The curtains have fallen on yet another eventful year. One that was big for North Korea, India and your uterus. Especially your uterus. Undoubtedly, that’s where the most action happened. As the world around you clamours for pink, fresh-pressed notes and deliberates over political leaders, you have your hands full, with ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes.
As a new mommy, you’ve probably already set your sights on milestones that you’d like your baby to hit. Crawling, walking, talking. Not necessarily in that order. What you need to remember is that milestones aren’t specific dates; in fact, they’re broad windows that allow you to assess your child’s progress. You needn’t fret if your baby is lagging in one department. It’s likely that she will make up for it in another. It all evens out eventually.
Here are some milestones to look forward to in the coming year:
Progress from 1 to 3 months: In the first three months, your baby learns to discover life outside the womb. You’ll learn to enjoy the little things you took for granted, through your baby. Here’s what she will do in the first three months:
- She’ll smile: Your baby will learn how to smile early on. Soon, she’ll start responding to your smile and coo when she’s happy. Also, you’ll find yourself smiling more.
- She’ll raise her head: When you flip her on to her tummy, she’ll raise her head up and look at you. Her way of telling you that when you’re down, getting up is the only option.
- She’ll follow objects with her eyes: Your baby will learn to follow objects with her eyes by the three-month mark. Her eyes will also fall into an alignment and will move in unison.
- She’ll swipe at objects: Keep dangerous, dangling objects out of reach, because babies have a special affinity for anything within reach.
Progress from 4 to 6 months: By the time your infant is 4 months old, she has realised the true potential of her hands and her voice. She knows that if she yells long enough and tugs hard enough, she has you wound around her little finger. Smarter than you thought, huh? In addition to all that, here’s what your baby will be up to:
- She’ll roll over: Your baby will roll over on her own, normally from her front to her back when she’s between four and six months. At this point, it’s a good idea to flank both ends of your bed with pillows, so that your baby is well protected on both sides.
- She’ll laugh: This has to be the best milestone, ever.
- She’ll talk: No, not a language. But she’ll be gurgling and babbling, and sometimes, it can seem like a queer foreign language.
- She’ll hold objects: Watch your hair, or it’ll most likely be tugged a thousand ways. Your baby will start grabbing objects by the time she is four months old. Which also means long earrings and open hairdos aren’t practical anymore.
- She’ll sit up: If you support her, your baby will be able to sit up on her own.
Progress from 7 to 9 months: Ok, it’s time. Out with the baby-proofing gear. By now, your baby would have assumed the role of Superbaby, and will have you on your toes, trying to keep up. Here’s what you can expect:
- She’ll crawl: And how. Crawling here, could mean various things. Like scooting, where your baby moves around on her bottom, or army crawling, which means sailing forward on the tummy, with the arms and legs used as oars. Or, your baby may skip the crawling phase entirely, and move straight from scooting to walking.
- She’ll sit without support: It’s a good time to turn photographer!
- She’ll recognise certain words: You’ll notice that she responds to some words, and may even babble a few extra ones like ‘Mama’ or ‘Papa’. You might want to watch what you’re saying around her too, or you might be surprised by her vocabulary. Ha!
- She’ll stand with support: Give her something to lean on, and she’ll pull herself up.
Progress from 10 to 12 months: Your baby’s almost one! Aside from planning her first birthday, there’s lots more that this phase holds for you. Take a look:
- She’ll feed herself: Invest in a high chair in which she can start eating her meals herself. At this age, she will be able to clasp food between her thumb and her index finger. It’s called the ‘pincer grasp’.
- She’ll move around on her own: She may still need support, and may use furniture and walls as hand rests. Around the one-year mark, she’ll take her first steps. But this milestone is only indicative, and can vary greatly.
- She’ll say a few words: She will now say words to identify specific objects or people. Only about two or three though. The barrage of baby babble will hit you next year.
- She’ll mimic you: She’ll copy your movements. She’ll try to be your mini-me.
By the time you’ve ticked off all these milestones, your baby will be a little over a year old. Of course, your 2018 isn’t limited to the milestones we’ve listed here. It’s so much more than a list. We’ll let you see for yourself. Bring it on, 2018!