You may not be able to predict the future, but there is one thing you can count on: babies are surprising. Here are some ways your baby will surprise you during the first year.
1. Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year
Your child’s first birthday is just the beginning of great things to come. Enjoy your baby’s sweet innocence and endless curiosity as they learn and grow during their first year with a guide to what they might do, how fast they will grow, and when. Baby’s First Year collection is a complete overview of everything new parents should expect during their new baby’s first 12 months. From what to look forward to each month, to how to make the most of your baby’s milestones, we have got you covered.
2. When your Baby Smile
Of course, it is a little hard to recognize a true smile when your baby is just a few weeks old. You might have seen one or two fleeting smiles or “gas” smiles – but do not worry, they will start coming more often now. Your baby’s smile will look more like the smile you see on friends’ faces or in pictures – a “real” smile! By about 2 months of age, your baby will begin to develop the ability to smile in response to sights and sounds that make you happy. The sound of your voice or the sight of your face can cause that irresistible grin.
3. Your Baby’s Laughs
Taking baby steps, playing peek-a-boo, and seeing his expressions change as you make funny faces are great fun for your baby. Before long, he will laugh aloud at the antics that make him giggle so much. All babies smile at times, but laughter is something special. You will soon feel like the luckiest person on earth when your baby laughs with delight at your silly faces or while you play peek-a-boo. You may also find that you are tickling your baby’s funny bone every day as she reaches out to touch and grab all the things that seem to fascinate her little mind.
4. Is your Sleep All Night?
Sleep? You cannot live without it. By this age, your child starts to figure out what a night of sleep means. Suddenly, his/her world is no longer centered on their needs and the hours between 6 p.m. and midnight make all the difference in whether or not parents can enjoy a full night’s rest themselves. For parents with brats under the age of 2, things can seem grim. You are lucky if your child sleeps four hours at a stretch. But do not give up hope before you try these tips. Most children will begin sleeping through the night at some point between 12 and 18 months old. The irony—and that is what it is to a sleep-deprived parent—is that this milestone often coincides with when parents finally figure out how to deal with their children’s bedtime struggles in a constructive manner.
5. Sits Up
How different the world looks when you are not stuck on your belly! 4-6 months is a great time for your baby to sleep all night. Your baby may still wake up to eat, but the amount of time awake decreases from 3 hours at 4 months to 1 hour by 6 months. The amount of time spent in deep sleep also increases from 40 minutes at 4 months to over an hour by 6 months. Around 5 or 6 months, most babies can sit up with support — either by resting on their hands in front of them or by leaning on pillows or furniture. Babies can usually sit alone steadily by 7-9 months.
6. Time When Your Baby Starts Crawling
You will soon have your hands (and most of your house) full when your baby starts crawling. Although all babies start to crawl at about 8 months, not all babies do it successfully. Some try to move around by simply scooting their bottoms along the floor like a little inchworm, or doing a bear crawl. They may not achieve the classic hands and knees style of crawling that you see in some infants, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy this new phase in your baby’s development. Crawling is fun for babies, who use it to explore their world and get around with ease. This milestone is an important part of your baby’s growth as he begins to exercise more body control and explore the environment around him.
7. Is your Baby Waving Bye-Bye’?
Your baby is learning to use language to develop independence, interact with others, and convey emotions. During this stage, your baby will learn how to wave “bye-bye” and express goodbyes with gestures such as a kiss — which will make leaving you or saying goodbye to a new friend much easier. It is important to encourage linguistic development in young children, and while “Where’s Daddy?” or “Please open the door” may not come as early as “bye-bye,” do not be surprised if your one-year-old says something like those phrases soon.
8. Start Giving Your Baby Finger Food
As your baby turns one year old, there are a few major developmental milestones you can expect to see. Babies at this age will start eating finger foods with the help of a spoon or utensil. They have got better control over their hands and fingers, so they will be able to pick up small objects and put them in their mouths. Environment safety is also important because your baby can explore tastes and textures with his/her mouth.
Introducing finger foods is a milestone for your child. Finger foods make it easier for your child to feed herself and provide exciting new tastes and textures that she will enjoy exploring with her mouth. However, if you are going to introduce finger foods, it helps to follow some basic safety steps that can help prevent choking hazards: Prepare finger food by trimming off any small pieces or hard parts, such as crusts, that can choke or pose a choking hazard. Offer only finger foods that your child can completely bite off. Sit down and supervise your child while she is eating, no matter how old she is.
9. When Your Baby Starts Balancing Themselves
Your baby is becoming more active. He is now using his sense of balance to stand when someone holds onto his hands and feet. He also tries to touch high objects by stretching and reaching, then falling forward without letting go of the table or chair. This kind of movement helps him tune up the muscles needed for walking. Soon your child will figure out that he can move everywhere if he lets go with one hand while holding onto furniture or objects, then reaches a little higher with that hand than he did before. This skill is called “cruising.” Soon enough, your baby will be cruising or walking all around the house—and you will never be able to find him!
10. Start Taking a Little Step
Taking a step is the most important milestone in motor development. It is the first of many ways that children begin to master their relationship with the world. By one year, most babies are taking daily steps with more advanced coordination and more intentional movement just around the corner. At 15 months, some children are using all four limbs when they walk. Others use only one hand and one foot on occasion, but all babies can move themselves from place to place with a variety of traveling techniques.
You will know it when you see it. After 1 year of age, most babies begin to walk alone, but it can be hard to tell when you will start to walk. The most important thing to remember is that there is no need to wait for walking just because your baby is not doing it yet. Tons of kids take their first steps in the middle of the second year or later, and if they are steady on their feet and able to stand, they are perfectly normal.
11. Says Their First Word
Now that your baby has reached the one-year mark, you can officially begin to say your child is talking. Babies at this stage of development know-how to name objects and can often use simple two-word combinations. The one-year-old may not understand what he or she is saying, but the practice will come in handy later in the form of better vocabulary and cognitive skills. A baby’s vocabulary begins to grow exponentially at about 12 months. To help your baby communicate with you, it’s important to add variety to his or her speech and language routine. Babies love to hear familiar voices and experiment with different sounds. At age one, your baby may use a single word to ask for something she wants or needs, like “juice, water, and milk.
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