When do Babies Discover Their Feet?

Developmental milestones describe a set of functional skills that many children can do at a particular age range. These milestones help measure how your baby is developing, such as the first word, or first smile. Though milestones have an approximate age level, every child is unique, and the age when a child reaches that milestone can vary quite a lot. Beginning at age four months, babies learn to coordinate perceptive and motor abilities. This is the age of discovery when they develop skills like grasping, rolling over, sitting up, and their feet.

When do Babies Discover Their Feet?

4 to 8 months

Before they can even see their feet, many babies usually discover their toes by touch between 4 and 8 months; and because they are so accessible, it's typically not long after discovering them that they find out that toes taste good. As strange as it may seem, it is still an important milestone. Although your baby's hands are not very well coordinated yet, they begin to explore things around them, including putting them in their mouth. In addition to promoting baby's awareness, toe tasting can be very satisfying and soothing to the child, so try not to discourage it. However, don't be concerned if your baby never does this, not all babies do. Besides, in many cases, those little digits are the child's first toys.

What Moms Say

"When do babies discover their feet? It was a little after 4 months that I realized that my son was playing with his feet. Now that he is almost 6 months old, he's always grabbing them, and sometimes he puts them in his mouth and sucks on his big toes...lol."

"My daughter just turned 5 1/2 months old, and she just discovered hers yesterday! Putting on socks doesn't stop her, she just yanks them off and plays with her 'little piggies' most of the time. I don't even bother putting on socks anymore."

"My son is 5 months old, and although he has discovered them, his legs are so chubby he can't get them into his mouth yet. However, his toothless grin shows me he loves it when I play with them too."

"I was surprised when my son's paediatrician asked me if he had found his toes yet at his 4 month well baby check-up. Since he hadn't, I asked the doctor, when do babies discover their feet? He told me that I should expect my baby to discover them soon, and wouldn't you know it, he started playing with them the very next day."

Other Milestones During This Period

Besides discovering their feet, babies make many other important discoveries about the same time;

1.       Develops Binocular Vision

Each of the developmental milestones usually has one important skill that once learned, sets up the development of others. Binocular vision is one such important skill learned in the fourth month, meaning baby can now use both eyes together, creating what is called depth perception. Up until this point, baby has only been gazing or swiping at objects. Once the child is able to fixate on an object he/she can grab it. This is the time Moms may want to put away the dangling earrings, and anything else that may harm them or their child.

2.       Accurately Tracks Moving Objects

Shortly after mastering binocular vision, you may discover that they can now accurately track moving objects. Babies typically focus on faces first before moving on to other objects. Mom can confirm this by getting baby's attention, and moving his/her head from side to side to see if the baby follows it. Then you can try dangling a toy and moving it far enough for baby to have to move his/her body to keep the toy in view, to see how the child is progressing.

3.       Uses Both Hands to Hold Onto Objects

This is the time to give baby interesting things to explore and hold in their hands, such as a plastic or rubber ring to hold, or lightweight rattles that are easy to grasp and hold with both hands. You may want to introduce them to toys that make noise or squeak, or small stuffed animals. To add excitement to kicking, use rattles that attach to babies' ankles. At five to six months, your child will begin to enjoy more play time on the floor. Try surrounding your baby with plenty of toys that you can enjoy together.

4.       Begins Learning to Sit Upright

The master skill during the sixth month for many infants is learning to sit upright. How your child learns to do this can be one of the most fascinating parts of their early development. Mom can help the baby by propping them upright and letting go to see if baby remains upright. Don't be discouraged if babies just topple over the first few times, they will begin learning how to sit upright and will use their hands as props to achieve the goal. At about 6 months, baby learns to let go, first with one hand, then the other, and begins to hold their back straight, leaning forward a little, and as back-muscle strength and balance improve, a baby can sit completely erect.

5.       Less Crying and More Babbling

Another important discovery during this developmental milestone is language. Your baby is crying less and babbling more to get their point across. Mastering sounds usually happen at around six months when baby realizes they can alter sounds by using their tongue and mouth. It typically begins when baby creates long and repetitive strings of vowels and consonants, and as the baby begins to communicate in new ways, babbling will eventually lead to more complex sounds and words.

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