A new baby brings so many new emotions for parents. You’ll probably feel excited, scared, overwhelmed and very happy – and you’re likely to be filled with questions. The key to all new parents is to not become a victim of your concerns about the unknown. There are many resources available to you as new parents that will help you navigate your way through your new role as parents. Of course, there is no time quite as filled with wonder and questions as your baby’s first year. This quickie guide will clue you in on what to expect from your baby over the next 12 months, so just sit back and love being a parent.
Before finding out what you can expect from the first 12 months of baby’s life, there is one rule to remember – expect the unexpected. All children are different and experience growth in a different way. Some babies may develop far beyond what is “typical” during their first 12 months of life, while others may develop less than the typical range. Replace the word “normal” in your mind with “average” and remember that there is no sentence to be carried out on landing a bit below or above the average range of experience. If your child develops rather slowly, you might want to run things by a doctor, but comfort yourself with knowing that the normal experience of developing within the first 12 months covers a wide range of experiences.
There are three things you would normally expect your child to achieve during the first 12 months of his life, according to experts. By the time they are 12 months old, your child will likely to be able to feed themselves small things to some extent. For some children this will mean picking up small pieces of food and placing them in the mouth, and for some children this will mean that they are able to use utensils to a small degree. Your child is likely to be trying to walk. For some children this will mean trying to pull themselves up using some furniture and move around while some other children will be steadier on their feet. The last big event you can expect within the first 12 months is a cognitive ability to recognize things, and relate them to other things. For instance, you child may be able to see someone with blonde hair and recognize that their sister has that same hair color.
Everything else that happens during the first year of your child’s life is leading up to these events. For example, by month three, your child will probably be able to push herself up on her elbows while lying on her stomach. By four months your baby will probably recognize your face and the faces of other people they see every day. By month five, your child will try to begin to crawl and will be able to hold their own cups. By month ten, your baby will become cautious about people they don’t know and they will begin to understand the meaning of the things you are saying by the tone of your voice. By month 11, your child will probably be crawling around with dizzying speed.
Any doctor will tell you that these are guidelines and not rules. Try not to mark your calendar according to where your child “should” be. They are where they are, and watching them make new discoveries is exciting no matter when it happens on the schedule. Your baby’s first year is as unique as your baby itself.