You’re a new parent, which means you get to watch your child speak their first words, take their first steps, head off to school one day, drive a car one day, perhaps even marry one day.
There’s a long, bumpy, exhilarating road ahead of you, so pack your bags, because you’re going on an adventure.
Here are a few major milestones you can expect to pass along the way…
At 3 months
After three month of learning to get by on less sleep than usual and change a nappy with your eyes shut (don’t actually do this), you can expect to start seeing some development in your newborn.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests this will include:
- A little social smile
- Babbling and imitating sounds
- Hand clasping and shaking toys
Baby should also start to raise their chest and head when lying on their stomach, will start to watch you intensely and will begin to recognise people and objects at a distance. And when you place your baby on a hard, flat surface, he or she will start to use their legs to push at the ground, a little bit like standing.
At 6 months
You’ve made it half a year! You’re starting to see a lot more development, and you’ll all be learning more and more about each other by the day.
Australian parenting website Raising Children expects that at around this time your baby may be:
- Responding to his or her name
- Learning to love the sound of music (will they like mummy or daddy’s tastes better?)
- Starting to let you know when he or she is full by turning away or waving a tiny hand at you
Look out for rascally commando crawlers, as some tots will start to make their own way about the house at this time.
At 9 months
This is when things really start to get exciting. Your baby is really growing before your eyes, and each day can bring something new.
Victoria’s Better Health Channel highlights some of the cheek-squeezingly cute milestones you can look out for. At this point, babies don’t realise that just because they can’t see you, it doesn’t mean you can’t see them. Take this opportunity to play endless rounds of the most adorable games of peek-a-boo ever. They might start saying very basic words (or noises to anyone who didn’t give birth to them) such as mum-mum or da-da, and start to recognise words and music.
They will soon be able to pick things up, clap their hands or copy movements such as waving, and you’ll definitely need to babyproof your house, as they will be crawling all over the place.
At 12 months
By the time you are planning your very first birthday party and wondering where the year went, you’ll be able to look down on your little cherub and spot some of these milestones.
At 12 months, it’s likely your baby is about three times as heavy as he or she was at birth, according to Nutrition Australia, making it the fastest episode of growth in a human’s life. The Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority says you will start to see the ability to:
- Walk after 12 months
- Crawl up steps
- Roll a ball
- Turn pages in a book
They will be able to recognise themselves in a mirror, understand a few basic words and mimic more. They will be curious and somewhat more cooperative, although can lose patience quickly when tired.
Remember that all little ones develop at different rates, so just capture as much as you can and enjoy this precious time either way.
What’s the baby milestone you’re most looking forward to?
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