By the time you discovered that there is another human life inside you, what were your first thoughts? Is it the challenging pregnancy phase? Is it the hardship and pain of delivering the child? Or is it the life after you successfully welcome your little one into this world? Raising a baby comes along with never-ending questions of hows and whats and why’s. Keeping track on your baby’s milestones during his first 12 months will not only give you fun experience, but it would also give you a list to tick on, a wider idea as to what could possibly happen on his monthly development.
Let’s go ahead and discuss everything that your baby would possibly undergo, the things he would experience, the development and growth he will soon have and its timely occurance on monthly basis.
•Newborn to 1 month old
Welcome to motherhood! From the time your little one was born, he will be experiencing so much adjustments to the new environment he is in. Crying would be his only means for communication when he’s hungry, in pain, or when he needs/wants something. He needs full support since his body and muscles don’t have enough strength just yet to support himself. Hearing is fully developed as the baby reaches 1 month old, he can only see objects that are about 8-12 inches away. The only food you can give him is milk (breastmilk or formula milk). He tends to respond to sounds he could hear. Eating, sleeping and pooping are his top activities.
• 2 months old
As the baby reaches 2 months old, he becomes much more aware and familiar of his environment. He can now recognize familiar voices of people around him. He attempts to lift head for few seconds. He also starts to lift shoulders when he is on his tummy. He still needs your support though. He is now familiar with mommy’s voice and face.
• 3 months old
Babies who are 3 months of age can start making eye contacts when you talk to them. Their main source of food is still milk. They start making gestures through hands, and constantly brings hand to face in attempt to suck the fingers and fist. They can now lift head steadily for longer time. Their eyes can look and follow the objects that are moving around them. They start laughing and smiling. Constantly naps during day time.
• 4 months old
Brace your self momma! As the baby reaches 4 months old, things could get a little bit challenging for you both as he begins teething. He could get fussy at times and change moods easily, he may not like feeding also since he is experiencing discomfort in his gums, but he will sure get through it. He starts learning how to roll on his tummy, sideways, to his back and vise versa. At this age, he also starts grabbing and grasping things with his little fingers. He coos during conversations and tends to communicate by babbling. His legs can now bear his weight but he still needs full assistance.
• 5 months old
His main source of food is still through his milk. He starts to mimic sounds at this age. He can fully recognize his mother and imediate guardians. He can now see in bold colors. He loves to listen to mommy’s voice. He squeals when delighted and smiles to people around him. He could start playing toys (that are safe for his age) and he pays more attention to things around him.
• 6 months old
Halfway through the year, yey! Congratulations, from being exclusively milk-fed, your baby can now be introduced to solid food such as puree of fresh fruits and vegetables. He can now lean forward and sit with little assistance. He has mastered rolling over. He can now push his arms and support shoulders when laying on his tummy, almost ready to crawl. He’s also likely to respond to sounds and voices around him. Laughs and giggles even more.
• 7 months old
By 7 months of age, babies may have erupted teeth already. They kept babbling and imitates sounds. He can now bear his weight on his legs when carried and held upright and with assistance. Starts sitting on his own. Plays simple games like peek-a-boo. He becames more fond of playing with his toys especially those in full colors. You can now introduce other foods aside from puree, you can try giving him chunks and bits of food he can munch on.
• 8 months old
Your baby may now start leaning over and try crawling. He is now much more active during day time and usually takes 2-3 naps all through the day. He can now recognize and respond when called by his name. Your baby enjoys exploring things and loves to hold and touch different textures such as running water, grains of rice. He may now have mastered holding things at hand, passing it between his hands and picks up things around him. He becomes more playful and alert.
• 9 months old
Now this will make you happy. Around this age, babies start combining syllables already and may start saying simple words like “Mama, Dada”. He can now steadily stand by himself and recognizes self in front of the mirror. Knows hand gestures like “bye2x, flying kiss”. He becomes more responsive and adaptive to the environment. He may have mastered crawling and attempts to stand up. He may have learned object permanence.
• 10 months old
At 10 months old, babies can usually feed themselves through fingers, can drink in sippie cups. He now stands and tries to walk while grasping on things around him for support. Can recognize everyday sounds and familiarize routines. Your baby may also start pointing at things by fingers and he can now follow simple commands and instructions. He also loves to mimic sounds and gestures made by people around him. From sitting by himself, he will now try to pull himself up to stand. May stary calling his parents “Mama and Dada” and responds when his name is called.
• 11 months old
As your baby nears to his 1st year of existence, he now stands more steadily and tries to walk, may take some baby steps. By now, he already learns few words aside from Mama and Dada. He can now play independently with toys of his prefferences. He responds more to repetitive sounds than the non-repetitive ones. He also learns how to look and listen at the same time. Starts to take simple commands.
• 12 months old
Horray! Happy birthday! On your child’s 12th month, we must have known how to make 2-3 baby steps. Eats more solid food but of course still drinks milk as it is his main source of energy and nutients. He may take 2 naps during the day. His brain has already doubles its size from the day he was born. His feet is now half on the size of his feet when he becomes adult. At this age, babies love to watch and listen so might as well take time to teach him things or read stories to him with colorful books that he may love.
It may have been 12 long months already but it sure feels like it was still yesterday that you have given birth to your precious little babe. Through the ups and downs, challenges and happiness, the parents should always keep in mind though that each baby is unique. Though there is an established guide for baby’s milestones, just because he doesn’t meet each category at the given time doesn’t mean something is wrong with him.
What you can do best for your baby is give him motivation and encouragements. Give him rewards and lots of hugs and love he deserve as he learn new things. Do not get mad at him each time he fails at things like spilling water from sippie cups, or when he gets too playful and just wont settle down. It may be tiresome but that is also one of the ways that your baby starts to explore things around him. Learning is a never-ending process and anyways, in his own time, he will eventually do and learn the things he is expected to. Do not give him too much pressureto do things right or start comparing him to other kids at his age. Instead, what you can do is make learning so much fun for him in a way that he will want more of it. Again, each baby is unique, don’t give him pressure to learn things at given time. Guidelines are just there as a guide (that’s why it’s called GUIDElines). Let your little one learn on his own and have fun! After all, they are only this little once, and when they learn the things they are supposed to learn, you will surely start missing the days when you could just stare at them as they try to roll over, or how amazingly they take their first baby steps. So, let your babies grow, and let your babies go!