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Photograph of a baby grabbing a doctor's stethoscope
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    • Services and providers for Infant and Toddler Development in the U.S.
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When will my baby take his first step or say her first word? Early childhood, from your baby's birth until he or she turns 5, is when children develop skills they will use for the rest of their lives. The normal growth of children can be broken down into the following areas:

  • Gross motor - controlling the head, sitting and walking
  • Fine motor - holding a spoon, picking up a piece of cereal between thumb and finger
  • Sensory - seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling
  • Language - being able to talk and be understood, and understanding what parents and other children say
  • Social - the ability to play with family members and other children

Babies do not develop at the same rate. There is a wide range of what is considered "normal." Your baby may be ahead in some areas and slightly behind in others. If you are worried about possible delays, talk to your baby's health care provider.

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