Yesterday, my little baby turned 1 year old. I still wrapping my head around how fast this year has passed. There are 5 years difference between my kids, so a lot of this time almost felt "new" while other things were completely new as you guys no two children are the same, even if they are siblings.
It is just AMAZING how much babies grow up in their first year and the things their little bodies learn in such a short time!
Even the smallest things we do without thinking, and sometimes take for granted, babies have to learn, and being a part of your child's development is a great and memorable journey for any parent, even for guardians and teachers.
And in my experience, it is never too early to learn about babies, especially if you plan on making babies and children a part of your profession.
First Year of a Baby's Development
- Lifts Head for short time periods - Always so careful when you hold and pass on a baby to someone else to hold, and the fright they give you when they suddenly jerk their head backward or forwards!
- Move Face side to side and Focus on objects approximately 12 inches away - a heartwarming feeling when they focus on your face and you stare back at the most innocent and beautiful eyes :)
- Jerky arm movements bringing hands to face - Ever wondered if they get hurt knocking themselves like that? Sometimes I intervened but this is important for hand-eye coordination.
- Responds to bright lights and loud sounds - Even though this is a good thing, but when the neighbor's dog starts barking at night a tired mother can feel frustrated very fast.
- Making other noises other than crying - This is sooooo adorable when they start making vowel noises and "talking" in their own way. I think this is when parents start motivating them to say "mama" or "dada".
- Smiling - I kid you not, my baby smiled in his first month, I thought it was just winds but he did every time when he heard my voice or saw my face, but by the end of their second month you catch most babies giving you a brief smile, hold that camera ready, it may take a few tries ;)
- Tracking Objects - A very important part as well and something to exercise to prevent lazy eye and also keep that little mind curious to their surroundings.
- Lifting head above chest - Be sure to have lots of tummy time to strengthen their backs, neck, core and arms in preparation of crawling.
- Straightens legs while on back - They can make changing a diaper a trying task with all the kicking and straightening their legs, but hey, it's important they get to know their body and what it can do strengthening their muscles.
- Reaches and grasps objects - Dangling toys in the stroller or cot, why wouldn't they want to inspect these fun objects! This is where they really start learning hand-eye coordination and why playtime is important.
- Tracking - They start to recognize your voice or face even from a distance and follow you as you move across the room.
- Keeping head up high - By this time they should be able to keep their head up by themselves, still be cautious for sudden movements to prevent injury but otherwise they are good.
- Little ball of energy - Don't you also just feel all giddy when they start kicking their legs out of pure excitement and happiness. Let them keep kicking, also essential for crawling, walking and swimming.
- Sleeping through the night - Ok, that is if you are lucky, or at least you will get 6 hours of sleep.
- Roll Over - Now is not the time to leave them alone on a bed anymore, my baby started pushing himself backward at this stage as well.
- Tasting - Not so much as tasting as everything goes to their mouths, I was lucky as my eldest went through this stage briefly, but now 1-year-old still takes everything to his mouth.
- Responds to surrounding - If it's colors, shapes, noises or faces, they are becoming more aware of everyday surroundings.
- Bubbling About - They can amuse themselves by giggling and bubbling to themselves....I so wish they can invent something to read a baby's mind, I am so very curious!
- Expressing Emotions - By this time you can start to understand your baby's cries more whether they are hungry, sad, frustrated or in pain.
- Feeding Time - They can see when they bottle is coming or know it's time for milk when they see your breasts, and honestly, some parents, like myself, start feeding first foods at this age as well, I did with both my boys and they are happy and healthy boys and it helped them sleep longer periods at night too as I only gave them Purity once a day at night.
- Teething - If your baby hasn't already, it is now time to start and look out for that first tooth. Be sure to keep some Panado or Calpol nearby. And Prodol worked like a bomb for me with both my kids as it numbs the aching gums.
- Cause and Effect - Starting to notice your baby dropping their bottle or toys and looking at you to pick it up, they can make a whole game of this, but let them tap into their science side and experiment.
- Sitting like a boss - Little support is needed and they keep their heads up and look around without losing balance so quickly.
- Laughter - By now you might have gotten your baby to laugh at your silly faces or tickling them, nothing so sweet as when your house fills with the laughter of a child.
- Two Syllables - They are making more sounds and can throw some consonants into the mix. When your little one starts to bubble, turn your attention to them and join the conversation. This will help them open up and motivate them to keep practicing their speech.
- Rolling - By this time they can roll over and back again, and you can start motivating them to want to go forward.
- Drinking - Now you can start helping your little one to drink from a cup and start introducing a sippy cup. (Remember to keep their teeth clean and don't let them go to bed with juice.)
- Finger Foods - When your baby started teething, you might have given them a few teething biscuits to chew on, now you can give them some other finger foods they can eat themselves...make sure it is cut to size and never leave baby unattended.
- Blowing Bubbles - Nope, not talking about store bought bubbles, I am talking about your baby making new sounds since they are almost always drooling. You can never have too many bibs!
- Tone of voice - Not only can you distinguish your baby's cries, but now your baby can hear when you are happy, angry and sad and they react to it...try fake crying, they will start crying too. NEVER ARGUE IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN!!
- Peek-a-boo - Your baby loves staring at you and follows you around, but a game of peek-a-boo never grows old and now is the time to get some laughs from you baby by introducing a new game for play time.
- Calling them by Name - By now your baby responds to when you call out their name and Babbles enthusiastically when you are having a "conversation."
- Crawling - Goes into crawling position or at least does an army-like crawl like my baby did..HAHA!
- Takes Feeding Spoon - Give them an extra spoon to join in and encourage them to feed themselves, notice how they turn their heads away now when they are full?
- Separation Anxiety - Now is the time when you need to slip away in a ninja-like fashion as they don't like being taken away from their parents.
- Notice Missing Objects - Don't take something away without replacing the object.
- Tummy to Sitting - This is a good sign that they will crawl soon too.
- Mirror Reflection - They start to understand that it's their own reflection
- Tiny Objects - With them crawling soon, now it's time to keep a watchful eye out for small objects laying about as they start to master picking up the tiniest object and yes, they still chew on eve-ry-thing!
- Moving object from hand to hand
- Pulling up & Standing while holding on - now is the time to check that they don't fall over. And you can start holding their hands and help them walk around so they can start getting the hang of walking.
- Ma-ma & Da-da - Don't freak out and scare them, but enjoy the moment when they first start to utter those words!!
- Crawling - By now they are crawling all over the place and exploring every cupboard and room on their terms.
- Understands "No" - Don't feel bad saying no, they need to learn they can't always get what they want and sometimes it's to protect them.
- Clapping Hands - All those hand-clapping songs and rhymes have paid off and they love clapping their own little hands and looking to see what your reaction will be.
- 2 Naps a day - They may be short, but they are necessary for a growing and busy baby to relax their little bodies and minds.
- Shakes Head "no"
- Walk without much help
- Fearful of Strangers - This is a good thing in today's world.
- Pulls hat and socks off. - Goodluck keeping them warm, they make it challenging!
- Tests Parents - Remember saying no is good, well, they start testing your limits and your responses to their reactions, now is the time to practice your patience.
- Know what they want - They start to push away what they don't want and cries when they can't get something.
- Dancing - Once they have walking under foot, they may start to dance to the rhythm of music.
- Interest in books - If they haven't already, this is the time their interest may peak and they start to flip through the pages a little more carefully.
A child will learn and grow more in the first 12 months of their life than any other time growing up.
Fun Facts about Babies
- There is so much more milestones to list, I tried keeping it short
- There are 4 babies born every second
- 1 in every 3 infants has a birth mark.
- Babies double their birth weight in 5 months
- Newborn's head account for 25% of their weight
- After birth, the human brain grows rapidly, more than doubling to reach 60 percent of its adult size by baby’s first birthday.
- Babies have around 10,000 taste buds while the adult has only about 5000.
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