First year milestones

Pediatrician Lawrence Kagan, MD, explains what the four different categories of developmental milestones are that a baby should achieve by the first year, and the milestone for each category is
12 Month Old Baby Developmental Milestones
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First year milestones

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We can make some very good generalizations about what children should do, what developmental milestones they should achieve in the first year. But every baby is an individual and children are going to develop at their own pace. So as pediatricians, what we really look for is how they’re doing globally. So we look at 4 different categories – we look at social interaction, speech development, fine motor and gross motor skills. At a year of age, we expect the child to know one to three words that are discriminative, meaning they call you mama, maybe it’s mamamama, but it’s a word that’s intended to refer to mom. Or bottle is baba. But one to three discriminative words. We expect them to be starting to try to walk. The average child will walk at 12 months of age. And they’re developing fine motor skills as well. Now some children will start to walk at 10 months of age. Some not until 14 months of age or even later. And now, that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with them as long as they’re meeting other milestones. But I’ll leave you with this – if you’re sixth grader was having trouble in math, you’d get him a tutor. So I always suggest to parents, if we feel that we’re falling behind in any one category, it’s nice to intervene early and get them help, whether that’d be physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy – there’s nothing wrong with that. So when we see a global delay, where we’re behind in multiple developmental areas, then we know we’re getting into trouble and we need to look further into why that’s happening.

Pediatrician Lawrence Kagan, MD, explains what the four different categories of developmental milestones are that a baby should achieve by the first year, and the milestone for each category is

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Lawrence Kagan, MD

Pediatrician

Lawrence Kagan, MD, FAAP, is a UCLA honors graduate, with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. He received medical training at USC Keck School of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In addition to passionately studying neonatal, general pediatric and adolescent medicine at CHLA, he had the opportunity to train under some of the greatest minds in subspecialty pediatrics, diagnosing and managing the rarest and most complicated childhood ailments. Prior to opening Westside Pediatrics, he worked as an attending physician at the CHLA Emergency Department as well as at Cedars Sinai Urgent Care. Dr. Kagan is a native of Los Angeles and is happily married with two children.

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