A baby’s development is not a competition or race. Each baby is unique and they will develop at different rates and in different ways. This is something we as parents should always keep in mind, especially when everyone wants to know whether our baby is already sitting, holding their head up, crawling, walking, and so on and so forth.

Of course it is our job to help them meet these milestones but always at their own pace because these things cannot be rushed. Remember – all in good time. Overstimulation will not do them any good.

At first, their movements are not voluntary and are directed by their reflexes, meaning that every movement is an automatic response to a certain stimulus. Gradually, they gain more and more control over their movements, start striking out at objects and also reaching for things; they develop the ability to hold their head up and look around. Lying on their tummy is very important because this is when they develop their muscles they will need for pushing themselves up, rolling over, learning to sit, crawl and eventually walk.

Giving your baby an opportunity to stand on your lap, playing aeroplane (gently and slowly) by flying your baby through the air, placing toys just a little out of their reach, pulling them around the house in a box or a toy and encouraging crawling is essential for the development of muscles and their spatial perception.

When your baby starts pulling themselves up to stand, they will use almost anything for support. They will sway on their legs and eventually take their first step, holding onto something. These may be pieces of furniture. You can also get a cart (or our baby walker for that matter) which your baby will push around and thus learn to walk confidently and securely. Step by step.