New parents welcome each of their baby's milestones with excitement, anticipating the first time they grab a toy, sit up, pull up, and finally walk on their own. The first year is a thrilling and challenging time for the whole family as the little one becomes more independent. Though early or late achievement of these abilities is usually no reason to worry, most healthy babies develop motor skills at a predictable rate. Tracking these milestones helps parents and doctors know what to expect next.


1. How Do Doctors Gauge Motor Development?

Medical experts assess motor development according to the progression of gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve large muscle movements, such as sitting, crawling, walking, and running. Fine motor skills utilize smaller muscles, like the fingers, for grasping and manipulating objects. Motor development progresses from head to toe. First, babies learn to control their heads and neck, then their trunks. Later, they master the movement of their arms and legs.

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