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What to Expect During the First Year of your Baby’s Life


By Deanie Barth, MSPT, Physical Therapist


The 1st year of a child’s life (from newborn to approximately 1-year-old) is perhaps the busiest and most important for physical development. It is during this year when babies develop muscle strength and control to help hold their body up and move against gravity. In "physical-therapist-speak" – to initiate purposeful movement and complete simple tasks. And to acquire the skills that will eventually allow them to jump, run, play baseball, do gymnastics (and clean their room).


Deanie’s Milestones — Basics for your baby’s first year (as it pertains to physical development):



Deanie’s Favorite Toys for Newborns:


There are several toys for newborns available to help your child achieve these developmental milestones. Here are some of my personal favorites. To assist with developing initial neck and trunk strength, the best tummy time toys are the Super Mat and the Play House Gym. At 6 months I especially like toys to help a baby sit AND stand. The Wonderous Wedge is a great baby toy because not only will it encourage your child to sit independently by keeping him entertained with the various items on the sides, it’s a developmental toy that encourages your child to stand with support and explore the more intricate items at the top. At 9 months, the Chomp ‘n Clack is the perfect baby toy to introduce your child to his first steps.


If you liked this article, you may also want to read our other developmental articles:


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Guidelines for Summer Activities Gopi K. Patel, MSE.d
Learning Through Movement… A Sensory-Rich Way to Help Children Barbara Greenspan, OT
Five Elements of Successfully Disciplining Your Toddler Andy Eig, PhD.
Preventing Family Headaches Andy Eig, PhD.

Let's Get... Potty Trained!

Gopi K. Patel, MSE.d
Play is A Lot More Than Fun and Games Shari Harpaz, MS, CCC-SLP
Understanding Your Child's Personality Gopi K. Patel, MSE.d
Nursemaid's Elbow Deanie Barth, MSPT
Torticollis – What Every Parent Should Know Deanie Barth, MSPT
Getting to Know Your Body Barbara Greenspan, OT
Learning to Read Starts Young Shari Harpaz, MS, CCC-SLP
It’s All In The Hands - Ways to Develop Fine Motor Skills Barbara Greenspan, OT
Understanding the Different Modes/Styles of Learning Shari Harpaz, MS, CCC-SLP
Achieving Gross Motor Milestones and Play Skills Through Summer Time Fun Deanie Barth, MSPT
Help With Grandparents Andy Eig, PhD.
Helicopter Parenting Barbara Greenspan, OT
Eye-Hand Coordination Barbara Greenspan, OT
Five Major Milestones for Early Physical Development Deanie Barth, MSPT
It's All About the Core Deanie Barth, MSPT
Using Time Outs Properly and Effectively Andy Eig, PhD.
Making Room for Two Andy Eig, PhD.
Giving is MORE than Toys Gopi K. Patel, MSE.d
Using the  5  7 Senses Barbara Greenspan, OT
Have You Spanked Your Children? Gopi K. Patel, MSE.d
What to Expect During the Sixth Year of Your Baby's Life Gopi K. Patel, MSE.d
What to Expect During the Third Year of Your Baby's Life Gopi K. Patel, MSE.d
What to Expect During the Second Year of Your Baby's Life Barbara Greenspan, OT
What to Expect During the First Year of Your Baby's Life Deanie Barth, MSPT
Psychiatric Medication and Young Children: Is there too much pill popping? Andy Eig, PhD.
Exersaucers, Swings and Jumpers— A help or hindrance to development? Deanie Barth, MSPT
Technology — A Chief Culprit in Language Delays Shari Harpaz, MS, CCC-SLP
Great Indoor Winter Play Ideas Barbara Greenspan, OT