Preemies: Coming Home, A Month-to-Month Guide

Congratulations you have your baby home! You will now be amazed as you watch your baby grow and develop. Your doctor will use the idea of "corrected age". What you have to remember is to also use the baby's "corrected age."

Corrected age means the age your pre-term baby would be if he or she had been born at term. You will be using the baby's corrected age until s/he is at least twenty months old. It's important to keep in mind that every baby is different and if you have questions about your baby's development, talk to your doctor or pediatrician. Below are listed some very general milestones and are only to serve as a guideline. There are many books on parenting, which have extensive lists of milestones.

1st Month

  • May lift head for short periods while on tummy
  • Head turns to one side on back, puts arm out to that side, flexes other arm
  • Will grasp a finger or object put into her hand
  • Likes adult faces, especially the eyes, bright colors, patterns
  • Can play for short periods of time
  • Enjoys being sung and talked to
  • Can be over stimulated and need rocking or being bundled in a blanket to settle down

2nd Month

  • While on tummy can lift head and move side to side
  • Knows the difference between real faces and pictures
  • Can move a rattle placed in his hand, looks for sound
  • Starts to babble and smile spontaneously
  • Enjoys rattles, bells and mirrors, crib activity center

3rd Month

  • Has almost complete control of head movements
  • Likes to make bicycle movements with legs
  • Can push up on forearms
  • Will put her fist in mouth
  • Can voluntary grasp an object
  • Follows slow moving object with head and eyes
  • Makes lots of different noises and tries to imitate adult sounds
  • Gives you a 'real' smile
  • Is awake for up to 20 minutes an hour
  • Has discovered hands and feet
  • Enjoys toys with chimes and jingles
  • Parents voice and face most important

4th Month

  • Can sit up supported for up to 15 minutes
  • Is trying to roll over from tummy to back
  • Likes bearing weight on legs
  • Will look at a toy in her hand
  • Prefers familiar voices
  • Laughs
  • Toys with noise and texture are favorites
  • Can focus easily and will reach with both hands

5th Month

  • Picks up toys with a fist type grasp and can mouth them
  • Rolls over easily from tummy to back, most often not intentionally
  • Can sit up sit up with support for half an hour
  • Can now see across the room
  • Plays with hands
  • Vision is coordinated with other senses
  • Will babble to him self when left alone
  • Experimenting making sounds, gurgles, blows bubbles
  • Likes familiar faces, smiles less to strangers
  • Loves playing peek-a-boo

6th Month

  • Starts moving towards objects that get her attention
  • Lifts up chest easily and make get up on all fours
  • Waves arms up, down, back and forth
  • Attempts to move toys from hand to hand
  • Smaller objects and toys become interesting
  • Can extend fingers and hold a toy between them
  • Is really vocalizing
  • Becoming more interested in the outside world
  • Hates being left alone

7th Month

  • Easily transfers toys from hand to hand
  • Can sit without support, but needs help getting to sitting position
  • Likes to bear weight on legs
  • Can feed herself crackers
  • Has a pincer like grasp, good for holding small objects
  • Knows which toy he wants and reaches for it
  • Will imitate her own sounds
  • Might say "mama" or "dada" but to no-one specifically
  • Likes to laugh and has sense of humor
  • Can be stubborn about doing things she doesn't want to

8th Month

  • Could begin crawling, will go both forwards and backwards
  • Makes bouncing movement with legs when held up
  • Likes putting toes into mouth
  • Develops depth perception and is intrigued with very small objects
  • Vocalizes to get attention, toys and generally to socialize
  • Puts arms up to be picked up
  • Is fascinated by his reflection in a mirror
  • Noisy and rolling toys are becoming favorite

9th Month

  • Crawls easily and can stand holding onto something stable
  • Is very adept at using forefinger and thumb to pick up objects
  • Can find partially hidden objects and may start to stack blocks
  • Vocalizes even more
  • Is shy with people she doesn't know
  • Makes attempts to feed herself and is getting good at finger foods
  • May become quite possessive of toys
  • Likes toys with music, that pop-up, or have dials
  • Is very adept at picking up Cheerios

10th Month

  • Crawling becomes the preferred method of mobility
  • Likely attempts to climb up and down stairs
  • Both sides of his body now do the same thing
  • Is able to roll or throw a ball or toy
  • Likes putting small toys into containers
  • Can find hidden objects
  • Capable of stacking two blocks
  • Is good at imitating sounds like laughing and coughing
  • Says "bye-bye"
  • Is beginning to understand the concept of "no"
  • Will respond to his name
  • Likes music and might "sing" along
  • Pat-A-Cake is a favorite game

11th Month

  • Can pull herself to standing using something stable
  • Climbs stairs by himself while supervised
  • Will use a push toy or an adults hand to take a few steps
  • Likes books and attempts to turn pages
  • Throwing objects becomes a favorite pass time
  • Sometimes will follow a simple command
  • Her burbling sounds start to actually sound like words
  • Will amuse herself with her own toys for longer periods of time
  • Pots, pans and spoons become favored toys along with balls and push toys

12th Month

  • Walks without help (but can be as late as 18 months)
  • Can stoop down from a standing position and stand up again
  • Smiles at his mirror image
  • Becomes very imitative of others gestures and facial expressions
  • Perfects the pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger) for picking up objects
  • Knows her own name and her parents names
  • Attempts to follow instructions
  • Can drink from a cup and is trying to use a spoon
  • May know a few simple words and uses them properly (mama, dada, cat, ball)
  • Ride-on toys are a big hit along with books, stacking toys and sorting toys

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