negotiate play spaces to ensure the safety and wellbeing of themselves and others.” (p.32) NQS: Areas 1, 2, 3,

3-5 YEARS

  • dresses and undresses with little help

  • hops, jumps and runs with ease  

  • climbs steps with alternating feet  

  • gallops and skips by leading with one foot  

  • transfers weight forward to throw ball  

  • attempts to catch ball with hands  

  • climbs playground equipment with increasing agility  

  • holds crayon/pencil etc. between thumb and first two fingers  

  • exhibits hand preference  

  • imitates variety of shapes in drawing, e.g. circles  

  • independently cuts paper with scissors  

  • toilet themselves

  • feeds self with minimum spills  

  • dresses/undresses with minimal assistance

  • walks and runs more smoothly

  • enjoys learning simple rhythm and movement routines  

  • develops ability to toilet train at night

EYLF Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing - Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing. E.g. “Promote continuity of children’s personal health and hygiene by sharing ownership of routines and schedules with children, families and the community.” (p.32)