Developmental Milestones and Positive Parenting

We should not only measure children’s growth by their height and weight, but also need to use age-based developmental milestones in evaluating how they play, learn, speak and act. A delay in any of these areas could be a sign of a developmental problem. The earlier it’s recognized the more parents can do to help children reach their full potential.

Positive parenting for 0- to 1-year-old

Child safety first

It is parents’ responsibility to ensure a safe environment for the baby. Here are a few tips to keep the baby safe during his or her first year of life.

  • Never shake the newborn baby because of his or her weak neck muscles, which are not yet able to support his or her heads. Shaking can damage his or her brain.
  • Always put the baby to sleep on his or her back, to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), due to breathing problems.
  • Use a baby car safety seat every time he or she rides in the car.
  • Cut his or her food into small bites, to prevent the baby from choking.
  • Don’t allow the baby to play with anything that may cover his or her face or is easy for him or her to swallow.
  • Protect the baby by giving him or her proper immunizations, because he or she is susceptible to many potentially serious diseases.


  • Cuddling and holding the baby, let him or he feel secured.
  • Talk to, read to, sing to and play music to the baby, to prepare this or her language skill.
  • Praise the baby to help him or her build self-confidence.

Parenting can be hard work! Parents need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally in order to nurture babies with loving and good care.

Important milestones for 1-year-old

Because every baby develops at his or her own pace, it’s difficult to tell exactly when he or she will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones listed below give a guideline. If the baby develops slightly different, parents should not get too worry, however, need to notice it.


  • Reach sitting position without assistance
  • Crawl on hands and knees
  • Get from sitting to crawling
  • Pull self up to stand
  • Stand momentarily without support
  • Walk by holding on to a support
  • May walk two or three steps without support

Hand and finger skills

  • Use pincer grasp
  • Put objects into a box
  • Take objects out of a box
  • Push with index finger
  • Imitate scribbling 

Social and emotional

  • Prefer parents over all others
  • Cry when a parent leaves
  • May feel fearful in some situations
  • Feel shy or anxious with strangers
  • Show specific preference for some toys
  • Repeat sounds or gestures for attention
  • Enjoy imitating people in playing
  • Extend arm or leg to help when being dressed

(The learning process of memory, language, thinking and reasoning)

  • Play with objects in different ways, shaking, throwing, dropping etc.
  • Find hidden objects easily
  • Look at correct objects when the name is pronounced
  • Begin to use objects correctly, drinking from cup, brushing hair using brush, dialing phone using phone keypad etc.

(Including listening, understanding, and knowing the names of people and things)

  • Pay increasing attention to speech
  • Respond to simple verbal requests using “yes” or “no”
  • Use simple gestures, such as shaking head for “no”
  • Say “dada” and “mama”
  • Imitate words

2 thoughts on “Developmental Milestones and Positive Parenting

  1. Work hard, success will come.
    After retired, I was lucky to live with my three-year-old grandson. Every day we had been playing together all day, playing slides, balls, puzzles… by the story of mouse moving to learn counting, arithmetic, and mathematics. Before he entered elementary school my grandson already could count up to billions, do 3 digit addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and know fractions, short series. I taught him geometry by cutting watermelons, point, line, surface, volume,…… He had been reading picture books, reading dictionary, knew over 1,000 Chinese characters.

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