my baby my priority

Enriching the First Year of Life (Updated!)

Salam & greetings dear friends!

Its been a while since my last post. Please excuse me.. too much traveling, too little time (yes, i’m giving excuses here ;p).

This entry will put a pause to the “10 perkara perlu ajar anak sebelum umur 10 tahun” series. Just a pause ok ;p To be continued!

Ok, about this entry (this is my copywork exercise, if you know what i mean ;p), it is from a booklet which i got together with a goodie bag nearly 358 days ago when i checked-out from Pusrawi Hospital. This sure a good package for parents to use as a guide to monitor our child’s development and progress in the first year of life.

 The authors (see entry’s end) have included suggestions and tips on how to achieve skills appropriate to the child’s learning process through play. There is a need to assure that cognitive, social and emotional development are enhanced with adequate and appropriate methods of stimulation. It was with this in mind that the authors compile these set of guidelines on stimulation of babies.

I hope by sharing these infos, more parents will benefit from it during the joyful and exciting experience of your baby’s first year of life, as how i muchly had 😉


Before we start, here are few things to be noted (!)

All babies are not alike

Babies have differing needs and responses. They go through the same stages of development but at different rates. For example, your baby sits before he walks but the exact time at which he begins to sit and walk will be different from all other children. However, there is a normal time range within which these developmental achievements should occur.

Babies begin to learn rapidly from the moment of birth

In the first two years of life, the brain grows at the fastest rate. Therefore, it is important to enhance stimulation of our baby during these period.

Our baby uses his five senses i.e. (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch to learn about the world)

Therefore, our baby needs to be introduced to a variety of new and interesting things to look at, listen to, taste, feel, hold and play with.

Every member of the family plays an important role

Familiar human faces and voices are important for the baby to see and hear. Our baby will grow best with plenty of love, attention and care.

Provide a safe and happy environment for our child

The environment, activities and toys/play materials should be safe and appropriate for our child’s developmental level.

Breastfeeding is best for mother and baby

Breastfeeding represents a ‘special moment together’ and fosters close physical contact and bonding between mother and baby. Touching gives your baby a way to feel your love and security.


The following provides a summary of behaviors and skills that our baby would be able to show from birth to 12 months and recommended activities that we and our family can provide to enrich our baby’s growth and potential


Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  • Sleeps most of the time
  • Cannot lift head up
  • Likes to look at faces.
  • Sees best at distance of 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm) at eye level.
  • Startled by sound.
  • Keeps his hands tightly closed most of the time

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Talk and sing to him frequently
  • Hold him close to you and cuddle him
  • Show him things quite close to his face, especially RBW (red, black and white) patterns.
  • Gently stretch and bend his knees during napkin changing
  • Make frequent contact with him ‘ eye to eye’ and ‘touvh’
  • Let him gradually hold on to your fingers and gradually unfold his fingers one at a time


**2 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  • When he is placed on his stomach, he can lift head momentarily
  • He will smile at you briefly
  • He will try to search for sounds with his eyes
  • Makes eye to eye contact
  • His hands are held open some of the time

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Encourage him to lift his head by placing brightly coloured toys in front of him when laying on his front (stomach)
  • Put a mobile in his bed
  • Move your fingers or toys in and out of his line of vision
  • Hold your baby up so that he can see more of his surroundings
  • Gently massage or tickle your baby’s hand and feet
  • Awake his interest by making various exaggerated facial expressions
  • Gently stroke his skin with soft materials of different textures


**3 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  • Plays with his own fingers
  • Pulls at clothings
  • Holds a rattle momentarily when it is placed in his hand
  • Hols his head up when lying on his stomach
  • Express pleasure by smiling, kicking his legs and waving his arms
  • Cries when he is left alone

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Reward all your baby’s behaviour – movements, gestures, expressions – by over reacting with praises, hugs and smiles
  • Play simple, gentle physical games while singing to him – gentle jerks, knee bends, arm pulls, tickling feet
  • Give small, firm toys of different weights, textures and sounds. Toys that can be reached for, grasped or handled
  • Play nursery rhymes and music
  • Let him explore your face, by looking and touching your face


**4 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  • He smiles at people and knows members of the family
  • He laughs, squeels, cooes and gurgles
  • He can grasp a ring or cube when given
  • He attempts to roll from his back on to his stomach
  • He shows in interest in new toys, sounds, places and people
  • He is able to bring his hands together and look at them

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Provide a wide range of toys differing in sizes, shapes and textures
  • Place toys in front of him and encourage him to reach out
  • Encourage him to make noises by singing and playing rhythmic games with him
  • Make eye contact as often as possible
  • Make exaggerated faial expressions and gestures
  • Encourage rolling over by moving colourful toys from one side to the other
  • Place your baby on a large, firm inflatable ball and whilst supporting him, roll him to and fro and from side to side


**5 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  • Your child has good head control
  • He can sit with support momentarily, leaning forward on his hands
  • He puts EVERYTHING in his mouth
  • He likes to pull his feet up and plays with his toes
  • Moves his arms and legs to attract your attention
  • He reacts appropriately to a smiling or angry face, and to a happy or angry voice

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • While lying on his back, hold his feet and make gentle cycling movements
  • Encourage physical contact by playing touching games
  • Put a small object in his hand, then open his fingers and let it drop
  • Make his bath time enjoyable with bath toys
  • Use his name whenever you can
  • Play ‘chak’ or ‘peek-a-boo’ game to encourage your child to search for your face and voice


**6 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  • Put his weight on his forearms and lifts his head and chest up when lying on his stomach
  • Sits without support momentarily
  • Responds to his name
  • Can pick up an object/toy and drop it involuntarily
  • Shakes and bangs toys
  • Turns over from his stomach to his back

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Play dropping a toy and encourage him to search for the toy
  • Show him how to pass a toy from one hand to the other
  • Give him baby biscuit/finger rusk which is easy to grasp and feed by himself
  • Take him for outdoor walks and show him the plants, trees, birds, etc.


**7 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  •  He is able to creep (pull himself forward by moving his arms together and dragging his legs and stomach along the floor)
  • He can transfer an object fro one hand to the other easily
  • He bites and chew toy/biscuits
  • He liks to bounce on both fet when held standing

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Repeat all sounds your baby makes like “ba”,”ma”,etc. Make new sounds and wait for him to respond.
  • To get your baby to reach out while he is lying down or seated, offerhim some toys just out of reach.
  • Encourage yur baby to stand with support
  • Introduce colourful pictures
  • Show you baby his reflection in the mirror and say his name to gain concept of self


**8 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  •  Rolls over and sits up with good control
  • Can play with two toys at a time
  • Pulls string to get a toy
  • Babbes repetitive syllables eg. “dada”, “mama”, “gaga”, “baba”, etc
  • Stretches out and reaches for toys out of reach
  • Looks around for a dropped toy
  • Begins to understand the meaning of words and knows what “No” means

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Play water games during bath time. Give him nonbreakable plastic jars and cups that he can use to pour, empty and fill
  • Sit a short distance away from your baby, and reach your arms out to him. ncourage him to come to you by calling his name, and offering a toy that he likes (to motivate him o crawl or creep)
  • Put a small piece of cloth over his face an praise him when he removes the cloth
  • Place a toy to the side or behind the child while he is sitting to encourage im to turn sideways
  • Show pictures of common objects and encourage him to point to the pictures


**9 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  •  He can sit unsupported, lean forward or sideways and stay balanced
  • He tries to pull himself up to stand by holding onto something firm
  • He picks up small things with all his fingers
  • He claps his hand in imitation
  • He begins to be shy and afraid of strangers

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Encourage him to stand by holding onto stable pieces of furniture (stay close by while he holds on to)
  • Play pointing games and ask questions like “where is ayah?”, “where is mama?”
  • Show your baby how to stack different coloured blocks of the same size
  • Show him books with colouful pictures of animals, common household objects, etc
  • Impress day-to-day routines like meal time, bed time, on your baby. For example, when you are feeding him, tell him “It’s lunch time” (“makan time”), what he is eating eg. “your favourite porridge”, etc


**10 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  • Crawls on hands and knees
  • He can change positions from sitting to lying down and vice versa
  • Likes to poke fingers into holes
  • Tries to pick up small things
  • Shakes his head to indicate “No”
  • Gives affection, returns kiss or hug (**melt my heart huhuhu 😉 )
  • Walks by holding onto furniture

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Show him how to put in and take out small objects from a container
  • Encourage him to throw a soft ball
  • Let him picks up toy. When he let go, encourage him t pick the toy again
  • Put your baby on his hands and knees and sit a short distance away. Call his name and encourage him to com to you. Reward him with a hug for each achievement
  • Play games and sing songs with actions
  • Choose soft baby books with large bright illustrations and set aside a quiet time each day such as bedtime for READING


**11 MONTHS**

  •  Walks when supported with one hand
  • Like to put things into and taking them out of containers
  • Likes to play clapping games eg. “tepuk amai-amain” or “pat-a-cake
  • Can say one recognisable word eg. papa, mama
  • Curious about things around the house
  • Imitates simple actions eg. waving “bye-bye”

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Teach him to imitate simple actions for ewample “touch your nose”, “reach for the sky”, “clap your hands” etc
  • Teach him to drink from a feeding cup
  • Encourage him to stack (big/small cubes or plastic container)
  • Demonstrate cause and effect eg. stack a column of blocks and knock them down saying “All fall down”
  • Encourage him to stand and walk whilst holding on to a mobile steady object eg. push cart


**12 MONTHS**

Typical characteristics the baby shows at this age:

  •  Atempts to walk a few steps forward without help
  • Likes to throw things deliberately
  • Likes to turn pages of books and magazines
  • Shows a lot of affection by pressing his head and face against your
  • He enjoys laughter and applause and will repeat his actions to get it
  • Calls “papa” and “mama” with meaning

Suggested activities we can do to help stimulate all his senses:

  • Play simple games by asking him to give a named object eg. “I want to comb my hair. Give me the comb, please”, etc
  • Take him outside the house to explore eg. garden, shopping.
  • Give him manipulative toys like small boxes with covers, rings of different colours and sizes, and toys that e ca pull and push
  • Provide large pieces of paper and non-toxic crayon fro scribbling (child must be supervised all the time)
  • Encourage your child to imitate adult activities eg. dialing the phone
  • Read simple stories to the child


 There you go! Happy raising!


Tirokwifey 😉


Credit to original authors: Dr Hwang Yee Chern – (BA, MBBCH, BAO (Irel.) LMSSA (Lond.), DCH (UK), MRCP (PAEDS) (UK), DTMH, Consultant Paediatrician, Island Hospital, Penang **Dr Kaneshwari Yoganathan – MBChB (Liverpool), DCH, MRCP (UK), Consultant Paediatrician & Lecturer Dept of Paediatrics, UKM**Assoc. Prof Vijayalakshmi – MSc. Clin. Psychol., Uni. of Surrey, England, BSc (Hons) Neurobiology, Uni. of Sussex, England, Clinical Psychologist & Lecturer, Dept. of Paediatrics, UKM


Filed under: Babies, Posted in English, The First Year, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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