Baby Milestonesby Lucy Payne
Every baby is different. Now that is a statement I’ve always known and always thought to be true but it wasn’t until becoming a mother that I realised how important it actually was. Once you’ve given birth to your little bundle of joy it’s not that long before they start progressing from newborn to a baby that’s actually getting about. Within the first year, you’ll experience many big milestones and see what your baby can achieve.
The milestones you’ll expect to see in the first year with your baby include; the first smile, first laugh, rolling over, sitting up, crawling and finally walking. Each one of these big milestones can come with a lot of changes to how you live life with your baby. As soon as your baby starts to roll over, everything can start to change. You have to be more aware of where you’re putting your baby down as they are more able to roll off things now, so there’s no more leaving them on a changing table or on the bed. As your baby moves through the milestones they gradually become more active and start to play more with toys and become more interactive.
Once your baby has learnt to roll over from front to back and then back to front they will really start building on their strength. Once your baby has learnt to roll over you may find that they manage to wriggle themselves around a fair bit and are getting nice and strong when playing with their toys. As your baby’s strength builds the next stages for them are sitting and crawling. There are many types of chairs available to help with your baby learning to sit as getting them in that position can help them to build up their core strength and they get used to what it feels like to be sat. As for crawling, lots of belly time is key and trying to get them motivated by trying to reach for toys helps. When your baby is learning to sit up, using pillows around them can be a good idea so that when they fall back they land on something soft and don’t knock their head as much. When your baby learns to crawl there will be a few more things you need to think about for your home that may have not been necessary until then. For example, a stair gate; definitely an important one for at the stairs but you may also have other rooms that you want to be closed off from the baby, like the kitchen especially if you have pets and their bowls would be in baby reaching distance. With a baby crawling around you have to think about whether or not it’s safe for them. Are there any sharp corners they could bang into? Are there plug sockets that need covering? Any small gaps they could get themselves into? Is there anything on the floor that you wouldn’t want them getting at? A crawling baby can mean a lot of changes in a house.
Once your baby had learnt to crawl the next stages would be them standing and walking. This stage can be difficult before your baby has mastered it because there will probably be many fall downs and unbalanced moments while they are practising. At first, your baby will try to stand up while holding on to pieces of furniture or to people and they will also try to climb up themselves from sitting down. As they slowly get stronger they will start to walk across while holding on to something, for example holding on to the sofa or table and walking along it or just by holding someone’s hands and trying to walk. As your little one becomes more steady on their feet they will find it easier to climb up and they won’t be needing to hold on to something quite as tightly and then may just use one hand. Once your little one has got enough strength and feels ready they will start to take their first steps and soon they will be properly walking.
It is so important to remember that every baby is different and their strengths vary. My little girl was so keen to roll over that she did it within the first few months because she wanted to get moving around a little more. As for sitting, we personally thought she was never going to sit really, she was just never interested and never found the need. She was so good at moving around by rolling over and shuffling herself along and she was quite happy playing with her toys whilst laying down. We realised that after a while she could sit if she actually wanted to but she would just throw her head back or try to stand up instead. She just wasn’t interested. It was when she learnt to crawl that she found the need to sit up and she decided that was when she would use her new skill. We are currently in the trying to walk stage and we’re getting so good.
Babies can be determined to do different things, so babies may be more interested in talking rather than walking and you could have a right chatterbox on your hands or you could have a little one like mine who just wants to get moving all the time. Either way, it doesn’t matter when other babies started doing things it just matters what’s right for your own baby. They will learn to do things in their own time when they feel ready and their body feels strong enough. So enjoy these milestones parents! The changes come quick.