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Baby’s First Year – What to Expect

You've been anxiously waiting for the arrival of your new-born baby for the last 9 months. Watching your new baby grow and change is one of the most exciting times in your lifelife - and truly makes one aware of the miracle that life is!

As a new Mom, you are probably wondering about many things:

  • how will he react to his new surroundings?
  • when will she sleep for more than 2 hours?
  • what can I expect in the following year?
  • an so many other questions.....

Each baby is different. Your baby's rate of growth, appearance, and personality, will all be unique to him or her. As you embark on this journey with your new baby, take time to enjoy their presence in your life.

Here are some of the milestones to watch for in the first year of your baby's development:

Newborn stage

You have just brought your baby home from the hospital to his or her newly decorated nursery, and we are sure you are very excited. In these early days, your baby may have a pointy head from the delivery process, or jaundice – yellow eyes and skin tone. These things are perfectly normal, and should go away in a few days. It is important to cuddle and love your child as much as possible now, as this is when mother/child bonding begins. Breast-feeding is very important to your child's health both now and in later years. Newborn babies often sleep 10-12 hours per day, but will wake every 4 hours or so for feeding.

From 1 – 3 Months

Babies will begin moving more, discovering their hands, and making little sounds. They will smile now, and follow the sound of your voice as you move through their room. Babies love seeing their faces in a mirror now, and the addition of a brightly colored, "baby-safe" mobile in their cribs will provide them with great entertainment and stimulation. Babies can now lift their heads, move them from side-to-side, and focus on objects that are 8"-12" away.

From 3-6 months

This is one of the most exciting times in your baby's growth; many changes appear in this period. At the end of the third month, your baby will be opening and closing his little hands, holding his head up with control, reaching more and more for objects, and imitating sounds. In the fourth month, he can usually sit up with some help and is probably sleeping six hours at a stretch. It will become clearer that he or she recognizes familiar faces, and will coo and show how happy he is to see you when you enter the nursery! In the fifth and sixth months, your baby will be rolling over, making two syllable sounds and drinking from a cup. You will also be introducing solid baby foods at this time. Now is the time to baby proof the house, as your baby may be crawling during this period as well.

From 6-9 months

During this high growth period, many babies say their first words. Even if they don't yet start talking, most begin enthusiastically babbling to themselves and develop a much wider range of facial expressions at this age. He or she will have developed specific cries for specific needs now, and will react differently to different family members. Babies in the seventh and eighth months will start to feed themselves basic finger foods, and will enjoy throwing food or dropping it on the floor to see what happens! A cuddly blanket or bear may become a favorite item now, and your baby may be stressed when separated from it. Baby will now sit unsupported too.

From 9-10 months

During this month, baby will reach for toys, try to grab the spoon during feedings, and in general, become quite a bit more active. He or she will be waving goodbye to the delight of the grandparents, will be able to pick up things using opposable thumbs, and will also start to look for things that have been dropped, like favorite toys. She will also be able to move from crawling to a sitting position, and will be quite mobile!

From 11-12 months

Baby is much more curious now, and responds well to new sounds, colors and shapes. Story time is much appreciated, and he or she will enjoy cuddling on your lab while being read to. Babies now understand and can mimic simple gestures, and can say simple words. Before turning one,your baby should enjoy stacking objects, and filling and emptying containers. Short play sessions with other children are a good idea now, and can teach baby a great deal about sharing and other social skills.

Babies are a wonderful reminder of how precious life is! Enjoy your child's first year of life – it will go by quickly.

Submitted by:

Adriana Copaceanu

Adriana Copaceanu is a work at home mom of 2, and the publisher of Baby's First Year Companion http://www.babys-first-year.com, an online resource for new parents.





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