You have been planning for more than 9 months to see your beautiful baby. You go through what could be a difficult pregnancy as you see your body change and marks appear that you never knew were possible. You hurt everywhere and have to use the bathroom way more than you ever did before. Oh...the joys of being pregnant!
Then, your newborn arrives and all the pain, the hurt, the trials and everything negatives just washes away. At least for me it did. Not that I did not remember, but when you see your baby for the first time, things just change.
The first year in your baby's life is one of the most significant as far as development and change. Babies grow from newborns to one year olds and experience the most change they will experience in their lives; ever! Babies grow at an incredible rate and every month brings something new.
You may think you have your baby sleeping through the night at one month, and then a week later, they are up four times! You may think your baby's colic has subsided, and then one month later something changes and your baby is back to crying and hurting.
One thing is for certain: they will develop at their own pace. Yes, there are milestones in place as "averages" so you can have some kind of measurement, but babies will develop according to their self.
There is a wide window for when it is normal for a baby to reach a particular developmental stage, but focusing too much on that can often be detrimental to your child. If one baby reaches one milestone sooner than another, he or she might take longer for the next one because your baby is so focused on perfecting the first skill. Some babies will say their first word at eight months, while others wait until they are one and start talking in complete sentences.
One of my daughters was talking in complete sentences when she was just 16 months old and I could understand every word, while another one of my daughters took a lot longer than that to say one word. She was also the one who did not read until she was eight, but ended up being a writer and reader of 2000 page books today.
So, keeping all that in mind, here is what your baby may be doing physically in his or her first year of life.
BETWEEN BIRTH AND 3 OR 4 MONTHS
Smiling, raising his or her head, tracking objects, opening and shutting hands and bringing them to his or her mouth
BETWEEN 4-6 MONTHS
Babies are usually learning to manipulate the world around them and discovering their voice
Roll from back to front and front to back
Reach out and grab objects
BETWEEN 6-9 MONTHS
Your baby is on the go
Sitting and Crawling
Pulling up to a standing position
Saying one word sentences
Putting everything in his or her mouth (a way to learn about the world)
BETWEEN 9-12 MONTHS
Feeding his or her self
Mastering the pincer grasp
Taking first steps
Increase in vocabulary
Stranger danger phase
These are all just a FEW of the many transitions and changes that will occur within the first year of life. Try not to focus on these milestones and the time, but watch for progression. If you do not see progression over a period of time, it might be time to talk to your pediatrician. You know your child best so listen to your "gut" and love your child! If you think you need to take him or her to the doctor, just do it.