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Baby Growth and Development | What to Expect
Baby Growth and Development

During the first year of life,
your baby grows and develops at an amazing speed.  While every baby progresses at his own pace, these milestones are a good guideline for what to expect.

By the end of their first month of life, most babies:
  • Keep their hands in tight fists
  • Move their head from side-to-side while lying on stomach
  • Focus on objects 8 to 12" away
  • Hear very well

By the end of their seventh month, most babies:

  • Sit up
  • Reach for objects with their hands
  • Roll over both ways
  • Respond to hearing their own name

By their first birthday, most babies:

  • Try to imitate words
  • Crawl
  • Say "dada" and "mama"
  • Sit without help         (March of Dimes, 2016)
What You Can Do
  • A warning for women of childbearing age.  The CDC states that women ages 15-44 should avoid alcohol unless they are using birth control. Alcohol can harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant.  The CDC estimates more than 3 million women are at risk of exposing a developing fetus to alcohol. This warning is to reduce the cases of fetal alcohol syndrome.    (CBS Morning News, USA Today, February 3, 2016)

  • "No Alcohol during Pregnancy -- Ever -- Plead U.S. Pediatricians."  In an effort to once and for all put a rest to any debate about drinking during pregnancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics has put out a clear message: Don't do it. Ever. At all. Not even a tiny bit.

    "No amount of alcohol should be considered safe to drink during any trimester of pregnancy," the group wrote.  Prenatal exposure to alcohol is the leading preventable cause of birth defects, as well as cognitive problems later in life.  The risk of having a baby with growth retardation goes up even when a woman has just one alcoholic drink a day.

    Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk
    the baby could have myriad problems, including trouble with hearing and vision, and with the heart, bones and kidneys. Children of mothers who drank while pregnant were also more likely to have neurodevelopment issues such as troubles with abstract reasoning, information processing, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


Women who drank in their first trimester
    were 12 times more likely to have a child with these issues, compared to women who didn't drink at all. First- and second-trimester drinking increased the risk 61 times, and women who drank during all trimesters increased the risk by a factor of 65.

    "There is no safe amount, no safe time, and no safe type of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. It's just not worth the risk," said Dr. Cheryl Tan, an epidemiologist at the CDC.  A study conducted during 2011-2013 showed that one in 10 pregnant women reported consuming alcohol in the past 30 days, and one in 33 reported binge drinking.

    "The research suggests that the smartest choice for women who are pregnant is to just abstain from alcohol completely," said Dr. Janet F. Williams, one of the leading authors of the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  (Source: "No alcohol during pregnancy - ever - plead U.S. pediatricians," by Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, CNN, October 21, 2015; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)