It is a beautiful experience to watch children grow from newborns to toddlers, especially for a first time parent. Although the ability of newborns to hit new milestones varies; there are those who will be fast in growth and learning while others will be slow to achieve the same milestones. We think you will agree it is crucial for first-time parents to understand the major stages in a baby’s development; if you are a first-time mother, there is plenty of information that will help you not to panic in the first weeks of the baby’s life.
What to expect in the first week of your baby’s life.
It can be difficult for a first time parent to know what to expect in the first week of their babies life. Here are some of the things you should be looking for.
• First-week Development
In the first week your baby will look wrinkled and squash, this is due to the womb environment the baby was nurtured in, not to mention the squeezing of the birth canal. Your baby’s skull is going to maintain the whitish/yellow color as though peeling. Their legs and arms are going to keep the same position as though they are still resting in the womb.
If you notice your baby is fussy try to swaddle them to create a feeling similar to the womb. Some of the baby’s cognitive function is already developing such as breathing, feeding, pottying and sleeping; this is key and if you notice any problem, it is important to take your baby to the hospital.
• How Long Do Infants Sleep?
As a first time parent it is normal to wonder if your infant is sleeping too much or too little. Infants sleep irregularly for a total of between 16 to 17 hours a day. They may sleep for intervals of 3-4 hours and then wake up for feedings.
• How Much Do Infants Eat
For those who decide to breastfeed their little ones, usually, they will need less milk than those on formula. For those who are using formula feed, consult your physician to determine a proper feeding schedule. Each baby has his or her own nutritional needs.
• What will tells a mother the amount of milk the child receives from breastfeeding. How will you know that the infant is receiving enough milk?
Look for the following signs; the intensity of the breast reduces and softens, the liquid is coming out on its own, the baby settles and seems fed after the feed, their stool becomes yellowish and soft but not dark and lastly, they wet their nappies often, every few hours. The length they feed depends on the amount of milk in each breast and how much the baby wants the food.
If you’re interested in breastfeeding please check out our Best Breast Pump Guide And Top 10
• How Often They Poo And Its Color
Newborns may excrete up to ten times and wet up to seven times a day; this means they are getting enough feeding. If you notice a swollen abdomen, ensure you take your baby to the doctor. The color of the stool in the first week is usually thick and dark green due to meconium that forms during pregnancy. Therefore as the baby gets older, the color should be fading.
• What The Mothers Of One-Week-Old Babies Should Be Aware Of
The first week is all about breastfeeding and swaddling the child. After about two days you may experience a change in your emotions, this is okay as it is a result of the hormonal activity that causes the production of milk, ensure that you relax. One important thing you should know is that the baby blues will disappear when your hormones calm down. If you continue to feel the same things even after a couple of weeks it may be a sign of postnatal depression; you should seek assistance.
• Common Problems for One-Week-Old Infants
In the milestones of the baby, there are common problems experienced in the first week they include; Constipation, you will know if you notice that the child has discomfort and cries when excreting or dry hard poop.
Hiccups are a typical experience for the baby, but unlike for the adult, to the baby’s it is soft they can even sleep during hiccups. If you want to help, you can burp the baby.
You may also notice a crossed eye; this is very normal and it is because the infant is learning to focus and also due to the skin on the eyelid which often disappears after one year.
Peeling of the skin is usual and normal; the baby will start to shed the surface due to the removal of the vernix which previously covered him in the womb.
Most newborns are fussy; they are uncomfortable because they are adapting to life outside the womb.
Eye discharge is also healthy due to the accumulation of tears in the eye.
• How To Dress A Newborn
Dressing a newborn is a hassle because they have tiny body parts and are always in constant movement; additionally, the little one hates to dressing. It is vital you let everything to be simple, put the clothes that are breathable for them to feel comfortable. Start with body suits which go over the head, ensure that it can stretch without too much struggle. Be gentle and patients and where need, be more firm because most infants clinch their fists. Add footies and then layers like cardigans with snaps. You can add an accessory like soft skull caps, socks or mittens it all depends on the season or weather. Top up with a baby blanket.
6-12 Months Infants’ Milestones
For six months taking care of the baby becomes more enjoyable because they are already grown up and they familiarize with a lot of things around. During this time you will realize the baby is fond of smiling and acknowledges their siblings. We will highlight the most obvious observable behaviors.
How To Start Weaning Your Baby
Weaning is the process of introducing the child to solid food. But how do you know if he/she is ready for the process? Check the following;
• You should notice a significant change in your baby’s appetite in that they are getting hungry even after a feeding.
• Should be able to sit in a highchair easily when supported.
• You may notice that they are coordinating the eyes, hands, and mouth when they grab something they take it directly to the mouth.
• They get interested in the food that you eat; they will try to reach for whatever it is you are eating.
• They have developed the ability to swallow food you will realize this if you see that the child’s tongue is rolling the food to the back of the mouth and takes it.
• Ability to hold the head upright, check if they can comfortably move their head from side to side.
Remember that the baby is trying new tastes and food texture; hence what you should be doing is experimentation for you to be able to know what they enjoy. Babies are usually astonished and delighted to have a new taste of food other than the milk. If you want to start this do it when they are awake and alert, ensure that you have plenty of time so that you are not distracted. The first time it might be a mess because they are learning to push food down the throat, they may also push the food out but by mistake.
Picking the right food is essential, try to sweeten the food for them to enjoy the taste. You can mash sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables such as apple, well ripe mashed banana will offer great taste. To create the interest prepares food that the baby can pick like pieces of avocado. You can teach them eating skills like opening the mouth wide; you can do this by ensuring that you open your mouth wide to show them that when eating they should do the same, with time you will notice the baby has captured the skill.
Cutting Down The Milk
When you start the weaning process, you still need to feed the baby the same amount of breast milk or the formula one. Do that before you add solid food to their bellies, you can start with one meal per day. When you feed the baby the milk after a meal you will notice that they are taking less this means that they are cutting down the consumption.
You will also notice that the night feed is slowly decreasing and transfers to new feeding time like six in the morning. To some, the process may occur a little bit late, however, ensure that you start to control the night feed so that they don’t depend on it and avoid the food.
When you begin to give the child two meal courses in a day, they may refuse milk after the feed. From at least nine months you can drop the morning milk and advance to giving them breakfast the first thing when they wake up. You will offer the milk-feed much later after the meal.
Rolling, Crawling, And Standing
The above is the phase for the development of motor skills, the child’s urge to move and explore gradually increases. They will also be able to sit alone, at first they will use their hand to find support from furniture or anything she can hold and later when the babies can support their weight fully and have become confident they will let go the need for assistance.
Movement of the little ones may vary some may opt to commando crawl; others may prefer to shuffle using their bottoms and others may roll using their tummy’s and they move around the house by sliding their stomachs to push it against the floor. Whatever method your child uses to move is okay. Those infants who mostly tummy-travel will develop strong hands and legs. Some may also skip the crawling process.
At this age, the baby will pick anything that he/she comes along with it and try to put it in their mouth.
Babies are also fond of tearing books, moving things from one hand to the other and may even try to open cabinets. It is significant for the mother to keep an eye on the baby to avoid instances where the baby may swallow something dangerous. It is essential to watch them because they may roll to things that may to have strong support and thus risk the occurrence of accidents where the baby will get hit or slide where there is water.
You find that your baby sleeps on his tummy, let him be, encourage her to have more of tummy time. To promote this behavior, you can entice him with toys to reach to, repeat the process. If you want them to be proud of what they are doing ensure that you give plenty of praise as he rolls; he gets delighted at his new skill.
Development Of Communication Skills, The First Words
At six months the baby hears and sees almost everything; they can pass their wishes and grievances by crying, smiling, shouting, wriggling, bubbling, facial expression and use of gestures. Most of them can repeat a syllable like a Ba! Ma! Da! And more. You can teach them to add different syllables or vowels to make the sound of words. You can count stairs when climbing, never forget that for the baby to thoroughly learn you need to repeat the words over and over.
Respond to your baby’s communication by either nodding to whatever it is they are trying to say or pointing to objects and naming them and reconnecting the words is a great way to enhance their way of communicating. The process enhancement is by the growth of teeth. Between 6-8 months the baby’s first teeth will appear.
Your Baby Becoming Emotional
As the baby is advancing in their communication skills, they also grow emotionally. You may notice that they will express on things like refusing some food while preferring others. Most of them develop anxiety when close or around strangers; after ten months the baby has defined the relatives and people they can closely associate, they hence become guarded and cautious to people they are not found seeing.
Also, they will have a touch-feel, they get amused by touching different textures, touching water, feeling the tap running water, some will enjoy moving and crawling in the grass while others may not like the grass feel. A sense of touch will help to spin their curiosity and attention.
Games Babies Enjoy
The baby is very active and curious to learn new things. You can make the moment enjoyable by introducing games that they can participate. Turn-taking games are the best in helping the baby develop a better way of communicating and making the sound of syllables. You can make sounds, talk or sing. Let your baby led and you follow by mimicking his noises.
Another common baby game is to make animal noises and name the animal you are referring to example the dog woof! Woof! And the cat meow! Teach them to produce the sounds of these animals; it is an excellent idea if you have these pets in your house.
Another game you can play with your little one if the great fall; lie on a soft rug and then place the baby on your tummy and support them as you fold your knee, sway them side to side and recite; ‘‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.’’ When you say fall, place him to the rug. He will love the surprise and love the nursery rhyme.
Most babies will sleep for at least six to eight hours after six months. Most of them have disrupted sleeping patterns. You may realize that he/she wakes up at night they cry because you are not with them in the room. If you want to create confidence in them, put them on the bed while they are still drowsy and encourage them to go to sleep on their own. It will ease the anxiety even when she wakes up at night. Also because your baby can roll, you may put them to sleep on their back but realize that she will wake up on her tummy.
The baby has already developed most of the senses including the touch feeling and color vision. You will realize that they will identify something at a distance; they will recognize things and people across the room. Amazingly they follow and track stuff around the house.
Development Of Social Skills
You will observe that sometime if you or a relative they have met before smiles or laugh they will also reciprocate the facial expression to your amazement they may even laugh louder out of something that doesn’t amaze. Also, they will tend to enjoy the company of other toddlers or children more than adults. Some can make imitations. They can easily imitate the behaviors of the older siblings or the parents.
Conclusion On Baby Milestones
Most of the above milestones from birth are similar to most kids, however not all will follow the same growth procedures. The other will be quick to reach specific development while others slow, hence ensure that you understand your baby and not compare everything to those of other people or your elder siblings. The baby’s milestone of growth and development gives their parents a lifetime experience of parenting