February 09, 2021 4 min read
Did you know that an average newborn baby will go through 310 diapers just in the first month alone? Diaper changing and sleepless nights aside, experiencing the first year of your child's life alongside them is a joy unmatched by any other life experience. Make sure you have your camera and journal at the ready because the time will fly by before your eyes; you will blink- and your baby will be a teenager! There are so many 'firsts' that your child will experience during the first 12 months, and all of them will make you smile. While every baby develops at his own pace during the first year, many milestones typically fall within specific time frames.
In the first few months of your baby's life, expect a lot of tears and many sleepless nights for both you and the little one. In the first month, you might overlook many obvious and massive developments, but trust me- they are happening little by little. Your baby will begin to hear very well and even start to recognize the sound of your voice.
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By the time the second month comes and goes, your baby will begin to smile- intentionally! The first time you see your baby truly break out in a grin is a very joyous experience for any parent. After all, there is no baby in the world more precious and adorable than your own.
In the third month, your child will begin to recognize people and objects that they regularly experience. This is the month when they may develop a personality and physically and mentally grow like a tree! Your child may develop a much heartier appetite and began to squirm and babble with regularity.
By month 4, many babies begin to cry less and start laughing for the first time. Playing peek-a-boo and tickling your baby will encourage that sweet sound- nothing compares to the joy of hearing laughter from your baby after the first few months of frequent crying.
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You may not have slept many hours in the first four months of your baby's life- but rest assured, by five months or so, your baby should begin to sleep the whole night through. Slowly but surely, full nights of sleep will become a more regular occurrence again (although you may be tempted to check on them every 20 minutes thanks to the unusual silence).
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Your baby will also learn how to sit up by themself around the five or 6-month mark. It may seem like a small feat, but in reality, this is a genuinely incredible milestone.
Babies also have finer-tuned motor skills around six or seven months of age. You'll be excited to see that they can grab toys and move around using their hands and feet with more excellent skill than before.
Introducing your baby to new and exciting foods and flavors during this timeframe is very important. Babies begin to develop their palates during this period, and incorporating a wide variety of foods will impact their palates for the long term. You will also notice that they will be putting anything they can get their tiny hands-on straight into their mouths, so be careful what you leave in reach.
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At eight months old, babies develop an insatiable curiosity. Your kiddo will have a much greater awareness about the environment and want to explore everything in sight rapidly. Your baby will also have more understanding of parental figures and strangers. This is the age when a baby might get upset around strangers or cry when a parent leaves the room.
Crawling is another significant milestone that occurs around eight or nine months of a baby's life. There is a LOT of teething going on, so you might find that your freezer contains more toys in it than food.
By nine months old, babies have a very high interest in touching, hearing, and seeing things in the world around them. Curiosity is at an all-time high! While it will leave a mess to clean up, it is essential to let your learning baby start to feed himself. It is an excellent practice for fine-motor skills. Teaching your baby to use some sign-language at this stage will help significantly in his ability to communicate needs with you.
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At ten months, many babies are learning to stand (and fall) all by themselves! These can be very proud and entertaining moments for parents to watch. Separation anxiety is also quite common in this stage of life, and allowing your baby to leave your sight for short amounts of time can be very healthy in alleviating it. One cool development is that your baby will begin understanding that just because you leave a room doesn't mean you are gone forever during this stage.
When months 11 and 12 rolls around, be ready to hear your first real word from your baby. This is a huge milestone and source of joy for any parent. Trust me- you will always remember the first word uttered from your baby's mouth. You should also prepare for your baby to experience the first real steps. This accomplishment can be a blessing and a curse. You will soon be struggling to keep up with your baby's high energy and desire to run and explore everything.
Before you know it, they'll be ready to move from the crib to toddler bed in no time!
By the time your baby's very first birthday rolls around, you will have so many ups and downs, priceless memories, and joyous moments under your belt. Raising a baby is unmatched by any other life experience and can genuinely seem like a roller coaster at times. Through the ups, downs, sleepless nights, tears of joy, and tears of pure exhaustion that come along with parenthood, you will be experiencing moments that you will cherish for a lifetime. One day, your baby will be all grown up, and you will be wondering where all that time slipped away to.
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