Your baby develops very quickly in the first few months. For one thing, they experience significant growth in length and weight. On the other hand, a multitude of new connections are created in their nervous system. As a result, your child will make tremendous progress physically and mentally within a short period of time. Usually this development takes place in leaps and bounds. It's called a growth spurt. Your paediatrician will regularly check that your child is developing well during their U-check-ups. At each appointment, your child's current height and weight are entered into their clinical growth charts at the very back of the yellow U-booklet. From the curve of the chart, you can see if the values are on a nice upward trend, that is, that your baby is growing and developing well. If your paediatrician finds any abnormalities, they can look for the causes and discuss treatment options with you if necessary.

In the first months of life, healthy children develop at about the same rate. They acquire their skills in a specific order. It is important for you to know that growth spurts do not occur absolutely on time at certain ages. So, this information is only to provide a rough orientation. Premature infants experience their growth spurts later because their nervous systems have yet to mature. So, a baby born three weeks ahead of schedule doesn't have their first developmental step around the fifth week of life, but rather when they’re about two months old. 

Most babies are tearful during the stages of their growth spurts. They need more attention than usual. For example, they are more anxious and flinch more easily at loud noises. Your child's sleep patterns may also change. Maybe they need extra rest now. But your baby may also wake up more often during the night than before. There are children who now want to be breastfed all the time or ask for their bottle more often. Every child goes through these stages a little differently. Your baby’s behavior shows you how exhausting these developmental steps are for your child. However, you can support them in these steps by responding to them, for example, when they start to react to your laughter. Put small, non-hazardous objects in your baby’s hands as toys as soon as they start reaching for things. Most importantly, be sure to childproof your home as soon as your baby starts crawling and exploring their surroundings.

In the first 14 months of your baby’s life, there are eight important phases in which they will develop both internally and externally. It is impossible to say exactly when a child's major developmental steps take place. The following information is only a rough guide.

5 weeks: Babies react more strongly to their environment. They smile when they like something and are interested in what is going on around them.

8 weeks: Babies’ perceptions become more intense. They discover that they can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. They raise their heads and turn in the direction of a sound or light source.

12 weeks: Babies respond to the moods of those around them. When you laugh, your baby laughs back. Babies also start to discover how to use their voices. They babble or shriek and produce soft and loud sounds.

19 weeks: A developmental phase begins towards the end of the fifth month of life and lasts for up to six weeks. Babies now grow longer and heavier quite quickly, and their head circumference increases as well. They’re probably get their first tooth now too. Babies are excited about the new physical possibilities. They reach for things like rattles and try out what can be done with them.

26 weeks: Many children react anxiously when less familiar people get too close to them. They're ‘strangers’. Babies express different feelings more strongly now. Sometimes they’re happy, sometimes tearful. Many children are now able to turn from their tummy to their back and back to their tummy again.

37 weeks: Now babies get ready to take off and explore the world on their own. In this short period, they develop above all their ability to move. You can observe your baby putting their legs in a position to start crawling. Some babies can already crawl and pull themselves up.

47 weeks: Babies begin to discover their surroundings. They crawl and can sit without problems. Many children now say their first word. This is a beautiful moment for most parents. However, babies can also be moody and whiny during this period. After all, the conquest of the environment is also associated with fears and disappointments.

55 weeks: Most children can now stand on their own two feet. They're learning to walk. They also discover their own will and get angry when they feel misunderstood. This time is often referred to as the ‘defiant phase’. Suddenly it feels like you've become adversaries. But that is not the case. By saying a firm ‘no’ or taking decisive action in dangerous situations, you protect your child. If you take the interesting scissors out of their hand, you prevent them from getting hurt. If you divide your baby’s sweets into small portions, you'll help them stay healthy. Clear rules help your child find their way.