From the time a baby is conceived, the development of various aspects and parts of the body begin.
When a baby is born, the development continues in different ways. Let us learn how a baby's motor skills develop.
Motor development refers to the development of a baby's bones and muscles and their ability to move around.
Gross motor development involves the development of the large muscles in the baby's body. These muscles enable the baby to perform tasks such as sitting, standing and walking.
Fine motor development involves the development of the small muscles of the body, especially of those in the hand.
As we look at the gross and fine motor development of a baby, note that the sequence of development is the same in all babies. However, the rate of development varies from baby to baby.
Around the age of one to two months, when a baby is lying on their stomach, they can turn their head from one cheek to the other.
They can momentarily lift their head in this position.
The baby moves their arms randomly when they are shown a toy.
The baby also brings their hands to the mouth.
The baby can grasp a finger or rattle when it is placed in their hand.
The baby may follow a moving face with their eyes and may also make eye contact.
Gradually, they start responding to social interaction with smiling.
At around three to four months, when a baby is lying on their stomach, they can lift and hold their head and upper trunk steady while placing weight on forearms.
At this stage, the baby rolls from back to side and plays while on a side.
The baby reaches with both hands for a toy and can grasp the toy or their hands together.
The baby also begins to recognize parents and repeats enjoyable activities.
At five to six months, the baby rolls from tummy to back and gradually, from back to tummy.
The baby may be able to sit on their own for a few seconds, by using their hands to support themselves.
The baby can hold two objects at a time.
They also start lifting their arms to be picked up.
The baby starts exploring the parents' facial features.
The baby can hold small objects between index or middle fingers and palm.
At this age, the baby starts showing signs of separation anxiety. In other words, the baby can become very restless and start crying when they cannot find either one or both of their parents.
By the age of nine months, the baby can rise to their hands and knees position.
They can crawl on their hands and knees to about five feet, using alternating arm and leg movement.
At this age, the baby is able to sit steadily.
They are also able to stand while holding on to furniture.
The baby may start to clap their hands together.
They can grab small objects and finger food.
The baby may also start holding a spoon.
By the time the baby turns one year, they can pull themselves to standing position. They may also be able to stand on their own without any support.
The baby may start walking holding one hand.
At this age, the baby uses a pincer grip or uses index finger and thumb to pick up objects.
The baby can now stack blocks and put three or more objects in a container.
The baby also starts marking paper with crayon.
The baby can also imitate waving.
By 15 months, the child may start walking independently.
They can feed themselves well with a spoon.
The baby can also hold out their arms and legs to get dressed.
At 18 months, the child can seat themselves in a chair.
They can also remove their shoes, without untying the laces.
At around 21 months, the child can walk up and down the stairs by placing both feet on each step.
The child can also hold a small cup as well as help with simple household tasks.
At two years of age, the child can run without falling.
They can use scissors to cut and can hold crayons well with thumb and fingers.
With some assistance, the child may also be able to pull down their pants to go to the toilet.
At two and a half years of age, the child can jump with both their feet.
They can also walk on tiptoes, without losing balance.
The child may be able to dress up themselves, with some assistance. They insist on performing such tasks independently at this age.
At three years of age, the child can go upstairs one foot per step and downstairs two feet per step.
They can ride a tricycle and solve simple puzzles.
The child can also perform self-care tasks such as putting on socks and shoes and brushing their hair.
By the time the child turns four, they are able to dress and undress independently. They may also be able to button front opening clothes.
At this age, the child also displays a preference of hand, right or left.