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Child care: First year milestones

Baby Care By Esther Muchene
Your toddler will start to sit up without falling over and with time, be able to sit up on their own (Photo: Shutterstock)

The joys of parenting are like no other. Those first 12 precious months are a crucial part of your little one’s development and it’s exciting to see how far you have come. If you’re a first-time mom or dad, you’ll more than likely spend your time being camera ready to capture those moments as you gaze in amazement.

Even when you’ve had kids previously, you will realize that every child has something special about them as they grow older.

First year milestones can vary, but this is a general list of what to expect.

  1. Emotional response

Your baby will start being aware of their surroundings and display different responses to the changes they experience. For example, if you leave, they’ll cry for a while, maybe even until you return. They will smile at you when they are excited or happy and you might even get a peek at their personality.

  1. Neck and back support

Their muscles will become stronger within the first few months and their heads won’t bobble all over the place. They will also start to sit up without falling over and with time, be able to sit up on their own without any back support.

  1. Coordination skills

They will start grasping anything and everything when their hand muscles become stronger. They might throw things around and better be careful because pulling your hair while you carry them will become a form of entertainment now.

  1. Full night of sleep

Finally, those nights of waking up to feed or to soothe a fuss will be over. You can breathe a sigh of relief because your baby will be able to sleep through the night, or for most of the night, as they transition.

  1. Teething

This is a tough season for them and they might fuss for a while because of the discomfort. They will want to put everything chewable in their mouth to ease the pain so it’s best to find them some teething toys.

They will also start growing a few teeth (Photo: Shutterstock)
  1. Crawling and standing

They’ve been rolling over their backs for a while but now, they’ve learnt how to crawl. Some babies actually zoom so fast as soon as they start crawling. The next step is to stand, but with support.

  1. First words

There’s nothing more exciting for parents like their baby’s first words. It’s an emotional experience when you hear them say ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ for the first time. At this point they also recognize their names and show some form of response when called.

  1. First steps

Another beautiful milestone is their first steps. You will get to see them make their first few attempts at walking without any support. Slowly they will make progress until they can manage to take more than five steps without falling.

  1. Diet changes

They will still breastfeed but now they can eat some puree and finger foods comfortably. This is where you do allergy tests to see what they can and can’t eat.

  1. They will grow really fast

Every parent realizes how fast their baby has grown over these few months. It was just yesterday when they came into the world and now they’ve undergone a growth spurt. You might find yourself crying on their very first birthday.

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