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A Month-Wise Guide To Your Baby's First Year - What to Expect

Having a new-born baby around is like getting in over your head. It is fascinating and dizzying with the coos, cuddles, crying, feeding, cleaning, swaddling and more. So, here is a monthly snapshot of your baby’s first year to get through that tiring yet beautiful phase of your life.

1. First month - The New-born Phase: Your little bundle of joy has entered the world. Now, the main responsibility is making sure your baby is consuming full feeds at regular intervals (every 2.5 to 3 hours). All your baby can do in this month is see faces, bring hands to the mouth and try to move the head during tummy time.

2. Second month - End of the new-born phase: Stepping into the second month, your baby is approaching the end of the new-born phase. Your baby is establishing a good daily routine and the days may become more predictable for mums. They may begin to smile at people, track movements of objects/people and may hold eye contact.

3. Third month: Now, your baby might start feeding more, stay more alert and sleep less. This is the perfect time to interact with your child and encourage him to communicate with you by cooing or making soft noises. Your baby is also mastering the skills of eye-hand coordination, leg movements like kicking, and studying the faces around him.

4. Fourth month: Usually, this month is the time when your baby starts being very alert and more interested in the surroundings. This explains why your baby wants to stop napping. Also, the changing nutritional needs of your growing child are making it difficult to fall asleep for a longer time - specially if not fully fed. The milestones of this month are your baby holding up the head unsupported and also trying to reach toys or other objects.

5. Fifth month: This is the time to introduce a structured sleep routine to your baby and deal with sleep regressions. Also, the fifth month is a good time to start introducing semi-solids/solids for the nutrition of your baby according to The American Academy of Pediatrics. In this month, your baby might begin laughing, giggling, and imitating facial expressions. So, beware of the toys around them as they start teething.

6. Sixth month: Your baby’s body is demanding a good amount of solid food and it is absolutely necessary to have your baby get good sleep. Your baby will now start babbling and cooing, having self-engagement, sitting upright unaided and responding to their name.

7. Seventh month: This is the month when your child starts to bloom with a personality. They smile and giggle, but need you for comfort. They are learning to drop things on the floor when you make them sit with a toy or two - responding to your “no”. In fact, the best part is that they are trying to get on all fours - rocking back and forth.

8. Eighth month: Your baby now loves your cuddles and responds to it with joy. They are learning a commando crawl, i.e., moving backwards when on all fours. In this month, they might even develop pincer grasp (holding with thumbs and first finger) and may also try to stand up with support.

9. Ninth month: Your baby can now move around quite a bit by crawling. You now need to start baby proofing your house (tentative link: https://www.tinystep.in/blog/7-reasons-why-baby-proofing-is-important ) to keep your little explorer safe. Your child also starts pointing their finger at objects or persons - identifying familiar faces and being hesitant about strangers.

10. Tenth month: In this month, your baby has cut down their number of naps to two naps a day and sleeps almost throughout the night. With fewer cries, they are learning to communicate using gestures. They are a master in crawling or maybe even cruising with support.

11. Eleventh month: Your baby is able to sleep all by themselves and sleeps through the night. They are able to wake up fresh, happy and ready to play. Your baby is also learning to get into sitting position without any aid and babbles in a way that sounds like adult speech.

12. Twelfth month - End of the Infancy stage: Get ready for your baby’s first birthday bash! Your child is fast approaching toddlerhood now. They can wave goodbye and blow flying kisses. Your baby even starts banging and throwing toys or objects. Above all, they get excited looking at you and show you affection.

Of course, these milestones are not set in stone, and they may differ with each baby. If your baby seems to be late meeting these milestones, just know that your baby is simply taking some more time, and that is okay. Every baby is different, so watch your little one grow and enjoy the process! 

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