Monday, May 19, 2014

Unsung milestones

By Dan Tynan and Christina Wood 

We all know when kids should sit up, walk, talk, and get a driver's license. But what about some of those other important "firsts" that don't get as much press? Here are seven milestones that we think deserve more notice.

1 What: Sees in stereo
When: 2 to 4 months

Your baby used to see in two dimensions, but now he's seeing the world in three. His cerebral cortex has matured enough that he can merge the input from both eyes — no goofy 3-D glasses required.

2 What: First true laugh
When: 4 to 5 months

Babies start smiling at 2 to 3 months, but at around 4 to 5 months that smile may turn to laughter in response to surprising or incongruous events, thanks to her rapidly developing cerebral cortex. Finally, someone to laugh at your Three Stooges antics.

3 What: Knows her own name
When: 5 to 8 months

Though she won't be able to speak it for some time, by this age your baby knows her own name and will look up if you call it. Good luck getting her to continue doing this throughout her teenage years.

4 What: Plays with privates
When: 1 to 2 years

By this age, many children have discovered that it feels good to touch their privates. It's all sensation at this point. They won't be angry at you for barging into the room without knocking for a long time yet.

5 What: Pumps on a swing
When: 4 to 5 years

A child this age can finally figure out how to pump her legs on a swing. Now you can drink your coffee in peace — at least for two minutes.

6 What: Two-sided body control
When: 7 to 8 years

The two sides of the brain have now developed enough body control that your child can hold a piece of paper in one hand and write on it with the other, which makes passing notes in class much easier.

7 What: Shows modesty
When: 8 to 9 years

The desire for privacy usually hits around this age. Even a child who was a dedicated nudist until now might suddenly blush and grab a cover-up. No more embarrassing episodes when the neighbor drops by.

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