You just had your baby and you deserve a big congrats because bringing a new life into the world is a big deal, and you are growing your family. You understandably have many questions about what to expect during the baby’s first year and it would not be natural if you didn’t. And, let’s take the opportunity to go over that right now because this will give you a guideline on what to expect from the time your baby is a newborn to 12 months of age.
The Newborn Stage of Your Baby’s First Year
When your baby is just born, your newborn will only act through instinct which is to cry when hunger strikes, cry when the diaper is soiled, and cry when overtired or uncomfortable, and sleep. Unfortunately, this phase is the most exhausting in a physical way for parents because the newborn cannot be on a strict schedule as the baby will become hungry at any time during the day or night, and will sleep at any time as well.
This phase is also difficult because colic can hit at any time during the newborn phase which results in endless crying for hours, and it usually happens late at night. But by 2 to 3 months, it usually settles.
Be sure as well to keep your newborn swaddled in order to keep him or her comfortable since the only thing that he or she is familiar with is being in the womb for 9 months. And, be sure to keep your newborn on the back or on the side without any plush items in the crib or bassinet such as stuffed animals, pillows, and blankets. Unfortunately, this is the riskiest time for SIDS but don’t assume it will happen because more often than not, it doesn’t. Just keep the safety precautions.
And remember, your newborn is the master and you have to be the one to obey the master, and that will continue, but in time it will become more manageable. As your newborn hits 2 months of age, then the changes that you have been wanting to see will come!
Ages 2 To 6 Months of Your Baby’s First Year
When your baby is 2 months old, your little one is not considered as a newborn anymore. At this point, your baby would be smiling and is beginning to sleep through the night which is 5 to 6 hours at a time. And, your baby will also respond to his or her name by looking. Additionally, this is the age when parents can start setting schedules and creating a routine. This is when things start to become somewhat easier due to this reason. Your baby will still need to be fed several times a day, and in the evening as well. However, by 2 to 3 months of age, your baby will no longer need to be fed in the night.
During this stage as well, you will find that your baby will nap less during the day in order to sleep more at night. That means your baby will need to still take about 3 naps a day, and it is important that your baby naps. If your baby is overtired due to the lack of napping, then he or she will become overtired and not sleep well in the night, which will make your infant very cranky and can cause them to get sick as well.
This is also a time when the colic starts to end but teething pain begins which is noticed by drooling, the need to put items in the mouth, and crankiness. You can get your baby teething rings to put in the fridge to help numb the teething pain, and consult your baby’s pediatrician if you intend to give your infant numbing medication as well.
However, aside from that, by 5 months of age, you will see that your baby is developing a personality as he or she is growing into his or her own person. Your baby will start to laugh, and coo sometime during this timeframe as well. And, it is possible by this point that your baby will be ready for solids, but chances are that will most likely happen when he or she is 6 months old.
Ages 6 to 9 Months of Your Baby’s First Year
This stage is significant during your baby’s first year because it is a milestone. At 6 months of age, your baby is half a year old, Babies at this point are able to start eating solid foods, and they also can start sitting up and rolling over. Because the risk of SIDS decreases a lot at this point, it is less of a worry because your baby is able to move around more to get comfortable. But that does not mean it is safe to put anything in the crib. It just means that you can relax a little more about this issue.
Another thing that will happen during this time frame in your baby’s first year is that he or she will start to babble which is the start of speech. And, at this point as well, your baby will likely begin to cut teeth, as well as slide on the floor or even crawl. The crawling usually happens around 8 months of age, and even some babies can stand with assistance as well. The last part of the baby’s first year will be covered next and you will find out what to expect then.
Ages 10 to 12 Months of Your Baby’s First Year
This is a time when your infant begins to slowly transition into toddlerhood. Your baby will not likely be talking at all but will be babbling a lot, and your baby will understand many words that you say. As your infant is more used to eating solids, he or she can start eating cut up food instead of only pureed baby food. At this point, your baby will be standing a lot with assistance, and some may even begin to walk as well.
At this point in your baby’s first year, you will find that your infant will nap once or twice a day at most, and will sleep for 8 hours in the night. This is the time as well to schedule your baby’s first-year checkup and then start getting ready for having a toddler instead of an infant because there will be more to come. Your baby will be walking and starting to talk.
If your baby has not hit a lot of these milestones during his or her first year, then you will need to talk to the pediatrician as well to evaluate any developmental issues that could be coming into play. But more often than not, this is what to expect during your baby’s first year. Good luck with getting used to parenthood!