Understanding your baby’s developmental timeline
There is a moment for intended parents when they realize all the planning, testing and waiting is over. The woman who has carried their child for nine months is in labor. Soon, their little one will have finally arrived. When this happens, it’s important to understand your baby’s developmental timeline.
For the surrogate mother, the birth of this baby is a gift for both the intended parents and the child. She has helped create a new family.
Looking down at the tiny newborn you hold in your arms, it may be hard to imagine that this fragile bundle will soon be a toddler, then a kindergartner and someday an adult. Your baby’s development is a miraculous thing. But ask just about any parent, and they will tell you that the journey through parenthood is worth every step.
Womb connection to your baby’s developmental timeline
For nine months, give or take a few weeks, a baby grows and develops inside the womb. It sucks its thumb, kicks its legs, stretches and yawns. Research shows that even in the womb, the baby learns to recognize the mother’s voice. Intended parents may be concerned that they are unable to connect with their baby in the same way that traditional parents do during this crucial part of your baby’s developmental timeline.
Maintaining contact with your surrogate throughout the pregnancy is important. Record your voices, read a book or sing a song that is important to you, and ask the surrogate to play it for the baby so he or she will begin to recognize your voices. When you visit the surrogate in person, it’s important to talk to your baby.
Although newborns lose about 10% of their body weight after birth, by two weeks of age, they will regain the weight. From the moment they are born, children start to develop emotionally and physically, constantly working toward new milestones. At the end of two months, your child will:
- Smile at you and at others
- Suck on his or her hand to provide their own comfort
- Coo and make little sounds
- Turn his or her head toward a sound
- Exhibits boredom, crying when an activity isn’t changed
- Pushes up while laying on its tummy
- Lifts head
- Loves to look at faces
Three to five months on your baby’s developmental timeline
At three months of age, children can hold their heads up for an extended period of time, can follow objects with their eyes, and turn their heads 180 degrees. For the first time, you’ll see your baby roll from side to side and, instead of gurgling noises, you’ll hear one-syllable sounds. At this point in a baby’s development, you’ll notice more eye contact, and they begin to mimic facial expressions and express emotions. They are quickly becoming more aware of their surroundings, physical objects, and their own body.
At four months, your baby will have discovered his or her own hands and feet, and they’ll play with them. They’ll also be able to stand when you hold them, and will have learned to bring objects to the mouth while lying on their back. It is around this age when babies learn that food brings pleasure, and will show excitement when they see it.
Your baby will likely be teething at five months, but also mimicking your speech and paying attention to music. There may a sing-song quality to the voice. Many children start to laugh around this age, but you may have already experienced this joyful sound.
Six to nine months
At six months, your baby will be able to hold their own bottle and, with a little assistance, a cup. Hopefully, you’ll be able to witness a new talent—rolling over. Another milestone at this age is learning the ability to sit up, unassisted, for brief periods of time.
At seven months, prepare for more teething. Some babies learn to stand at this age, and even bounce. And you’ll experience the first sign of separation anxiety. Dad may feel a little left out at this age, because some children prefer their mother’s company at this stage of development.
Eight-month-old children will be crawling at this age, and will begin babbling in multisyllabic sounds. They know what a cup and other objects are used for, and can tell the difference between them.
Expect your nine-month-old child to become more aware of their relationship with their surroundings. For the first time, you’ll see your baby recognize that an object has been taken away, and they will search for it. You’ll even start to hear early language as your child starts to use single syllable words. And now, they recognize what the word “no” means, and soon they will be using it frequently.
Ten months to one year
Your ten-month-old is likely crawling, standing, and even walking while holding on to furniture. Your child calls you “mama” and “dada” and has learned to wave “bye-bye,” play peek-a-boo, and is experimenting with traveling a little further away from you, but will turn to catch your reaction. The first molars make an appearance around this age.
As your child turns eleven months old, you’ll notice them actively playing, although they won’t play with other children yet. Communication skills are improving and your baby may understand a much wider vocabulary.
At 12 months, your child will take his or her first steps without assistance. They will recognize themselves in a mirror and try to carry on a conversation with you. Independence is making its appearance. At this age, children prefer to feed themselves.
The age most commonly associated with the toddler years are ages 1 year through 36 months old. Toddlers are learning the names of body parts and can group two words together to form a sentence, with language skills increasing on an almost daily basis. From 2 years of age and on, your child will become an expert explorer. You’ll also notice the first signs of defiance and a greater sense of independence. Your toddler will experience significant social, cognitive, and emotional changes at this age.
The parenthood adventure is an exciting one, and each stage of your child’s life is as amazing as the one before it. If you are considering surrogacy, or are already waiting for your new child to arrive and have questions, ask us. At CSP, we are here to address your concerns, so that you can relax and enjoy this new era of your life as parents. Contact us to learn more about your baby’s developmental milestones.