I’ve heard of new Moms so eager to get a photo of their baby’s first moments that they nearly missed them. Every day of a baby’s first year brings something new—so enjoy those baby first-year milestones by experiencing them, even if you miss the photo opp. Remember—you can always write about these memories or save mementos such as a blanket or toy, but you can’t live through that moment with your baby ever again.
First Real Smile
In those first few weeks, it seems like most of a baby’s facial expressions have to do with gas or pooping! There will come a moment, probably around two months, when, in the middle of some ordinary activity, your baby will respond to you with a genuine smile. “That’s my Mom and she’s talking to ME!”
When and how you give your baby their first bath is something you’ll prepare for by discussing it with your pediatrician or nurse practitioner. Once you have it all figured out, and you’re confident you can get it done safely, you’ll experience your baby’s response to warm water and gentle sponging. Some baby’s love it, while others are confused and fussy. Whatever the reaction, the first bath is the start of a regular ritual and a special time to share with your baby.
Along with smiling, that first wave “bye-bye” to Grandma is the beginning of real communication. Your baby is showing they have learned that some gestures have meaning and that when they make those gestures, people respond in turn. That back-and-forth is a fundamental skill of conversation.
Saying Their First Word
You want it to be “Mama” or “Dada,” and often, it is. Even if your baby doesn’t say Mama until they are past their first birthday, they may say something else. Babies imitate sounds around them as part of making sense of their environment. You could get a surprise if the TV is playing kids’ shows for part of your baby’s day—I’ve heard of a baby whose first understandable “word” was “PBS!”
Rolling Over, Sitting Up, Cruising, and First Steps
Movement milestones are a lot of fun because the baby will keep doing it, and you’ll finally be able to get that video you’ve been hoping for. They’ll roll over, then progress to pushing up, sitting up, crawling, standing, and cruising, holding on to furniture. Don’t despair if you’re not there when that wobbly first step happens—your baby will love showing off their new skill as soon as you are there to witness it.
This is another baby’s first-year milestone to remember—the first spoonful of solid food. Social media is filled with hilarious reactions. But your baby’s reaction will be unique, and you might want to keep it in the family. One day, you could have a teenager on your hands who is none too pleased about their distant baby days lingering online!
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